How To Make A Small Office Look Big – For Cheap

Here are some actions you can take that will help make your small office / home office / personal workspace look big. Or if a large workspace isn’t your aim, perhaps you are just trying to avoid the opposite – something that feels more cramped than cosy.

1. Clear the Clutter Cluttered Office Desk

This will have the biggest impact in the shortest period of time. Get rid of all that ‘stuff’ sitting on and around your desk.

That means:

  1. You can actually see your desktop, and have space to put paper down and write.
  2. Cables are neatly hanging out the back. (no need to go overboard and cable tie things, just make sure you aren’t getting tangled in anything, especially your feet)
  3. Only the items you need frequently are at hand and on the desk.

No shortcuts folks! Don’t just stuff everything in to a drawer. Out of sight might be out of mind… but until you open that drawer and have to take everything out to see what’s in there.

Use something less than twice a week? Find a home for it. Use something less than once year? Perhaps you should get rid of it, or at least put it in the attic, basement or garage.

You might also want to read up on Ideas On How To Organize A Small Office for more tips and tricks on getting rid of clutter and making good use of space.

 2. Clean your desk

That’s right! Get out a rag and a surface spray and wipe everything down. Just cleaning out that top layer of dust, plus giving the surface a soft shine, will light things up. Speaking of light…

3. Add some light

If your little workplace is like most, your desk is up against a wall and the light for the room is up behind you on the ceiling. So try some simple additions such as a desk lamp or two, that will provide an accent.

Here’s a great ide Workspace Lights a: have one lamp pointing over your desk or keyboard to give you light for the work area, and have another pointing up to the wall behind the monitor to accentuate the space.

If you have a shelf above your desk, try mounting some LED strip lighting to point down.

Either way you’ll open up the space and, as a bonus, give your eyes the right amount of background light when looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time.

4. Add some color Office with color that brighens up the space

Try painting the walls around your workspace bright blue, or coral, or orange. Something that will ‘pop out’ and open eyes.

This is not always possible, especially if your workspace is part of a larger office or home and the furniture police have their eyes on you, but you can still make a statement with colour through other means:

  • Remember that backlight from step #3? Try changing the bulb to a coloured one. A splash of colour against a white wall can make a huge statement and costs very little
  • Plant some brightly coloured stationery on your desk. They need not be large: a bucket or tray for pens, a couple of filing trays, and a mouse pad can all be easily sourced in bright colours for peanuts. You can also grab what you have and spray paint them to a new color if you wish.
  • Hang a print in front of you. Can’t drill holes in the wall to hang anything? Try those removable “Command” hooks, or simply rest your print on your desk, against the wall. Either go all out and get a print such as a jungle, or beach scene, that can plant you somewhere else, or keep it very simple. Grab a blank canvas from an arts supply store, spray paint it a nice dark red or green, and presto! You now have a coloured wall.


Have you got any more ideas? Please leave a comment below and share your ideas of what worked or did not work for your office. We would love to read about them.


photo credits: creecher94 via photopin cc