Office Space: The Small Edition

Photo: Vanessa Deleon / The Nest

With an office measuring only 8-feet-wide, many business owners would feel short on space and patience. However, New Jersey based interior designer Vanessa DeLeon took on the challenge of running her design studio out a small converted alley.

DeLeon's cramped yet functional space is featured in a new series for YouTube's SPACEStv channel that highlights the stories of those who live large despite the restrictions of small quarters. Titled 'Tiny, Eclectic, Amazing Spaces', the series provides viewers with insight on how to build high-functioning small spaces on the cheap.

“Curb appeal is hugely important for every small business, not just retail stores or restaurants," DeLeon says. “I have an oversized Venetian-style black velvet bonnet chair displayed right in my window. People walking by always stop in to check us out, just because of that chair!"

Across from the brick façade pictured above is a bright green wall covered with over 100 photos of rooms DeLeon has designed. This strategic design trick gives clients a peek at her visual resume.

“I always recommend trying to incorporate the colors of your logo or the style of your branding into your space. I have splashes of my company logo colors — green, white and black — throughout the entire space. It helps everyone stay connected to the company's mission" she says.

Not only does a super small workspace helps keep costs down, but DeLeon can maintain her focus on design. In terms of office decor, Vanessa says it's key to splurge on select pieces:

“Don't be afraid to splurge on a few items—a statement chandelier, a custom bookcase—but find ways to save on the practical things. I converted IKEA flower pots into pencil holders for employees to store their pens and markers."

Other than the white desks where her staff sits, she strategically placed pops of color all over to make things look bolder and more exciting. “They say 'go big or go home' but why not stay in your space if it's functional?"

Plus more from the Nest:

How to Make a Small Space Look Bigger

6 Weird Home Decor Finds You'll Love

8 Easy Ways to Add Color To Your Home