Home Office Design

More people are working from home today and need a room dedicated to their business needs or just for hobbies. This means space for their computer, phone, fax, copier, etc., and plenty of storage. You may even need space for two adults and some extra room where the kids can do their homework or safely surf the Internet. To do this, you have several options. You can purchase desks, tables and bookcases, of course. But do you know that, with a few customizations, you can also use kitchen cabinets to build a beautiful and functional home office? Not only will it provide you with working desk, counter, and storage space, it will also dramatically add to the value of your home. Here are some examples:

Option 1: Purchase one or more desks, tables, file cabinets, and/or bookcases and place them where desired.

Option 2: Install desk-height base cabinets around the room and place hardwood counters on top. Leave open space in the comers or along each wall to provide desk space. Install wall cabinets above, leaving sufficient room above the desk areas for computer monitors.

Option 3: Install desk-height base and wall cabinets along one or two walls, with a hardwood counter on top. Purchase a desk to sit across from or between them. The cabinets will provide storage area and a counter for placement of equipment like fax and copy machines. The desk will be your primary workspace.

How to Order Office Cabinets

First, you have to plan your layout. Decide how many desk areas you want and if you want them in the comers or along the walls. The comers will give you more room for monitors or for desk space. However, since counters can only be ordered in rectangular shapes, this will require that you to cut a comer off your counter where you plan to have your desk. If you place the desk areas along the walls, the comers can either have rectangular or diagonal comer cabinets. Wherever you want the desk areas, you have to leave about 24-30″ of empty space for your chair and feet instead of putting a base cabinet there. The counter will have to sit on the adjacent counters.

Make sure your electrical outlets are moved so that they will be located under your desk areas (for your computers) and/or above the counter (for other equipment).

Most desks are about 29 inches high, so when you order base cabinets, select the option to “decrease 1 dimension” and note the exact height you want. If you make the base cabinet 28″ high and add a 3/4″ or 1-114″ hardwood counter on top, then your surface will be close to 29″ high.

For counters, you can select either 3/4″ or 1-1/4″ solid hardwood counters. You can also buy laminate, Corian, or granite counters from another source, but be prepared to pay a great deal more for them. For use with the standard 24″ deep base cabinets, add an extra 1-2″ of depth so that the counter will hang over the front edge plus another 1-2″ of width if it will hang over an end cabinet. Multiple counters may need to be placed together to make a counter longer than 96″ or to connect the cabinets on more than one wall.

When selecting wall cabinets, ensure there is enough room for placement of equipment, books, etc., above the counter. Consider leaving extra room above the desk areas for large computer monitors. Use different height wall cabinets to maximize your space and create a more interesting look. If you plan to install crown molding, make sure you take into account the fact that you will have to install the wall cabinets about 3″ down from the ceiling (depending on the width of the molding).

A standard 8- foot high room should have sufficient room for 28″ base cabinets with counters and 42″ wall cabinets with crown molding. To ensure plenty of room above the desk areas, use 36″ wall cabinets there. Mix and match cabinets with desks and bookcases to create a truly unique home office.

Sample Home Office

 

A corner desk area was created by attaching countertop to adjoining base cabinets and to the wall. A corner wall cabinet was used above the desk area with beadboard applied to the exposed side. Crown molding is attached to the top of wall cabinets. Electrical outlet was left below the countertop. Base cabinets were placed along wall with wall cabinets above. An electrical outlet was raised above countertop height. Cabinets were finished with a cream color paint, a dark brown glaze, and several coats of polyurethane for protection. Maple 3/4″ counters were finished with a Cherry stain and polyurethane.
Finished office with corner desk areas and a 29″ high countertop. Wall cabinets are 42″ high along the wall, but only 36″ high in the corners to ensure plenty of room for computer monitors and under-cabinet lighting, if desired.
Above: Diagram of a sample 12′ x 12′ room with a door and a window converted into a home office.
Above: Diagram of wall A with room for corner desks and raised corner wall cabinets.
Above: Diagram of wall B with room for a corner desk area.
Above: Diagram of wall C with room for a corner desk area.
Above: Diagram of wall D with cabinets under the window.

 

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by Melanie Randall

When you’re shopping for new kitchen cabinets, start by trying to figure out what you like. I don’t care how good of a salesman you’re dealing with–no one knows your taste but you. It just might take a while to find examples that you like.

These are the steps you need to follow if you are looking to buy custom kitchen cabinets online. Online shopping can be much easier than going to a kitchen design shop or having a designer come to your home because you don’t have to deal with pushy sales people telling you what you like and don’t like or taking up hours of your valuable time.

Take look at your current kitchen first. Get a notepad and a pen and start writing down your dislikes about your kitchen and the things that you absolutely hate about the current kitchen and would like to change. Maybe you want to add a corner cabinet or some more drawer cabinets or completely change the style.

Next, try to visualize what would make those things more comfortable for you. For example, how would you change those things be more useful for you? Write them down. You don’t have to be a kitchen designer to know what you like.

Then get online and type in “buy custom kitchen cabinets online” or something similar. From there you’ll be able to narrow your search down to your exact taste in kitchen cabinets.

Number one “NO NO” is to avoid picking out too many styles and colors. This will just make your decision even harder. You’ll have too many things to choose from and you won’t know what to pick because you’ll be afraid of making the wrong decision. Keep it simple, if have a doubt about something than just don’t pick it.

Once you have a few things picked out, try to find a custom cabinet shop online that will let you design your own kitchen, with their help of course (most online shops will help you for free). They should help you with the design and show you how to measure and order.

You should start with the best of the best online cabinet shops, which is here!

How to measure before ordering custom cabinets online

1. Measure accurately. Start by noting the overall dimensions of your current room on a piece of paper, imagine you are looking down from the ceiling (top view). Be sure to indicate the overall wall length, floor to ceiling height and height/location of any soffits, doorways, windows and any other openings. Mark: the location and dimensions of all windows and doors including trim, indicating which way the doors swing. It might also be helpful to note size/location of your present cabinets for reference.

2. Note where the center of the sink is, either from left wall or right wall, appliances, water supply and gas lines are on your plan. And Don’t forget to indicate all electrical outlets, switches, heating and air conditioning registers too.

3. Write down model numbers and sizes of appliances: wall oven, cook top, range, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, sink(s), freezer etc, so you’ll know how much space they will take and how the doors open.4. After all the “un-movables” are noted on your plan, then begin with the main corner of the kitchen and determine cabinet placement for the rest of the room. Don’t forget to take door openings, windows (very important), appliances, access and traffic flow of the room into account.

You are almost ready to order custom made cabinets online. Now you should start picking out cabinet door styles and hardware. There are a million different styles, you’ll get lost, remember to keep it simple.

Most custom cabinet shops online will help you with the selection of door styles or hardware. If you have seen something at another website or HGTV you should look for that or just tell them exactly what is it that you are looking for.

How to choose a good reputable custom cabinet shop

First of all, look for any affiliation with the “BBB” or any other performance guarantee association that they might have, like “National Association of Remodeling Industry” (NARI), or”National Kitchen And Bath Association” (NKBA).

Having these types of associations with these types of performance-guaranteed companies is a MUST. This way you reassure yourself that the company you are dealing with is not a fluke, they will not run away with your money and they will deliver the purchased product with your satisfaction guaranteed.

Check for stats at the Better Business Bureau and if you do have any problems or issues, they will resolve them fast and in a courteous manner.

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