I use my 'butler's pantry' off the kitchen as my work area, and most of the time I am standing while using my computer, or perching on a kitchen barstool. It is not a great arrangement for the computer, but I love the location: I am very close to both the kitchen and the family room, the hub of activity in my home. Perhaps this is why I have made this setup work for so long.
I know that I should get a proper desk for my computer. After seeing this photo on Design Smack's blog (which is a fantastic blog, by the way - one of my favorites), I decided that finding a proper desk should be high on my priority list of 2008 projects. But finding a great desk is just half of the equation. I need to figure out where to put it. And perhaps, that will help me determine what kind of desk to purchase.
In my current home, there are three options: desk in the living room (my family room can't take another piece of furniture); desk in the kitchen; or desk in the master bedroom. The desk in Design Smack's post fits into the desk in the living room category. I love how it is integrated into the room so beautifully. Yes, this desk has a lot of stuff on it that is more decorative than work oriented, and keeping the clutter controlled would be important if the desk were in a room like this. Also, if using a desk in a living room, it probably needs to suit the style of the living room (in other words, should look somewhat decent, not a card table).
Here is another example of the desk in the living/family room (above). I think this is a unique way to position a desk. This desk is serving as a sofa table as well as a desk. I like its position in the room: you can sit at your desk, be a part of the action, watch a little TV while blogging. This set up requires a fairly large room in order to fit everything, because a desk is a large object and generally has a lot of stuff on it. Unfortunately, I do not have the room configuration to carry this off.
The next category would be desk in the kitchen. Lindy Weaver Design Associates specializes in kitchens and living spaces, and they have amazing skill and expertise in the design of functional rooms. This kitchen office area really caught my eye. The drawers contain plenty of space for filing, and the panel in back of the computer is removable for easy wiring and concealment of wires. A work area in the kitchen would definitely suit my need to be near the action in the house, but I must admit that I am not good at clutter control in my work area. I am also not going to do a built in desk set up in my current kitchen (maybe in the next house).
Another great design from Lindy Weaver Design Associates. The office area is off the kitchen, small but filled with light. The corner panels separating the office from the kitchen are actually storage closets. Very smart! And, the clutter would not be in the direct line of sight of the kitchen. I like this idea. Not possible in my current home, though.
An office from Cottage Living, via the Inspired Room. I would love a great view from my desk. This one looks like it is a craft room/office. I love the idea of having an informal office/craft room off the kitchen. I will keep this in mind for 'the dream home'.
Just after I published this post, I found this picture on Me, Myself and I. Isn't this a great little office set up? It is very efficient in its use of space. I think a swivel chair would be great here, so you can move from one area to the next.
Here is another picture of an office off the kitchen, a room of its own with a window and bookshelves. This picture is from an Atlanta real estate listing.
Another office off the kitchen, with a charming round window. This is also from an Atlanta real estate listing.
Cottage Living, via the Inspired Room. This is more of a practical idea if I want to put a desk in my kitchen. I have a large eat-in kitchen area, and there is plenty of space on one of the walls to put a desk. The desk could be more casual in style.
Here is an example of a desk in a master bedroom. I am not a big fan of the desk in the master. I don't even really like a TV in the master bedroom! I think the master bedroom should be a retreat from the daily grind, not a place to work. So, that's out.
Although it is not an option in my current home, in my 'dream home' another option is a room or library devoted to the office. Benton Weinstock's home office, in House Beautiful, via Style Court, is a great example. I have always thought that a library with a desk would be a nice idea, a room of its own with a door that opens to the front hall, and another door that opens across from the master bedroom (on the main floor). So the library/office would serve a dual function: master bedroom sitting area, and office/library. Such a visible room would need major clutter control, though. And, a very nice desk.
I am coming to the conclusion thatwhat I can do in my current home is probably not what I will do in a future house, so it might be most practical to get a decent desk, but not break the bank on it. Or, a desk that is versatile and can be used in another function in a future home. There are many small consoles that have the same dimensions as a desk. I am off to do some desk research, which I will post in Part II!
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