Every home requires a space for the heartbeat to happen – the home office. This area often combines many functions of home, school, and work in one area. However, some are not lucky enough to be able to designate a separate room for all of this multi-tasking, so it becomes necessary to utilize other areas.
A home office area requires a few necessities: good lighting, comfortable seating, storage and access to tech organization. This can take place in a living room, family room, or even a dining room. The key is to make the space work well with the other needs surrounding it, so the area doesn’t become a messy hodge-podge.
The dining table tends to be the go-to home office, but it also tends to become the most cluttered space if you let it take over. A credenza with pull out drawers or doors can do double duty for storing dishes as well as important files or supplies. Look for pieces that will allow you to file everything away without having to create messy piles if you should need to have a dinner party. Storage can be as simple using lidded file baskets within a dining buffets enclosed shelves.
A smaller desk can perform double duty as a console when placed behind a sofa or against a wall in the living room. The desk chair can be easily pulled in for extra seating when you have guests. Decorative lighting can serve as an interesting focal points as well as direct task lighting. Utilizing a secretary or drop-down desk is a great choice to easily store items when you need to pick up.
Slipcover file cabinets to disguise them as a pedestal. Tables with attractive skirts Velcroed to them hide the cords but provide easy access. Nearly any room can handle bookcases – build them to the ceiling if possible, and combine shelves with enclosed storage. You’ll be able to showcase decorative items while hiding away important documents.
Now that most tech is wireless, you can simply plug in the lap top in most areas. If cords are an issue with a desktop, then try to position them so they can be hidden along a wall in a cord cover. Consider using a wireless printer to cut down on the number of cords.
If all else fails and you have a standard 24” deep double closet, then transform it into a work space. A pair of file cabinets can provide the bases for a solid top. Install extra shelves or use the upper shelves of the closet for storage. Attach cork tiles to the back wall and you have an instant, functional work space that you can close the doors on when necessary.
—Jan Finlayson, Allied Member ASID