A Functional Kitchen Office for Your Family's Crazy Schedule
Whether you're in a small or large home, there are times when you need to find a quick space to serve as a home office. The next time you’re searching for that space, take a different approach to find that office area and try looking in the most unlikely of rooms in the house: your kitchen. Many kitchens contain an area that you can easily repurpose as your new home office. All you need to create your own office corner is a little imagination and some of these helpful kitchen office ideas.
Use the Wall Space in Your Kitchen
If you're fitting an entire home office into a corner of your kitchen, then you want to maximize every inch of space; that includes wall space. Set up a bulletin board or cork board to pin up notes, schedules, diagrams and lists. When you're running your household out of your kitchen office, be sure to set aside part of the wall space for your home so everyone always knows where to find what they need.
Add a dry-erase board or blackboard to write notes to your roommate or family. You can even paint an entire wall with blackboard paint as a permanent message board and outlet for your creativity. If your home office is in a kitchen corner and you have enough room, consider adding a built-in bookcase for extra functionality. Don't settle for ordinary shelves, but custom-design cubbies that let you tuck away papers according to your projects. You can even dedicate one cubby per person for their individual work.
Re-purpose Kitchen Shelves and Cabinets
If you've set up shop on a kitchen counter with cabinets overhead, then consider pulling the doors off the cabinets to give you plenty of shelf space for books and office supplies. Consider putting loose supplies such as pens, Post-It notes, rulers, hole punches and paper clips in attractive baskets that blend in with the theme of your kitchen.
Rework the lower cabinets by adding pull-out shelves for your printer and computer tower. Drawer dividers let you maximize space and separate out clips, pens and tape. Even if you don't have lower cabinets to work with, you can still take advantage of all that space. Roll in a wheeled filing cabinet to have all your vital documents close at hand, or add modular shelving units of plastic-covered wire. You can hide everything by hanging a handy curtain, choosing fabric that matches your kitchen decor.
If you're worried about clutter, then you can even curtain off your entire mini-office. Just tie back the curtains when it's time to work and let them fall into place when company's coming over. It's a perfect solution for when you haven't had time to tidy up that space.
Add Extra Functional Touches
Most kitchen areas have overhead lighting, which isn't usually designed for office work. No worries; you can make your home office more functional by adding lights under the upper kitchen cabinets. Run extra power to your kitchen office space if you can, or attach a heavy-duty power strip to the wall inside the cabinets to keep your computer and all your gadgets up and running. Of course, you'll want a charging station to keep your smartphone and tablets ready to go as well.
Add an under-the-counter keyboard shelf to slide your computer keyboard out of sight and give yourself more counter space. You can even mount your computer monitor right on the wall, just as you'd do with a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Run the wires down through the wall to enjoy a clear counter top that can still be used for cooking.
To keep this new area from looking like a last-minute design idea, take an extra step to embrace the fact that you're working in your kitchen and add clever, decorative touches. Use old muffin tins to sort paper clips, flip cheese graters upside down to use as pencil holders, and pull those unused Mason jars and glass canisters out of storage to use for office supplies. While it may sound like an unconventional idea at first, a kitchen office can serve as an optimal dual-purpose space.
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