Over the past couple of years, telecommuting for work has become a real and indefinite reality for many people. People from all around the world have proved that you don’t need a fancy desk or a dedicated spare room to create a functional workspace. If you’re working from home but haven’t set up an “office” yet, it’s never too late to find some space for a proper headquarters. If you happen to be low on square footage though, that isn’t a deal breaker either. Just ask Senaida Mehmedovic, who turned what’s essentially an often ignored bit of wall space into a work zone that fits perfectly into her both her apartment’s decorating aesthetic and layout.
Mehmedovic lives in a 295-square-foot studio in Denver that’s full of smart strategies for brightening up and maximizing a small space. Dressed in simple, somewhat see-through curtains, her large windows provide plenty of natural light, making the entire studio seem airy and spacious despite its size. “My apartment has an open floor plan, but I’ve tried to create pockets of space for sleeping, doing work, and hanging out,” she says. It helps that many of those pieces she uses to define those distinct areas are either white, clear, or reflective, save her tan leather sofa, which reinforces the overall boho undertones of her decorating style.
Perhaps the smartest small space strategy of all though is her workspace, as shown below. Mehmedovic ditched the idea of a traditional desk altogether, opting to use a wall-mounted shelf on brackets as a desktop instead. It’s not a totally new idea, but the spot she took over is unexpected; she choose to put this setup right next to her entry, just below the light switch. How many times have you seen anyone take advantage of the wall real estate next to a light switch? Usually, switch plates just float in space, so it’s nice to see someone fully utilizing all the wall space they have. She even hung art above her “desk!”
Instead of buying a large, rolling computer chair, Mehmedovic teamed the shelf-desk up with a white plastic dining chair with wooden legs, which coordinates with her desktop’s shelf brackets. This pairing goes together so well, you’d think she bought these pieces as a set. A white bookcase filled with books sits nearby. Here, she decided to place each book on the shelf with its spine facing inward — a somewhat controversial trend — but it matches the color palette aesthetic of her place perfectly.
This setup could work equally well as a makeshift vanity — you’d just incorporate a mirror and maybe some getting-ready essentials on your shelf instead of a laptop with pens and pencils, for example. You could even use this idea in a tight kitchen to create a small breakfast bar with stools. No matter the end use of your shelf though, you’ll just want to make sure it’s mounted properly to support using it as a tabletop versus just a perch for lightweight things. It’s also a good idea to make sure the shelf is deep enough to support doing whatever it is you’ll be doing there, whether typing or eating.
Of all the cute little nooks and corners in this apartment, this desk area in particular truly shines, and Mehmedovic herself wholeheartedly agrees. “I would say my favorite ‘section’ is definitely my work area,” she says. This cute spot proves all you need for an office is a simple shelf and seat— and maybe a piece of art and some books to inspire you!