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The Niche Workspace: 17 Efficient Favorites from the Remodelista Archives

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The Niche Workspace: 17 Efficient Favorites from the Remodelista Archives

September 6, 2023

These ingenious workspaces are slotted into closets, corners, even under the stairs. Here are 15 favorites from our archives:

in a paris duplex by heju, an efficient built in work area is slotted in under  17
Above: In A Paris Duplex By Heju, an efficient built-in work area is slotted in under the eaves. Photograph courtesy of Heju.
this floating desk and shelving were designed by paper house projects in the uk 18
Above: This floating desk and shelving were designed by Paper House Projects in the UK. See the rest of the home here. Photograph by Rory Gardiner.
larissa johnston architects situated an office nook on the half landing of a st 19
Above: Larissa Johnston Architects situated an office nook on the half landing of a stairwell. See A London Townhouse Designed to Catch the Light. Photograph by Rory Gardiner.
The Niche Workspace 17 Efficient Favorites from the Remodelista Archives portrait 6
Above: A workspace tucked next to a stairwell by Australia-based Rob Kennon Architects. Photograph by Derek Swalwell.
the stairs in architect jennifer hanlin&#8\2\16;s daughter&#8\2\17;s lo 21
Above: The stairs in architect Jennifer Hanlin‘s daughter’s lofted bedroom incorporate drawers as well as a niche for a desk. See An Eclectic Apartment Inspired by Japanese Storage Chests in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Photograph by Bruce Buck.
a tiny workspace in a 500 square foot trailer owned by los angeles art agent so 22
Above: A tiny workspace in a 500-square-foot trailer owned by Los Angeles art agent Sofie Howard, via Dwell. Photograph by Spencer Lowell.
a built in desk in an entryway designed by arte berry cooke design. photograph  23
Above: A built-in desk in an entryway designed by Arte Berry Cooke Design. Photograph by Kari Wilton.
 interior designer mark lewis used an existing alcove in the back of a kit 24
Above: Interior designer Mark Lewis used an existing alcove in the back of a kitchen to create a built-in desk and shelves made from scaffolding planks. See Kitchen of the Week: A Family Gathering Spot in a London Victorian. Photograph by Rory Gardiner.
a minimal work area in a remodel by czech firm oooox. 25
Above: A minimal work area in a remodel by Czech firm Oooox.
architect sonya lee designed a small crafting station to be tucked behind  26
Above: Architect Sonya Lee designed a small crafting station to be tucked behind custom quarter-sawn white oak pantry doors. Photograph by Mark Wickens.
a couple of shelves inserted in an unused corner create an instant workspace in 27
Above: A couple of shelves inserted in an unused corner create an instant workspace in a Stockholm apartment, via My Scandinavian Home. Photograph by Emily Laye.
a desk tucked into a closet, via mi casa. 28
Above: A desk tucked into a closet, via Mi Casa.
The Niche Workspace 17 Efficient Favorites from the Remodelista Archives portrait 6
Above: An under-the-stairs workspace from a project by Oliver Freundlich, in Brooklyn. (See the rest of the duplex at The Ultimate Starter Apartment, Cobble Hill Edition.) Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
an itty bitty closet office can be hyper efficient—and fun, when painted 30
Above: An itty-bitty closet-office can be hyper efficient—and fun, when painted a surprise hue. Photograph by Richard Bryant, courtesy of Openstudio Architects, from Kitchen of the Week: A Shape-Shifting Studio Apartment in London.
a window desk in an apartment in denmark via lowe home. 31
Above: A window desk in an apartment in Denmark via Lowe Home.
The Niche Workspace 17 Efficient Favorites from the Remodelista Archives portrait 6
Above: In Dagmar Daley and Zak Conway’s San Francisco Victorian, a shelving unit of their own design features a sliding panel to conceal the desk area. See more of the design at The Disappearing Home Office. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
the upstairs bedroom in a \1700s farmhouse has a built in desk cleverly slotted 33
Above: The upstairs bedroom in a 1700s farmhouse has a built-in desk cleverly slotted under a window. See more in A 1700s Stone Farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, Discovered via Google. Photograph by Marili Forastieri, styling by Zio & Sons.

Looking for ingenious solutions for tight quarters? See our archive of Small-Space Living posts. In addition, see these posts on home office storage and organization:

N.B.: This story originally ran on March 15, 2014, as part of our Working It issue, and has been updated and expanded.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I use a small desk in a closet or niche?

Yes, you can definitely use a small desk in a closet or niche. This is a great solution for creating a workspace in a small space.

What are the benefits of using a desk in a closet or niche?

Using a desk in a closet or niche allows you to maximize the available space and create a dedicated workspace. It helps to keep your work area separate from the rest of the room, providing a focused environment for productivity.

Are there any specific types of desks suitable for closets or niches?

There are various types of small desks that are designed specifically for closets and niches. Some popular options include wall-mounted desks, foldable desks, and corner desks that fit snugly into compact spaces.

How can I optimize the storage in my desk-in-a-closet setup?

To optimize storage in a desk-in-a-closet setup, you can consider using shelves, organizers, and hanging accessories on the closet walls. Utilizing vertical space and adding baskets or bins can also help keep your essentials organized and accessible.

Is it necessary to have a separate electrical outlet for the desk?

It is ideal to have a nearby electrical outlet for your desk to plug in your computer or other devices. If there isn't one available, you can use extension cords or power strips to provide power to your workspace.

Can I customize the desk to match my existing closet or niche design?

Absolutely! You can customize the desk by choosing materials, finishes, and colors that complement your existing closet or niche design. This allows you to create a cohesive and visually appealing workspace.

Are these small desks suitable for both home and office use?

Yes, these small desks are versatile and can be used both in a home and office environment. They are designed to maximize space efficiency and provide a functional workspace.

Can I install additional lighting in the closet or niche for better visibility?

Yes, you can install additional lighting in the closet or niche to improve visibility while working. Consider using task lighting options like desk lamps, under-cabinet lights, or wall-mounted fixtures to brighten up your workspace.

What are the factors to consider before setting up a desk in a closet or niche?

Before setting up a desk in a closet or niche, consider factors such as the available space, accessibility to power outlets, lighting conditions, and the overall layout of the room. It's important to plan ahead to create an ergonomic and functional workspace.

Do I need to take any specific measurements before purchasing a small desk for my closet?

Yes, it's crucial to measure the dimensions of your closet or niche before purchasing a small desk. Ensure that the desk fits comfortably in the space without obstructing any doors or shelves.

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