Many people are no longer commuting to an office. The average work building has been replaced with an everyday kitchen table or couch. Though it may seem more comfortable and convenient to prioritize comfort over functionality, having a designated place to work may boost productivity and efficiency during work hours. One place that might be overlooked as a viable workspace is a closet.

Read on to find out how you can transform a closet into a great home office.

What Are ‘Cloffices’?

Because of the recent pandemic, many people have switched to a work or learn-from-home situation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give those in smaller homes or apartments much room to set up shop. Especially if there are children in the home, fighting for space can be a constant battle.

Thankfully, there are ways to get creative while still upholding an appropriate location to work. The simplest office requires a desktop surface, some storage, and a chair — while a closet needs a few hooks and racks. If there’s not enough room to separate the two, it may be time to consider the “cloffice.”

At its most basic, a cloffice is a closet that has been transformed or doubles as an office. They can take many shapes and forms, such as a desk space in a walk-in closet or a room that houses clothes and business supplies.

Cloffice with floating shelves over desk
This cloffice features floating shelves over desk

Benefits of a Cloffice

A cloffice provides a workspace in an often otherwise unused space. Because closets and offices can be independently decorated to improve organization, boost productivity, ease morning routines, and more, the possibilities are endless when designed as one unit.

A cloffice also saves money and time by providing a station for work without the hassle of a full renovation. Whether you decide to create a workstation in a small closet or combine the office and closet into one bigger room, all the supplies are kept in one place. This adds value to the home and convenience to everyone’s daily routine.

Spare closets or small guest rooms usually have the most potential to be reconstructed into workspaces because they don’t require much setup — as the space is already there. This may be an ideal setup for employees who work from home, students who are still remotely learning, side hustles, and other business-like affairs.

A cloffice can be carved out of any unused space in the home but an empty reach-in closet is most often pressed into service. Hence the name — “closet office” becomes “cloffice”.

Creating a DIY Cloffice

When it comes to any home decor or renovation project, it’s best to start with a bit of research.

Here are questions to consider:

  • What are the needs that should be met?
  • Who will be using the cloffice?
  • What is the budget?
  • How big is the location and what supplies are essential?
  • Can an extra room or closet be spared?
  • Is it time to conduct a spring-cleaning session?
  • Would visiting a donation center be the next step?

Answering these questions not only puts you on track to not overspend, it also better ensures a brag-worthy product.

Design plans for a small cloffice in the closet under the stairs.
These design plans are for a small cloffice located in a closet under the basement stairs. Notice how several inches of space has been left between the left edge of the drawers and the area where the left-hand wall would be. This is so that the drawers will open easily with sufficient room to clear the door jamb of this closet. The amount of space required will vary by closet and door type. The right-hand return panel on the desk can also be altered/shortened depending on the depth of the closet you are working with.

Follow these tips as inspiration for personal cloffice ideas:

  1. Choose a location. Since a cloffice doesn’t necessitate as much room as a full office, it’s important to choose an area that still has enough spaciousness. Whether it’s a spare room, a reach-in, or walk-in cloffice, make sure it has enough capacity for what you need. Existing zones can even be repurposed.
  • Add a desk. The great thing about desks is that they’re fully customizable to various needs. If there’s not a ton of space, a floating desk may be a good choice. If tech is more your industry, a gadget-filled one may be for you. Just make sure there’s still room for other items such as a chair, computer, supplies, and personal touches.
  • Take a seat. Choose your chair based on the space available. Tight desks pair well with stools while bigger desks allow for larger, rolling chairs. Since many workers spend most of their day sitting, it may also be beneficial to invest in a chair with enough lumbar support or purchase supplementary cushions.
  • Incorporate storage. Every office needs supplies, but where should they be stored? Take advantage of vertical space if there isn’t enough room on the counter. Shelves, a corkboard, peg wall, baskets, and bins are all classic ways to maximize organization and storage. The key is to choose accessories that are efficient and functional.
  • Decorate. Just because it’s an office doesn’t mean it has to be monotone. Add personal touches of colorful decor, such as artwork and aesthetically pleasing supplies. Choose a theme that ties the room, combining closet and office elements. If the place also serves as a closet, match the hangers and racks with the stapler and paper clips.
  • Turn on the lights. By switching from fluorescent lightbulbs to LED ones, it may give a more pleasing view to the room. A lamp could also work for the workspace, though it may not be spatially convenient to take valuable desk real estate. Hanging lights, wall lamps, and chandeliers brighten the space without being disturbing.

The cloffice is here to stay.

Even though work on-the-go is so popular, that doesn’t mean a home office is a thing of the past. The cloffice has become a convenient alternative to a full-sized workspace. As people hope to simplify their living spaces, merging the closet and office is a great way to start. 

If you need any help along the way with cloffice designs, consider our online personal design tool or contact us for professional design services. Either way, you’ll find that any closet or spare room in the house has great potential for a cloffice upgrade.


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One Reply to “How to Design a Cloffice”

  1. What a great idea this is! It’s so important to take advantage of every inch of space in a small home. A “cloffice” is a wonderful solution for someone who has to work from home but doesn’t have a dedicated home office. Kudos to you!

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