Many of us in the past year have discovered the importance of a home office space. It needs to be somewhat calm, collected, and productive. And while it’s easy to pull up a seat to any surface in your home and get to work, we’ve learned that doing this for extended periods of time is detrimental to our ability to focus, comfort, and sanity.
With no end to working from home in sight, it’s time to set our sights on improving our home work space by converting a closet into an office. In other words, create a closet office or “cloffice.”
What’s a Cloffice?
If you had asked us this way back in 2018, a “cloffice” was the hybrid name for a clothes closet-office. But in the past year with the explosion of work-from-home (WFH) situations often involving two working adults and/or schooling kids, people started turning any extra closet or nook into a more-than-temporary work space.
In short, a cloffice is the new home office, and it takes on many different forms.
Do I Need a Closet Office?
Having a designated work space makes you feel more inspired to work than, let’s say, fighting with your partner over who gets to spread out their stuff at the kitchen table. It’s also less distracting than being situated smack-dab in a common living space.
More importantly, you get to design an office space that not only meets your needs, but also fits seamlessly with your style, tastes, and values. You’re given permission to ditch the standard-issue office furniture and make the space your own.
How to Get Started
Beyond your own work requirements, consider who else may need to use the office space and for what activities. Would it be useful as an alternate homework station, exercise area and/or off-season clothes storage? Make a list of the needs for the space and the duties it needs to help fulfill, then assess your home’s underused spaces.
Where to Make a Cloffice
Technically this room is usually a guest room or den. Why not remodel it to become your dream walk-in-closet and office?
Position a freestanding desk in front of a window or in the center of the room. Have custom closets built along the walls, or pay a visit to a big box store to DIY your wardrobe. Add eye-catching lighting, the comfiest chair, art and elegant accessories to make the space look less closet, and more personalized office. One that you’ll look forward to spending your days in!
With the extra floor space in a spare room, you can repurpose other furniture such as bookcases to store work materials and end tables for printers. Table lamps work as desk lighting, and dressers for clothes and work accessories.
Home organization guru Shira Gill turned her guest room into an office for two, reading nook for kids, and a workout area with her Peloton bike. No clothing storage, but it’s in the spirit of the new home office: a tailor-made multi-functional work space.
Clearing out a walk-in closet to convert into office space may involve a long hard look at the extra clothes that you’ve been meaning to edit. When not attached to a bedroom, walk-in closets often end up as random storage—full of things that could live elsewhere in the home, garage, or donation box. This type of space is usually ripe for transformation once you sort through the clutter.
To optimize a narrow closet, build an L-shaped wall mounted desk with shelving and cupboards. To brighten up the room, have an electrician run wiring for a ceiling pendant or wall sconces and additional outlets. Keep paint colours light.
If your wide closet is deep enough, you can utilize existing office furniture, sliding in a desk and filing cabinet. However, you may be forced to get creative and customize in unusual spaces like this one under the stairs.
Some of the most creative cloffices we’ve seen are built in small closets. Granted, tighter spaces require a custom built in desk, but once floating shelves and lighting are added, these spaces are small but mighty. We’re in full support of doors on small closet offices—when it’s time to quit, close the door on work!
Wall Closet-Office Combo
We’re increasingly seeing this approach to storage in renovations and custom homes, where an entire wall is captured with floor to ceiling cabinetry. Often there’s a built in desk feature in the middle, making it a very practical use of wall space.
Closet Office Ideas
In our research we gathered a few other great closet office ideas to get your creative juices flowing. See our Pinterest board and scroll down for tips.
Going to work in a closet doesn’t need to be dreary. Use paint or wallpaper to lift your spirits each time you open the door; add bright accessories, or a bold chair. In the cloffice below, they chose all of the above, including the most electric blue on the sliding barn doors to frame the space when they’re open.
Stay Calm & Collected
If bright colours aren’t your thing, choose a neutral-coloured wall treatment and the warmth of wood. We love this serene little nook, organized with a pin/bulletin board and pretty boxes to hide supplies.
Mounting floating shelves above the desktop is a smart way to secure storage and keep your work surface clear. It’s also the perfect spot to personalize with photos, plants and accessories. And floating shelves aren’t usually something that we get to enjoy in the workplace.
If you need help planning or building out a home office, contact us—we’d love to help. We embrace the opportunity to work on smaller renovation projects.
Feature image credit: Cloffice by A Lo Profile