Desk Alternatives for Small Spaces

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Oct 28, 2022

Getting the right furniture for your home office can help complete your home’s “look” and can be extremely useful for filling empty space.

For spaces that are too small for a desk, which is typically between 60 x 30 and 30 x 24 inches, tables, shelves, cabinets, laptop stands, and other furniture items can be great alternatives. When choosing desk alternatives for your home, one should consider style, size, use, and dimensions.

Whether your office is in your living room or setting it up under the stairs, cabinets, small tables and shelves are a great way to utilize spaces that are too small for a traditional desk.

Maybe you’re replacing your current desk, or you need a desk in your home or apartment, but simply do not have the square footage or space for a large one!

Don’t worry about it too much because there are still alternatives that will keep your space fresh, useful, and comfortable that will give you the best space solution that you can find the perfect solution for your space.

By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

Desk alternatives for small spaces

How Will You Use Your Desk In Your Small Space?

One of the first things to do when trying to find a simple desk alternative is to consider its use!

If you are looking for a place for your computer or laptop, sit down to pay your bills, do a video call, a place to paperwork, or just a place to do some basic craft work, that will determine the type of desk – or desk-substitute – you will want to buy.

The shape, size, and function will depend on its purpose.

Standing, sitting or adjustable? There are many options available depending on what you need from your desk. For example, standing desks offer an option for those who work at their computers all day long.

An adjustable desk and standing desk reduce back pain as well as improve posture. Standing desks also come in different sizes so they can fit any sized workspace. Some even include features like USB ports, speakers, lights, etc.

Floor space: How much floor space is available for your desk? This may limit how big your desk can be.

However, some people prefer smaller desks since they feel less cluttered. Others enjoy having larger areas where they can spread out papers, books, files, etc. If you’re super limited in available floor space consider a wall desk if you’ve got enough available wall space.

For Computers and Laptops: When looking to set up a desk in a small space for your computer, you are going to want to look for a table or stand that has enough room to fit your necessary work items but is also small enough to fit into your available space.

You are going to want to choose something that is smaller in width but is not too short in depth.

Depending on how much you use a computer or laptop at your desk, the right dimensions can help you avoid uncomfortable pain or crunching.

You will also want to make sure that the item you choose is sturdy and will not sway or fall under the weight of a computer or laptop.

Decorating: Decorations often look good on shelving or more simple desks and tables.

When considering how to decorate your room, office, or apartment, think about what you might be decorating with, and remember to consider the color, height, and width.

Storing and Shelving: What kind of storage does your new desk need to provide? Do you need drawers, file boxes, baskets, bookcases, shelving units, etc.? These types of pieces can add functionality to your desk while providing additional storage area.

Adding a display shelf to your desk area is a great way to spice up your visual space around your desk!

Finding smaller items with drawers and cupboards is totally doable, even if you feel you don’t have tons of extra space to be spending on large bookshelves and closets.

Height is another important thing to consider if this is what you are looking for. Smaller tables exist with 1, 2, or 3 extra shelves.

Some items also have lifting tops that have a small compartment that can be used for games, office supplies, or anything else you wish to keep close at hand.

By the way – don’t forget that whatever desk you choose, whether you’re replacing a current desk or getting a new one, you need to make sure you get a great desk chair that will fit the space along with your new desk.

small compartment that can be used for games

Style Options For Desks

Making the most out of your space means getting a little bit creative, and also looking into different styles of tables and desks! Your house will look great, feel great, and be more productive if you find the right desk for your home.

When choosing desk alternatives, don’t forget about style.

This element will help your space be somewhere you love. Style can include modern, contemporary, traditional, and industrial fixtures.

Colors and building materials all play a part in the overall style. Metallic colors and metals are best when setting up an industrial style.

These characteristics are things to look for when purchasing desk alternatives, as well as height, width, and depth.

Modern colors include orange, brown, teal, yellow, and tan, and use pipes, bricks, and wood.

Contemporary colors include white, gray, black, and tan and use minimal embellishments in their building materials. Traditional colors and styles use grey, beige, and yellow and are often cushiony, patterned, and contain wood furnishings and soft lines.

When choosing a style, matching your comfort and personal preferences are the best way to light up a room with your desk design!

Desk Dimensions For Small Spaces

To know what is going to fit in your house, you may need to do some measurements. Finding the right size for your desk is going to be vital in making sure it fits and that you have the room you need.

The regular measurements for desks that are going to have a monitor setup are typically 60 x 30 inches. For a regular computer or laptop, a desk is approximately 30 x 24 inches.

Knowing these measurements can help you know what the average size is for a computer or laptop and how much space you have to work with.

The minimum width for a sitting desk is 24 inches per person, but smaller items can be used as storage areas for your computer or small office space.

The typical height for a desk is anywhere between 24.2 and 30.6 inches depending on your height.

When choosing a desk for a laptop with a smaller width, remember to consider the height and whether or not you will be using a chair.

Now that you have a good idea of how much space they usually take up, you can think about what it might look like in a much smaller space.

For half the size or smaller, you can purchase a desk or storage space on Amazon. A 3 tier end table can be purchased with dimensions of 13.4 (width) x 11.5 (depth) x 22.8 (height) inches. This size of item can fit in a small space and be used to store items as well as laptops and computers.

Side tables with modern shapes and designs can also be used. Dimensions for side tables go anywhere from 15.7″ (Width) x 23.6” (Depth) x 27.6 ” (Height) to 23.6” (Width) x 15.7” (Depth) x 23.2 ” (Height).

Storage drawers with dimensions of 19 x 16 x 22.5″ (LxWxH) can be purchased and are a great way to combine your favorite styles and functions.

Desk Dimensions For Small Spaces

Other Options For Desks For Your Small Space

Your choices for at-home desks are practically limitless. You get to design your office and living space. Whatever the case, you are sure to find smaller pieces of furniture that fit in small places.

If you want to make the most out of your home office, then there are many options available to you. You just need to find one that works for you and your needs.

Other options for desk alternatives are laptop stands, dining tables, bookshelves, sofa tables, and floating desks.

Once you’ve decided which type of desk will suit your needs, now comes the fun part – deciding where to put it!

You’ll want to make sure that there’s enough room around it so that everything stays organized.

You can use a wall-mounted desk to free up additional space for other things you’ll need like storage.

Floating Desk,Wall Mounted Fold Down Wooden Laptop Computer Desk with Storage Shelves Folding Table Desk Workstation for Wall Bedroom Small Space (Gray-White (Right))

  • The floating desk is made from plywood and well made banding which is environment. With high quality hardware, the wall mount desk is sturdy and durable. It can load up to 40KG/88lb.
  • It can be used as a computer desk when unfolded, and as a bookshelf when folded. Wall-mounted and foldable designs provide a compact space.This Hanging Desk is perfect for your daughter or son to keep knick knacks and do school work. It is perfect for small room like bedroom, make up and remote learning.The shelf space which gets used for simple supply storage or display.

Buy on Amazon

They come in different sizes and heights depending on whether you prefer sitting down or standing while using your computer.

A corner desk would give you more options when organizing things because you’d have more space to place objects. It would also provide privacy since no one would see what you were doing unless they walked by.

ODK Corner Desk, Triangle Computer Desk Corner Vanity with Large Drawer & Storage Shelves, Corner Writing Desk for Workstation

  • TRIANGLE DESIGN: Make full use of your corner space. Just a corner space can both meet your working and gaming needs. Overall dimensions are 28.3L x 28.3W x 30H inch.
  • LARGE DRAWER & LARGE STORAGE SPACE: Upgraded version with a large drawer, designed for better storage. The open shelving under the desk is a perfect storage place for your items.

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Walmart

Buy On ODK

Another option is to get a rolling cart. These carts are perfect if you don’t have any other furniture in this area but still want something to keep all of your supplies within reach.

These types of carts are available at most big box retailers including Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. The wheels make moving easy and the shelves offer plenty of places to organize your supplies.

One great alternatives you could use is a lap desk. Lap desks are designed specifically for people  sitting in regular furniture chairs while they’re working.

There are several benefits to having a lap desk instead of a traditional desktop:

No clutter – When you have a lap desk, you won’t have to worry about keeping anything off of your desk. Everything is stored away neatly behind closed doors.

Comfort – Since you aren’t required to sit upright, you can rest comfortably while typing or browsing through documents. You may even find yourself getting some extra sleep during the day.

Convenience – If you’re looking for a quick break, you can simply stand up without worrying about losing valuable time searching for pens, paper clips, or whatever else you need.

Privacy – With a lap desk, you can set up shop wherever you feel comfortable. There isn’t anyone who has to walk past your workspace before seeing what you’re working on.

Versatility – Most lap desks fold flat against their base making them easier to move than larger pieces of equipment. They can easily be moved out of the way when not being used.

Ease of Use – Because these units are portable, you can take them along whenever you travel. They’re lightweight and compact allowing you to bring them everywhere you go.

Storage – You can simply put it away when you’re not using it!

Setting Up On Your Dining Table

If you already have a dining table, then if you’re pressed for space, you might as well turn part of it into a workstation. This idea works best if you have a dining table is relatively large.

The first step is to remove the legs from the table. Next, cut two holes in each side of the tabletop measuring 3/4 inch across. Then drill three 1/2 inch diameter holes near the center of the top surface.

How Much Does a Small Desk Cost?

Some small desks can cost $1,000 or more. The price depends on the size of the desk, the materials used, and the quality of the workmanship. However there are a lot of much less expensive options!

We’re aiming for simple living and maximizing space – not (necessarily) looking to be featured in Architectural Digest.

You want to find options that provide tons of value and the appropriate features at no additional cost.

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

Robert David Orr

Robert is a writer & creator, author of the WordPress Website Blueprint, award winning web developer, and leader in digital strategy. He's also a tenured work at home veteran who's been working from home for more than 10 years. Learn more. Got questions? Reach out and connect here - Contact Home Office Hacks here.

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