How to create a home office in a flatshare

An increasing number of people, particularly young professionals, are now living in shared housing. Living with flatmates is an economic necessity, as rents are rising and it’s getting more difficult to afford a whole flat of your own.

This is coupled with the fact that flexible working is becoming more common, as is freelance work and social media side hustles. More and more people are needing home offices, while more and more people can’t afford their own place, let alone a spare room.

How do you set up a home office on a budget? A home office that’s unobtrusive, subtle, and still provides some semblance of a work-life balance?

Corner off space to create a workspace

If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room to dedicate to a home office, you’ll need to get creative with where you put your workspace. You can use a section of your bedroom, living or dining room and add a desk, lamp and storage to create a purpose-built work station. Creating a specific home office like this, rather than succumbing to the urge to work in bed or on the sofa, helps preserve the work-life balance which many remote workers struggle with.

Home Office

Make use of alcoves or built-in wardrobes

If your bedroom or living room has an alcove space, this could be ideal for transforming into an office. Carefully measure the space and you can invest in a snug desk, or build one yourself by upcycling existing furniture. This way, the office is tucked away and subtle, and doesn’t dominate the room.

If you’ve got larger built-in wardrobes, this could be another great way to manage your space. You can repurpose any existing shelving as storage for paperwork and stationery, and tuck a desk into the space too. Bonus points for the ability to physically close the door on your office at the end of the work day!

Shabby chic furniture – style on a budget

Thankfully, shabby chic, bare wood, and neutral colour schemes are all massively in for home decor at the moment – and these trends are super cheap to recreate! Head down to a second-hand furniture store and see what bargains you can find, and dress up the furniture with some cute blankets, cushions, and maybe a touch of paint. Loads of the gorgeous, laid-bare Urban Outfitters Home looks can be cheaply duplicated with a bit of imagination, so your home office doesn’t have to be unfashionable to be affordable!

House Plant

Use plants to brighten up the space

Plants are a cheap, healthy and fun way to add a bit of life and colour to the interior of your home. Indoor plants are fashionable and affordable, and generally easy to look after. Get a hanging vine to drape off bookshelves, or a tall potted plant for the floor to make the space look bigger and greener. To help you find the perfect green decoration for your home office, here’s a list of the best places to buy plants in London.

Keep it simple and professional

If you’ve only got a small space to work with, loading it with filing cabinets, sticky note charts and boxes of paperwork isn’t the best use of space. Instead, keep the space as clear and fresh as possible – maybe add a couple of prints or posters for a pop of pattern and colour, and just keep the essentials to hand.

Home Office

If you conduct a lot of video meetings and conferences from home, it’s also important to consider what your backdrop will be when you’re on webcam. Keep your background neutral, and maybe away from the rest of the flat if your flatmates are prone to walking around less than fully-dressed!