Home Office layout ideas - please vote

drumzillaMarch 21, 2009

Our current home office is a awful mix of college and inherited desks and bookshelves and industrial metal file cabinets. It is so bad we all end up using the kitchen island instead.

I used the Ikea office planner to work up 6 different layouts. Please let me know what you think.

Also, my wife is afraid the more modern look of Ikea will clash with our colonial house and custom french country kitchen. (but then she has never seen the Ikea stuff in person - only the catalog). Our other furnishings are not modern, but I have not found a more traditional home office set up I like. I'm not ready to invest in custom cabinets either.

The room is the old dining room that was too small (10' x 11') for our family. Our goal is to have a office layout that will fit two people (and ideally room for a kid or two along side you).

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Option 1 - Two Corner desks:

Option 2 - T-shape layout 2:

Option 3 - T-shape Layout 1:

Option 4 - L-shape Layout 1:

Option 5 - Galley Style layout:

Option 6 - U-shaped Layout:

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i vote option 2
most even flo
not disjointed like some of the others
let us know which one you go with

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 4:45PM
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What desktop equipment do you need to have in the office, such as 2 full computer setups, printers, etc? Is this a home office that serves anyone full time instead of an outside office?

Set up number one I think is my preference, simply because I would be less distracted if I wasn't facing the other person. On the other hand, if it was only me working in there, and a child wanted to be near while I worked, then #2 or 3 is ok.

I like the idea of file cabinets placed at the end of the desktop. I don't know if this is just a software issue or not, but taking the drawings at face value, the rounded top placed 1/2 way over the cabinet looks somehow 'unfinished' to me. I would make shre the file cabinet could fit all the way under the extension so that it looked like part of the desk.

Good luck!!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 4:48PM
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2 and 3 are the best as you won't be running into each other like you would in the other ones..

also those are adaptable to the country french..if you get them as they are and add crown moulding and some trim..in a matching or contrasting color, then the will lose the modern contemp look and look more traditional..also you may have to change out hardware so buy some with removable hardware you can change out to bring the traditional look in..i'm not fond of the rounded top on the desks at the right side..i would make them squared off over the file cabinets, otherwise there is that awkward area that will just get dirty and things won't sit well there.

also to bring in the traditional, use beautiful lamps, maybe some old worlde type globes, beautiful books on the bookshelves..a few old worlde style boxes to hold accessories..etc.

i think you can do it fine with ikea, but be prepared to fancy it up with some special touches to make it feel traditional..if you can't nail on the mouldings there is always hot glue

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:31PM
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I like #1 best.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:44AM
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Another vote for #1.

It seems to offer the most privacy and I am all about having my "own" space that I can choose to leave "as is" if I am in the middle of something. Or, if I were always neat and tidy, it would annoy me if the other person wasn't, and I had to sit across from them.

2,3,4 & 5 is too much of a "shared space" and would interfere with my productivity.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:17AM
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It's really tough to say without knowing more about what your use & needs are. How many/what type of computers? I assume they're notebooks since you move around and use the kitchen. How many printers and how often used? How often do you need access to the file cabinets? Etc, etc.

One of my offices had those corner computer desks similar to #1 and I didn't like them. So much wasted space. I prefer a smaller desk with shelves nearby to stack up the books, forms, software, supplies, printers, etc.

#s 2 & 3 - I just don't like facing someone when I'm trying to work. It's distracting, unless you're working together on things then it'd be helpful. For me, #5 is better in that there's lots of storage. I think I'd put the tables against the open walls to leave the middle open though.

But again, you know your needs better.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:35PM
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I vote for option 4. It would be much easier to have a child working alongside you than in most of the other layouts.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:22AM
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Agree you need to flesh out what you are actually expecting. Will the adult be doing "real" work and want the kid to color nearby? You don't have to sit side by side and in fact don't want to--you're actually teaching the child to do his work quietly near you. Or, do you want big surface area for group projects? Kids are flexible, and if you use some aspects of #1, you could move the rolling file and still sit beside. Two computers or one, or one now and 2 later?

The "partner's desk" layouts aren't as good for real work. Also need very wide surface for 2 to sit with facing knees.

Circulation through the room is important insofar as you need to measure "aisle" widths, room to back up the chair, open the drawers, have a second person go to his station without too much disruption of the other, but for an office, you don't have the same requirements as for having a party in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:16PM
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I like #1---but cover the filing cabinets at end of desks.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:07AM
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Thanks for all the comments. My wife just cannot get over the modern look of Ikea. We've decided to go a different route entirely. While visiting a friend, she noticed their home office was a converted dining room as well. Similar to ours - hard wood floors, chair rail, crown molding. This person had two beautiful antique barrister bookcases, a small leather couch, a tastefully done large desk, and a oriental rug. It was nicely pulled together.

So we are dropping the Ikea route and considering a partners desk with two sets of barrister bookshelves. Perhaps something like this:

To answer the other questions:
- this is just a home office for the family
- the ideal space should accommodate, a PC, laptop and printer (and shredder)

One option if the antique desks are too expensive: we have a custom Amish furniture maker local. He said he would make whatever we want. I'm curious to hear how much he would charge. Even the Ikea stuff added up to $2,000 - $3,000.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique partners desks

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:57PM
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I had two bosses,one time who took four black filing cabinets, then had a big piece of smoked black glass cut and beveled, put across them.where they could sit facing one another. It really looked elegant........Gail

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:30PM
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I vote for #1. It has walkable space. After a while the lack of space to walk wears on me. Plus if it fits, each has a corner of the room for even more shelving if needed or bulletin boards or calendars or anything else to hang on the walls. Facing away from each other will give privacy and the huge space in the middle is good if you have kids that want to play beside you.

Also, the more walkable space, the more open the space will feel. Everything feels good, but a little annoyance turns into a huge one in a few weeks or more. Easier to clean/vacuum. Lotsa wall space! Are there any windows???

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Humh....I would be happy with either setup..at this very moment, I'm sitting in a "once used" third bedroom filled with clutter, 2 tool boxes, a rolling stool, old Pampered Chef inventory and boxes, discarded book shelves, etc. Your wife has an eye for the "nice stuff" and I agree with her, it's beautiful. But, I probably won't get any closer than admiring the nice wallpaper on my "old" monitor that your lovely pic provided....thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:42AM
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