Sunday, February 10, 2008

Room for a Desk, Part I

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.

Sarah Richardon Design, via Design Smack (a great blog that I have recently discovered)

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).

Kimberly Seldon Design Group (discovered through Design Smack)

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!

Please visit Quatrefoil Design for more inspirational images.

To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.

Beautiful framed intaglios, available here:

Unique architectural renderings, available here:

Whimsical original crab and lobster paintings, as seen in House Beautiful, available here:


  1. I think houses weren't really designed for this "techie" function, but I agree, I want to be in the hub of the house in case someone needs me and then I do not feel so away from them tucked in the basement! I bought an armoire that closes when we're done and hides the mess inside--works nicely!

  2. As you know, I am working on my first ever (21 years of marriage) personal home office. I've always been the one tucked in a corner of the playroom to be near the kids! Not conducive to brilliant thinking or privacy, but it kept the kids alive so it was worth it.

    Now having my own office, tucked in between what will be my master bedroom and my walk in boutique closet (I love saying that, I sound so chic), I will finally have the space I need to work.

    I had visions of a lady like table with curvy legs, but ended up with two file cabinets and a console top from Pottery Barn. Not lady like or really beautiful, but practical. I love the idea of having a place to put files, even though I hate filing. The fact that I can fill them with colored folders makes me happy and thinks I just might find some enjoyment from a file cabinet. Strange!

    Fun photos, thanks for all the inspiration! Looking forward to part II!


  3. I am chairing my sons' school auction. The other day, the boys were talking about something and I had missed the event. When I said, "I don't remember that." My eldest replied, "Maybe you were in the office checking your e:mail." Hmmm...maybe I should be a little closer to the action. Love to see if you find any good, old desks. I do not see a lot around town.

  4. Good for you: keep the office out of the bedroom if you want to get any decent rest ever again.... I'm in the library (what would have been the second parlour downstairs) using a game table as a desk. And clutter control is an issue. The built-in desk in the kitchen gets heaped with all sorts of non-essential flotsam and jetsam. In both cases we didn't plan for enough drawer space. Just a word to the wise. The paperless office isn't here, just yet.

    Have you considered taking up some of a guest room? We used to have the guestroom double as the library and had many positive reactions from our few guests.

  5. Thank you for the comments!

    I must admit, these pictures portray the office in its ideal state, without the clutter! I don't know if I could ever achieve a no clutter state, with the amount of paperwork that comes home with three kids.

    E&E, unfortunately the guest room has already been converted into the playroom! One of the many reasons that I am starting the campaign to move.

  6. I love this - all the pictures are great of such cute home offices. You should see mine, not so cute. omg - I need to be on one of those tv shows where some bitchy lady cracks a whip and makes you throw everything out or put it into three designated baskets: keep, toss, donate. oy!


  7. The Lindy Weaver shots are awesome; I've never see her stuff before. You are too sweet for the mention & encouragement ;) Can't wait for part II!

  8. I don't envy you making the decision. You've found so many lovely options. I put my laptop on the kitchen table which is not satisfactory at all, but I've got no other place for it. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog.

  9. I think it totally depends on the type of computer you have (laptop vs. CPU), the type of work you do, how much peripheral "stuff" you need around you while you work and the hours you keep. I have a small office off my living room (it's actually an optional 4th bedroom that we converted into an office). Sometimes I take my laptop into the kitchen and sit at the kitchen table. Other times I put it outside by the pool. It's funny how a change of venue for me can sometimes help me get past a creative block when I'm working. I find I'm most productive at the kitchen table, for some reason! I think your plan of a console is great! I am using a 40-ish year old teak dining table that my parents had when I was growing up. It's not gorgeous, but it's large enough for the computer, a big lamp and lots of papers and even though it's not the most stylish, it has some sentimental value. Like you, until I knew exactly what I wanted, I figured, why break the bank...and I'm still using this! LOL

  10. Amber, you are right, laptop or desktop makes all the difference! I have a laptop, so I am testing out how I like working in the living room (I set up my art table in there temporarily). The drawback: my living room is the one place in my house where things are usually very orderly(except for the piano area, which is often littered with piano books). I am not sure how I feel having my paperwork in here!

  11. My ideal office is the last image you've posted!!

  12. Dont worry girls, I am currently sitting in between moving boxes, a mountinan bike and washing machine :) Nobody is dreamingof a better workspace then me :)

  13. Clutter is all relative, isn't it Nunu?

    I know that I feel so much better when I do not have clutter, but somehow it creeps up on me. I am actually following through on one of my New Years resolutions - I am going through my old design magazines, one by one, tearing out the articles and items that I like, and throwing the rest of the magazine in the recycle bin! I am thoroughly enjoying the process of going through the old magazines, and feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish going through one.

    A little off topic, but it relates to clutter!

  14. Great post with great images! I don't like clutter, though, so I definitely need a seperate work area so I don't have to look at it!

  15. Thanks for the mention here.

    This post really struck a chord with me so I really appreciate this post. I am battling a similar dilemma and am now considering putting a desk in my living room (or oversized console?) where I was originally thinking of creating a secondary seating area. Oh, what is a girl to do.

    I do agree...keep the office out of the bedroom. If possible, the bedroom is one room that should always remain a bedroom.

  16. Such a great post. No matter where we do our work, it must be in a place that is inspiring. All of these are just that! Thank you.

  17. I have been quite sick this week (nothing serious, just sinus infection), so I have not been able to troll the antique stores in Atlanta for antique/vintage desk sources. When I am back on my feet I will get out there and find some good ideas for my part II post!

  18. What beautiful inspiration photos. I have to figure out how to set up my office as well (a very small bedroom) so Im hoping to glean some ideas from you. Can't wait to see what you decide!

  19. Studio Shame here, under my piles! Longing for my own room like one in your post. I'd love a studio make-over!

  20. For all your furniture solutions, starting from mobili per ufficio(office furniture), pareti mobili e divisorie(movable walls and partitions) and various other furniture equipments, Momi is the ideal destination and moreover as soon as you come in touch with http://www.momi.it and submit your furniture requirement, dedicated employees of the company would look into your requirements and try to deliver furniture solutions to you at the earliest.


Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails