Do you want to create a dedicated home office space with limited square footage? One idea is to add built-in home office furniture, shelving and cabinets to help provide provide ample office storage while lending a neat and professional look to the space. Built-in desks can be a great choice when you want to preserve open floor space. Take a look at some ideas that allow you incorporate built-ins to your own home office plans.
Built-In Office Storage
Built-in bookcases give even the smallest home office a sense of permanence. Estimate the shelf space you need before you start to build, and then add 30 to 50 percent (if possible) to accommodate future storage needs.
Many people convert an extra bedroom into a home office. Since you're probably working with a fairly compact space when you do this, you can turn an entire wall into built-in storage, combining modular cabinets and office shelving. If you want to double the room's use by having it available as a guest room, consider a sofa bed, a day bed that you can set up as a sofa, or even a Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall.
Consider using prefabricated storage units and installing them along a wall to make the building process easier. With the variety of styles and accents available, you can choose cabinet doors that suit your personal style.
When you create a built-in desk, you can design it to suit your unique needs. Add holes in the desktop for cable and wire management, and to ensure you have access to the electrical outlets underneath.
Many people like to create built-in desks that are in essence, a little niche in the middle of a wall of office storage. You can also build a desk that runs along an entire wall to provide you with plenty of workspace. This arrangement is ideal if you need to share your home office with another family member or a colleague. It's also great if you need to spread out alot of papers.
If you choose to build a wall-length desk, consider whether you want to add built-in storage underneath. If you do, how many spots will you need for desk chairs? If you have the option of building your office desk under a wall of windows, you can provide yourself with an inspiring view. Don't worry about the wall-length, built-in desk taking away the option of adding storage. Consider adding modular cabinets above your office desk — all the way up to the ceiling. If you're installing office storage over a built-in desk, add LED lights under the storage to provide non-distracting down light on your entire work surface.
To get started, consider installing a ready-to-assemble bookshelf that comes with a desk built into its center. With shelves all around you, you can place your books and office supplies within easy reach.
Taking Advantage of the Space You Have
Built-ins allow you to take advantage of even the smallest spaces. Because they fit the space precisely, they look neat rather than messy while allowing you to maximize use of the space available. Build out an over-sized niche at the end of a hallway or a large stair landing to take advantage of space that's otherwise going to waste.
Consider using a breakfast nook as a home office, or take a second look at that wasted space under your stairway. Sometimes master bedrooms have sitting areas that can be converted to office space. If you don't use your formal dining room, think about how you could use that as home office space as well. An eat-in kitchen also may have plenty of space for some built-ins; this option is particularly valuable when you're using your home office as the headquarters from which you run your household.
Sometimes the issue isn't having too little space, but rather having too much of it. A great room for example, may not obviously lend itself to sectioning off an area for office space. In this case, consider creating your own section by installing a room divider that stretches from floor to ceiling to provide privacy. If you want to maintain a sense of space, consider a sliding divider, or create an open bookcase. An easy way to start is to choose a modular desk that comes equipped with shelf space so one piece does it all. A modern piece that allows you to see what's on the other side of the shelving provides you with room to work without taking away your sense of space.
Take a walk around your home to see where you can maximize your space and functionality by adding home office built-ins. With the right amount of thought and creativity, even the smallest corner of a kitchen, bedroom or stairway can become part of a practical, space-efficient home office.
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