Home & Style

Design Scout: Desks For Small Spaces

Has square-footage deficiency left you scrambling for storage for your books and computer? Embrace the small-space challenge with these seven creative work-station alternatives.

Ikea PS Laptop Workstation
Fold-down wall furniture is our favorite way to add desk space to a cramped bedroom. We love the retro-locker look of this punchy red Ikea option (also available in white), and the lock-box feature will help you protect your work and electronics. Not looking to invite high school back into your home? A more grown-up (and commercial-feeling) alternative is the Anthro eNook ($429 to $1,199). This mountable computer cubby can work with both desktop and laptop computers, comes with space to store and charge electronics, and has ventilated sides to keep equipment cool.
$59.99 at Ikea.com

Sloane Mahogany Leaning Desk
One of the simplest, cleanest designs out there. If you’ve got a long wall to cover, we suggest pairing it with the matching leaning bookcase for extra storage.
$139 at Crateandbarrel.com

Plan Station 90206 Portable Workstation
Contractors use this tool for on-site blueprint work, but there’s no reason we can’t all benefit from its extreme portability and slim fold-up size. Two nails and two 24-by-48-inch scraps of plywood (slipped into the ledge compartment) are all you need to make this portable drafting station a temporary desk. Mesh pockets galore keep your notebooks, pens, and electronics in place, and once you’re finished, everything zips up portfolio-style into one easy-to-transport case. Architecture and design students constantly schlepping materials between studio and home office should consider this a great way to move projects without ruining their workflow.
$62.98 at Amazon.com

Home Styles Computer Armoire
We’re suckers for anything that lets us hide a messy workspace simply by shutting the doors, but this classic armoire (which shuts to reveal wood-slated panels) is so smartly designed that we fear we’ll have no choice but to organize. Equipped with three mail slots, a corkboard, and a dry-erase surface, this multifunction piece will help you maintain a busy lifestyle while giving the illusion of a work-free home environment.
$449.99 at Kmart.com

Artifort Globus Flexible Workstation
Yes, we know it costs more than your car, but there’s just so much contained in this little unit: A comfy chair is built right in to Michiel van der Kley’s ingenious fold-out sphere, and thanks to the steel poles that secure both parts of the work space onto one base, the piece can be moved from room to room with relative ease. We bet Judy Jetson had one just like it.
$10,239.90 at allmodern.com

WOG 13 Pillar Box
Leave it to the Swiss to come up with such a cutting-edge product. Though frequently used in museums and commercial spaces, the Pillar Box’s optional table leaf is just enough room for a laptop and cup of coffee—perfect for anyone who prefers to keep clutter to a minimum. With six cubbies and a revolving, magnetic cover that you can use to post artwork, photos, notes, and reminders, this unique piece of furniture can be customized to fit almost any environment.
$4,800 at Functions in Santa Monica, California. Call 310-451-4284.

Stacks & Stacks Foldaway Desk
More than 3½ feet of workspace folds down to a 19-by-16-inch rolling cart in this versatile piece. Though it might not be the most visually stunning, Stacks & Stacks earns points for creating five drawers of storage space and—with the creative use of a sheet or two—the ability to turn it into an elegant serving table at a moment’s notice.
$140 at LNT.com

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Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.