Creating a Home Office – For 2

Over the course of the 2+ years we lived in our house before kicking off this little project, the thing that caused us the most continuous consternation was work space: mine and Josh’s. For a while I thought I could get away without one (given that I spend most of my home work time parked on a sofa with my laptop on my legs) but that’s crazy talk. A woman needs, at the very least, a few drawers for pens, scissors, tape, etc. and a surface to collect piles of mail before recycling most of it. Not to mention a bulletin board to make sure I don’t lose track of my City Arts and Lectures season tickets. So I ended up with a little Elfa desk shoved into the TV room closet. Definitely not a long term solution.

Next door, the office was entirely Josh’s – meaning it housed an ever-evolving rotation of IKEA storage, vintage desks, and furniture rejects from other parts of the house. It never came together in a way that either one of us liked. So now that we have a clean slate I am really hoping we can put together a space that suits our needs and pleases our eye! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Let’s start with the sofa under the window. It’s one we already own and like a whole lot and is, as we speak, getting reupholstered – the gray fabric it came with had definitely seen better days.

The inspiration for the new fabric came from the Angela Adams rug we plan to use in here, the Canopy Breeze.

The sofa color is the gold/beige leaf – it looked great against the sample of the rug so let’s hope that it comes together when the actual rug and sofa are in there together.

Next to the sofa I’m showing our Kartell Componibili as a side table. It arrived after we moved out and is still in the box, so we’ll have to see what it looks like in person, sitting next to the sofa.

OK – so far we have a rug, a sofa, and a side table. Great, but where to work? The two largest walls in the room are on the north:

(Woah. Blurry. What happened?)

And the east:

These feel like the most logical spots for some kind of desk situation. So far I’ve found three favorites.

The first favorite is the Enchord desk from Design Within Reach. Clean, simple, airy, but not boring. There’s no front or back, so we could decide for ourselves which side to put the lower shelf on. Clearly, it has no storage (for all those pens and scissors, remember?), so we’d also have to get the Enchord mobile cabinet.

This option is high on aesthetics, but has drawbacks, too: first, I’m not sold on the separate desk/cabinet idea; second, these two puppies run $1,200 and we’d need to double that so we both have a complete work space; and third, the desk is 29 inches deep, which is much more depth than either one of us needs or wants.

The second favorite is a similar design offered by our friends at CB2 – The Fold Desk.

I’m clearly drawn to the mix of white and wood. At 24 inches deep, it offers the slimmer profile that we’re looking for, and at $399- the price is much more attractive, too. But there’s that pesky need for a rolling storage cabinet again. The TPS cabinet offers two shallow and one file drawer for $149-. So a total of $550- sure beats the DWR price tag.

The third favorite comes from  — where else — IKEA. I always feel like I need an IKEA option; the prices can’t be beat and sometimes the stuff actually looks great.

This is a desk created with two Vika Alex drawer units ($80 each) and a Vika Amon table top ($20). At a depth of 22 7/8 inches (gotta love that metric conversion) it’s the slimmest option of all three. Since neither one of us plans to park a computer monitor on our desk we can deal with a pretty shallow work surface, and I think the room would feel less crowded with shallower desks. There’s something about all those drawers that makes my heart skip a beat (though they offer no file storage so we’d have to relegate that to the closet). Never mind the price: $180-. If the presence of two blocky drawer units is too heavy, we can always opt for legs on one side instead. We could even inject some creative flair by using these legs (before we moved out we had the sideboard that has these and it was a really cool looking piece):

So for now this what I’m showing in the floor plan.

We’ll both have additional storage needs, so I’m also showing two Crossroads bookcases that meet at the corner; the same ones I’m thinking about putting in the TV room. I like the idea of having some similarity between the two rooms that are next door to each other to create a little cohesion, without being totally matchy-matchy. And while I don’t want to load up each wall from floor to ceiling with shelves and stuff, some height differential in the room is important to keep the eye moving.

So other than that and the plant in the corner, that’s it for now. We’ll need some lighting and probably a foot stool of some kind, but those can wait. First, we need to figure out how to arrange this home office for two!

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