My apartment doesn’t have enough room for me to have a separate home office, so I’m forced to use my dining room as a dual space. This wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have a bunch of office stuff that needed to be stored, and the desire to still have a functioning dining room. Am I asking for too much? I know it’s a small space, but I wanna be able to host small dinner parties that are fun and fab, without bumping into furniture. I’m way behind in decorating my dining room/home office, so now that I’m ready to get started, I need to get really creative with my use of space.

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Here’s a view of my dining area now:

Now, this is the best looking view I have, because I WOULDN’T DARE show you the other photos. It’s a mess in here. I do so much in so little space, without having functional furniture or storage.

Trust me, the photo above is 100% better than it was before my 10 Days to an Organized Home Challenge. My main issue is trying to figure out a functional way to store my office supplies and business paperwork, while also making room for my sewing supplies, craft supplies, and fabric and floor samples for my design business. Next, I need to have enough space for a dining table that can hold 6-10 people and be large enough to stretch out long, wide-width fabrics. I would also sew on this table.

Here’s the current floor plan of the space:

As you can see, the space is pretty small. My solution is Organized Living’s FreedomRail shelving system on the long wall. The FreedomRail system is most known for its use in closets and garages, but can also be a stylish, durable solution to organize pantries, living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. It’s the perfect solution for any small space.

Here’s a quick sketch of what the back wall will look like:

using organized living freedomrail storage system on a long wall in a dining room home office
The FreedomRail shelving system will include a 48″ desktop, 6 metal baskets for holding fabric and tile samples, shelves for books, 3 drawers, and a file cabinet (not shown in the sketch)! The coolest thing about this system is that all components are attached to brackets on the wall and nothing will touch the floor – which helps make a small space feel a bit more airy.

I’m also going to get a dining table that’s large enough for dinner parties, crafting, sewing (my handmade pillow covers), and cutting fabrics.

Here’s what I need to do in this space:

  • Paint
  • Install the shelving system (It was delivered this weekend – I shared a photo on Instagram)
  • Order storage boxes to organize my office paperwork and client projects (definitely need to check out The Container Store)
  • Find art for the space
  • Look for a cool message board
  • Style my shelves and make everything look organized and pretty

I should be ready to reveal the space in a few weeks, but in the meantime, check out my living room tour and my kitchen tour.

I want this space to be really bright and airy, since I don’t have any windows on this side of my apartment. I do have a window on the other side and it shines really bright a couple of hours a day. So, I’ll need to get a table lamp, too.

For the color scheme, I want to use blue and orange, repeating the colors from the living room, and pop in some pinks and greens. Black and white art and photography is an absolute must, as I don’t design any space without a hint of this classic combo.

There will be a lot of accessorizing and layering as I want this small space to be really fun and stylish. But, you’ll see lots of office storage and books, because I also want it to be functional.

I haven’t found the perfect table yet, but I might actually DIY one. (Maybe, please don’t hold me to it.)

Here are some rooms around the web that’s inspired me:

This storage system is similar to the one I’m doing in my dining room, but this one is the Rubbermaid shelving system like I have in my living room. I designed my Organized Living FreedomRail system with similar drawers.


rubbermaid shelving system
Home Depot

This vignette, by Emily Henderson, gives me life each time I see it in my Pinterest feed. I use to hoard dark wood pieces, but now I’m a fan of lighter woods. I want my dining table to have an oak finish. Plus, the styling on the dresser is A+. I love the art and all the fun accessories.


emily henderson
Emily Henderson

The styling on this bookcase is amazing!! I love how each piece is perfectly layered. Strategically layering your accessories are the key to a gorgeous vignette.


decor 8
via Decor 8’s Flickr

This vignette is one of my favorites. It’s bohemian, modern, and has a global feel to it. I love art with animal subjects. I’ve got lots of them in my living room and plan on adding to my “zoo” in my dining/office space.


via Penny Farthing Design House
via Penny Farthing Design House

I didn’t share any inspiration photos of the dining area (which is technically the office area, too, right?) because I’m kinda making it up as I go. I know I want a heavy piece with straight lines in a light wood stain.

The hardest part about making this space both gorgeous and functional, is trying to mix all the tasks here. Eating, sewing, working, blogging, crafting, and reading will all have to take place in this one space. How on Earth do you have a stylish dining table in an office?

Well, in case you’re wondering, I have a well-undeveloped plan and you’ll see soon it enough.

I’ll be sharing sneak peeks on Facebook and Instagram as the project moves along, so follow me, so you can see. 😉

So, what do you think of my small space solution? Have you used a similar solution in your home? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time,