As working from home has become an integral part of our daily lives, your thoughts may turn to a built-in office to make your setup more permanent. Whether you find it easy or difficult to concentrate at home, a purpose-built desk will increase both your productivity and your creativity.
Maybe you love the built-in look and want to create something sleek and seamless. Or, you might want to introduce additional functions into an underutilized space. You might also be trying to figure out exactly which office ideas make the best use of a small workspace that just isn’t quite up to par.
Whatever your needs, our trusted experts have come up with tons of ideas that are sure to tick your boxes.
8 built-in office ideas to consider
1. Place your built-in desk near a window
A desk should be a primarily productive space, and its positioning will have a huge impact on how you feel when using it. A generous amount of natural light is high on the wish list for most spaces, but it’s especially important to consider the design of a built-in office.
“When we sit at our desks, we often need a little inspiration, so we like to try building desks under windows,” says Tom Rutt, Founder of TR Studio (opens in a new tab). “The reason for this is that you get the maximum amount of mood boosting light and you are also able to feel a connection to the seasons and the world beyond.”
As well as being in a visually appealing location, Tom also suggests that a built-in desk should also appeal to our sense of touch. “It’s also important to consider the material of the desk,” he says. ‘The best desks are pleasant to the touch; not rough or too cold. Woods and leathers generally tend to be more pleasant on the skin than steel and brass.
2. Build a storage system around your desk
When introducing something new to your home, especially something relatively permanent like custom millwork, it’s wise to have both longevity and functionality in mind. One way to tick both of these boxes is to ensure that the new addition has plenty of storage space – and this is especially true for built-in desktops.
Not only should a built-in desk fully meet your business needs, but it should also help organize your home office and manage your home. Consider adding cabinets and shelving into the design where possible, and consider if there are other elements of the room that would benefit from an integrated system – as in the case of this project where continuing the Cabinets below provided the perfect place to hide TV cables.
3. Use a wide hallway
You don’t necessarily need dedicated office space to have a built-in desk – in fact tricky or cumbersome spaces may be the best place to introduce bespoke joinery as it can completely transform the area into a place that you can use .
In this gorgeous project by South Carolina-based interior designer Cortney Bishop (opens in a new tab), the corridor was generous and benefited from a large window overlooking a beautiful view, but without use. A built-in desk has proven to be the perfect solution for making the most of space. “We chose to build a desk and shelving because we wanted to create a truly functional workspace that took advantage of the most breathtaking views.”
4. Experiment with contrasting colors
While an office space has many practical requirements and spatial requirements to consider, don’t forget to consider its aesthetic qualities as well. This is especially true for built-in desks, as they’re an even more permanent addition to your home than their freestanding counterparts and will contribute a lot to the overall look of a room.
“This is a custom desk that we designed that became the focal point of the whole room,” says Jamie Bush, founder of Jamie Bush + Co. (opens in a new tab), of this bedroom office. “The desk itself is made from an open grain oak with an oxblood red lacquer finish, and we decided to contrast the dark finish with a pale wallcovering to create maximum visual impact.”
That’s not to say functionality should be abandoned altogether, and this project from Bush + Co is a perfect example of how to combine both functionality and beauty. “As with so many apartments in New York, every square inch counts, so we introduced lots of storage, but we fixed it to the wall so that it floats above the floor to give a sense of space. weightlessness,” says Jamie. ‘The three floating shelves line up with the drawers below, then the desk extends to create a work surface and with a rounded end. This curved detail is then reflected in the lower vertical panel under the desk to visually add weight to the end of the piece and create a more sculptural design.
5. Define an integrated with color
Color can also be used to help zone a built-in desk into a larger room. This is especially effective in open spaces that need to perform multiple functions. “A great way to create a distinct zone in a room is to divide up a small section of the wall and paint it in a contrasting color,” says Jen & Mar, co-founders of Interior Fox. (opens in a new tab). “This zoning technique allows you to create a place that motivates you, even in the smallest of spaces – in this project we paneled a small section of the wall and painted it in a soothing nature-inspired hue, Little Greene’s Olive Green.”
The advantage of built-in desks is that they can be fully customized to your needs, and if your home office size is limited, the design can be streamlined all the way to create a very practical space, without getting in the way of others. room functions. “Here we’ve installed a freestanding shelving unit that provides desk space during the day, but can easily be tucked away as a dressing table,” says Jen & Mar. “All you need is a work lamp and a small stool to pop underneath and your home office is ready to go!’
6. Integrate a desk into your kitchen
It might not be the first place you’d think of installing a built-in desk, but introducing a workspace to your kitchen could add a whole new level of functionality to the space. Created by Roundhouse (opens in a new tab), this office has been incorporated into the modern kitchen to support the way owner Julia Sugden has used the space. “It’s a great place to sit and catch up on work, read the morning paper, or go through papers from home and post,” she says. “In my case, it’s extremely convenient, because I can finish a job while keeping an eye on dinner.”
A built-in desk in the kitchen also provides additional storage space for those sometimes difficult-to-place items, as Julia explains. “I find it can be useful for storing spare greeting cards and other things we need to keep safe while still having easy access without taking up valuable kitchen cupboard space,” she says. . “The office space doubles as a charging station for phones and iPads, which is very handy to have in the kitchen area.”
For a truly sleek and sophisticated finish, Allison Lynch, Senior Design Consultant at Roundhouse, recommends a sliding pocket door. “A pocket door is a great way to hide a desk, as it can be concealed in a kitchen with wall units,” she says. “The doors are pushed back when in use, then can be closed to maintain a sleek appearance.”
7. Make it multifunctional
If you like the idea of having a desk in the kitchen, but don’t have the space to give it a dedicated space, you might want to consider making your dining table work a bit more. As in the case of this serene space designed by Brooklyn-based design studio Workstead (opens in a new tab)the construction of a custom-made dining table also gave it a double function as an integrated desk.
The drawers on the side are the most crucial part of the design, as they are the ones that provide a smooth transition from work mode to relaxation mode, providing plenty of space to store your work-related items and equipment at the end of the day. ‘a long day.
8. Make room for two
If you invest both the budget and the space in a built-in office, it may need to serve more than one person in your household. If this is the case, it is important to take this requirement into account from the start of the design.
A built-in solution can be a great way to make the most of space if you only have a small area that needs to work hard. Try to dedicate as much space as possible to the width and depth of the desk so that two people can work comfortably, then make the most of any available ceiling height with storage cabinets above.
How deep should a built-in desk be?
Of course, this should always be informed by your own requirements and what you need to work with, but there is a general rule that can be useful to consider as a guide when designing your built-in office. “A key consideration is making sure the desk is deep enough to give you space for a laptop and room to work comfortably,” says Tom Rutt, founder of TR Studio. “We generally recommend a fairly generous depth of around 25″ to give you plenty of room to play.”
On the other hand, you might be thinking of a built-in desk for a small space or a multifunctional space, in which case you can afford to take things a little smaller. “For a floating shelf that doubles as a compact desk, it’s always best to consider the average laptop size and add a little extra to ensure a comfortable work setup,” says Jen & Mar, co- founders of Interior Fox. “We recommend a minimum of 18″ – this will allow enough space to place a stool underneath without feeling too bulky in a multifunctional room.”