Where To Start With A Home Office
If you hadn't planned on needing a home office before 2020, you might be finding it difficult to set aside the space needed to house your work equipment in rooms that are already full. In these situations, it's worth thinking outside the box – perhaps a "cloffice". A cloffice is a space around the house – typically a closet or wardrobe – that has been repurposed as an office. Cupboards under the stairs, cloakrooms and awkward unused corners can also be turned into an office with surprisingly little work. If the space doesn't have any real purpose at the moment, consider a conversion.
Traditional office furniture is great for functionality and aesthetics but can be bulky and restrictive in its sizing. But don't worry, just because you don't have room for a full-width desk and office chair, you may still be able to rework a space into a home office. If you're working with unusual dimensions, you'll need to be imaginative and willing to make it work to properly utilise every bit of space, but options are available!
If space for a home office is at a premium, break down what you'll need to create a functional environment that will make for a comfortable and productive working day. For most people, it will come down to a surface, storage, and seating. While we can't offer much help with office seating, we've got the rest covered…
Thoughts On Surfaces
Floating desks are the perfect solution for small spaces. Whether it's fixing a hinge to a panel board to create a tiny folding desk against a bit of available wall space or slotting a sheet of your chosen timber panel into an empty walk-in wardrobe, floating desks are ideally suited to custom offices. Use compact drawer units or screw-on legs to support the desk, and make sure to leave room for power cables, either behind the desk, or by cutting a hole close to where you'll be placing your computer.
A DIY classic. Measure your chosen space and cut your MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) to size for an instant work surface. MDF is easy enough to work with and cut, so fitting a desk around irregular walls or boxed-in piping won't be a problem; just be sure your sheet is thick enough to adequately support your work equipment. MDF is fantastic for customisation too - with just a coat of paint a sheet of MDF can be elevated to a stylish and functional desk.
If you're looking for something sturdy and long-lasting, worktops are more than just a kitchen staple. Solid wood worktops can be cut to size to create a custom desk surface in a finish to complement your room, mimicking the luxury of a classic wooden desk without the price tag or bulk.
Think about what you'll be using your shelves for. If they're a way to add a personal touch to your home office with photo frames and ornaments, something delicate will do the job. But if you're storing books, files or heavy electronics like printers and scanners, you need to look for something sturdier.
Lengths of finished timber can be painted or stained to complement the space, and can stand up to substantial weight, giving you a long-lasting storage solution.
Pine boards are one of the most versatile and popular joinery products, and for good reason! In a home office they can be used for shelving, building cupboards (ideal for unused space beneath a desk) or creating a partition to close off the space at the end of the day if a full-sized door isn't an option.
Whether home working is on your horizon or you’re already working from home in a less-than-ideal setting, take a second to consider if there’s any space available in your house that with a creative approach, a little DIY know-how, and the right product for the job, can be transformed into a more user-friendly environment. No matter the size of your home office, timber products are a handy and adaptable solution to make your space work for you.