How to Make an Office in your Kitchen
Home remodels help you to invest money in the value of your home, while creating a better use of space. A small, but powerful way to remodel your home is to turn a small corner or space into an office. If you have an unused or minimally used space in your bedroom, hallway or kitchen, you can establish a work area. A home office allows you space to complete freelance projects, pay bills and do taxes. A kitchen office requires a small budget, a few cabinets, a desk, organizers and useful electronics. This article will tell you how to make an office in your kitchen.
Office Electricity and Lighting
Measure the width, length and height of the area you plan to choose.You will need these measurements when you are looking for furniture and cabinets.
Find an empty space in your kitchen.Look for a space about 5 or 6 feet (1.5 or 1.8 m) wide. The best kitchen work space will be 1 with a definite boundary, such as a wall or an empty pantry space.
Find or install a nearby power source.No office is complete without a computer, a monitor, an iPod charger, a printer and/or a scanner. This amount of electronics require a grounded power source, so hire an electrician and install outlets, if you do not have any nearby.
Install task lighting.Unlike ambient lighting, which provides the general glow to a room, task lighting is installed right above or near your work station. It should cast light on your keyboard or desk surface.
- One option for task lighting is to install a pendant light from the ceiling. These lights hang down from above, so that they cast a light over the spot of your choice. You should hire an electrician to wire pendant lights into your ceiling.
- Another option is to install a standing lamp or large desk lamp. As long as the lamps shed enough lighting across the desk, they can work well without requiring an electrician.
Buy a multi-tasking docking station.Charging all of your important electronics at once can mean plugging in 5 or more different wires. You can buy docking stations that allow you to simply set your iPod, phone, iPad and other devices on a charging pad, making those wires obsolete.
Mount your computer screen.If you have a desktop computer, then buy a single-axis mount and hang it on your wall behind the desk. It may be able to fit comfortably between the desk and the cabinets, leaving extra desk room.
Research cabinetry that matches your kitchen cabinets.One of the best ways to get a uniform look is to choose the same cabinets for your space. If you cannot find the same model, choose the same type of wood or color, so that it matches your décor.
- Cabinetry comes in 3 types, stock, semi-custom and custom. Stock cabinets are those available to order in standard sizes, materials and colors. Semi-custom cabinets can be modified and personalized. Custom cabinets are designed and built by a carpenter according to your preferences. This is the most expensive type of cabinetry.
Choose a desk that fits into your space and matches your décor.Choose a desk that matches your kitchen counters or table. An excellent option is a modular desk, available from Ikea, the Container Store and a number of online outlets.
- Modular desks are often sold in "systems." They can be adjusted to the size and shape of your space. You may or may not use all the pieces in the system, but you can connect drawers to the main desk shape and choose elements that extend out from the wall if you have the space.
- Another great option is a roll-up desk. Unlike normal models, this traditional style of desk comes with a door that allows you to close it when not in use. It often contains cubbies in the center, and it reduces the amount of clutter associated with a home office.
Consider modifying your space with special storage options.A kitchen office will not have as much space as a dedicated room; however, you can be creative with the kitchen area. Consider the following ideas:
- Keep printers, scanners and other electronics in a closet. If you have extra space in a closet system, clear some room. Place the electronics inside and print your documents wirelessly.
- Install pull-out shelves. Shelves that have runners give you easier access to the materials in the back. These can be installed in modular desk cabinets or in wall cabinets.
- Use a kitchen island as extra storage. If you need more room to chop up ingredients for meals, buy a hollow island and use the interior space for books, files or other storage. Place something inside that you don't need to access regularly.
Buy a file cabinet and other desk accessories to compartmentalize your supplies.It is more important to keep things tidy in a small office space, so create drawer and desk spaces where everything has a chosen space.
Choose a small chair with wheels.Make sure the chair fits inside the empty center space of the desk. Picking a mobile chair allows you to move it when you need more space for company.
Partition your kitchen office.If you place the office inside an empty closet, you can choose a chair that fits inside so that you can close the doors. If you have the office in an open space, then consider buying a screen or other partition to get some privacy for your work.
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