August 13, 2015

After being the designated junk room of the first floor, we sorted and cleaned the office. As always, that felt delightful. I remembered how large the room is and could finally appreciate the nice light it gets in the late morning. (Having not the best natural light is this house’s biggest obstacle for me, so it is nice to feel like I found it somewhere for part of the day!)

It is a 13 x 16.5 foot room, but with all the functions I want it to serve, I need to strategize.

DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz-2DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz

To start, I made a list of all the activities or work zones it would be nice to have:

  1. Large worktable: I like having a big workspace somewhere other than the dining room. This preserves the dining table and keeps it from becoming the catch all space with paperwork or unfolded laundry
  2. Computer workspace
  3. Chalk or dry erase board: David and I love making pros and cons lists and oddly enough there have been many conversations in our marriage where we wished we had a big dry erase board to organize our thoughts. This will be for us and also for homeschooling one day, so the seating at the work table will face the board.
  4. Reading chair
  5. Filing cabinets: Good grief, I love the structure and systematic-ness of filing. I would have no trouble filling a whole wall of drawered hanging folders over time!
  6. Gift wrapping storage
  7. Craft supplies storage
  8. Sewing machine set up

That is a lot, but I also think it is achievable! From here, I made a to-scale drawing and cut out paper pieces to represent the furniture. (I do this strange exercise for rooms quite often).

DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz

The first option has a wall to wall built in desk (teal) with room for three work stations. The work stations are divided with filing cabinets (or other cabinet storage) which the desk top is mounted on. The computer (pink) is in the center work station, while the sewing machine (red) would be on the left. I am leaving the right work station open for now. Something will probably pop up, or it could be a nice area for some wall mounted storage.

The work table (purple) is in the center with six stools. The blackboard (green) is across from it. The arm chair (blue) in between the two windows is a little reading corner.

DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz-2

The second option has the blackboard swapped with the built in desk and the work table not centered in the room. This would not allow the desk to be ask large (it is overhanging into the doorway) and the space where the desk chairs and stools meet might be tight. It could, however, have a better flow in the room.

Once we have some of the pieces, I think our favorite will become clear. Having this plan generally worked out helps me with decision making when I am out shopping. I saw this fantastic $50 filing cabinet while thrifting the other day and was so conflicted about buying it. It had a perfect green color and brass hardware, but it was four drawers high and I now know I need two drawer ones.

DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz

This picture is staying in my phone because it might be the look I will try to recreate with the filing cabinets we end up with! I hope someone else enjoys you, you beautiful cabinet.

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  • MeganB

    Have you checked out the Surplus Store for filing cabinets? They typically have a lot and many are old school, like the green one in your picture.

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