Space Saving Tips for Your Home Office

on November 25, 2016

Are you looking to create a dedicated home office space? Don’t have a lot of square footage to work with? One great way to remedy this is by adding built-in home office furniture and cabinets. Built-in shelving and cabinets 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 require before you start to build, and then add an additional 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 vibe.

Built-in Desks

When you create a built-in desk, you can design it to suit your unique needs. Add holes in the desktop to handle cable and wire management, and make sure 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 collaborator. It’s also great for people who need to spread out a lot of work.

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 tiniest amount of space. Because they fit the space precisely, they look neat rather than haphazard, and they let you maximize your use of the space available. Build out an oversize 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 repurpose it as a home office. Your eat-in kitchen also may have plenty of space that can fit 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 that gives you a hint of what lies on the other side. 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 could maximize your space and functionality by adding home office built-ins. Even the smallest corner of a kitchen, bedroom or even stairway can become a practical home office with the clever and creative addition of built-in cabinets and work surfaces.