The shift in communications and information technology has created a new work lifestyle that demands a home office. A well-designed home office has comfortable workstations, good lighting and a layout that puts work surfaces, storage, technology and other essentials where you need them. We’ll look at each of these areas to help you get started thinking about your own space.
Consider your desk first. Think about whether the desk should float in the room, as here, be built in a wall. Get the largest desk that fits comfortably in your space, as you can never have enough work surface.
Built-in desks have the same basic dimensions as other desks but often provide more work surface, since you customize the design. In this house the desktop is braced to the wall, allowing plenty of knee space so someone can move from one end to the other. The built-in bookshelves hold books, file boxes and supplies.
The paperless office is not yet a reality for many. So filing cabinets are another item that can take up considerable space in a home office. Think about what you want to look at and have at your fingertips every day. These things should go on desktops and open shelves — perhaps in baskets, boxes or organizers. Everything else can be stored in drawers and cabinets, with the most frequently accessed items within arm’s reach and the rest in higher cabinets or drawers farther away from where you work.
Your office may need more desks and chairs if you have clients visit or if you use the room for reading or studying as well. You won’t need a great deal of space in front of extra seating, so allowing paths as little as 14 in. (36 cm) wide may work. Here, additional desk is designed next to the bookcase, which is practical and space-saving.