How to Create a Workspace at Home

Whether you’re running a business from home or you just want a corner for creative pastimes, having a dedicated workspace lets you get on with stuff as soon as inspiration strikes.

You don’t have to clear a space on the kitchen table, hunt for the tools you need, carry items from room to room or scratch your head wondering where to start. A small workspace will really give your creativity and productivity a boost.


Define the Space You Need
Because different activities require different kinds of area, the first job is to understand what you actually need. For practical purposes, the term ‘workspace ’is a bit too vague. So hone in on what’s really important to help you get the job done:

● Do you need good ventilation? If you’re crafting or working with chemicals and fumes, this might be a priority. Your basement might offer a brilliant space, but how would you keep the air clean if ventilation is poor?

● Do you need good light in your workspace? If you’re doing close or detailed creative work such as hand sewing, correct lighting is a must. You could use daylight bulbs in gloomy corners, but if you can plan an area with plenty of natural light, this is even better.

● Do you need privacy? Maybe you’re writing and you like your drafts to stay private. Could you arrange a desk so your back is to the wall and you’re facing into the room? That way you know no-one is reading over your shoulder.

● Do you need somewhere for potentially dangerous tools or expensive equipment? An expanse of wall (doesn’t have to be huge) where you can hang shelving could help keep things organised and out of reach of small children.

Figure out what you need in your workspace, then go from there.

Commandeer the Spare Room
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a spare (or guest) room, but if you do you have workspace galore for little effort.

It’s relatively easy to organise a spare room for any type of activity, and make it possible to still have guests over when you want. You could:

Storage prices are usually reasonable if it's within your ability rent a unit to store away your bedroom furniture. You can put beds etc in there to make room for workbenches or desks, and do a quick switch-around when overnight guests are arriving. Self storage facilities are affordable and easily found throughout the UK.

● Instead of a normal bed, swap it for a day bed or sofa bed. You’ll still have a comfy place for guests, but you’ll also have a cosy seating area if you’re hand sewing or reading drafts of written work.

● If you’re short on floor space but want a flat surface, consider a fold-down table fixed to one wall. It takes up no space unless you need it, but is there on demand.

● Fit some additional shelves. They don’t have to run vertically, but could be fitted in a continuous line around the top third of the room. This offers plenty of storage while not taking up space on the floor. Stow tools and equipment in attractive baskets or boxes so the workspace is also presentable for guests.

Creating Space in Communal Rooms
If you don’t have a spare room, all is not lost.

In the living room, you could create a semi-private writing corner by turning a bookcase or two perpendicular to the wall. It won’t close the area off completely, but it does offer a psychological barrier that can indicate ‘workspace’. Put your desk behind the divider, and use the bookcase shelves for the documents, books or tools you use most often.

Have a flexible item of furniture for your craft or work tools, placed in a handy position so it’s always close to where you work. It could be as simple as a lift-top coffee table or a side table with drawers under the surface.

What about in the kitchen? If your go-to workspace is the kitchen table, make sure it’s always clear of clutter so you can sit down straightaway without having to tidy up first. Could you rearrange storage in the kitchen so you have one cabinet that’s just for the stuff you use when working?

A workspace is both physical and psychological. You don’t necessarily need a bespoke area (although it’s nice) in order to carve a little area where your mind jumps into work mode once you’re there and surrounded by the tools of your trade.

*Collaborative post