5 Ways to Create a Kitchen Office

With a little creativity, the kitchen can multitask as a home office.
By Donna Peak

Kitchen Home Office The small-house movement has created a new set of design challenges—namely how to roll all of the benefits and amenities of a large-scale house into a small footprint. When it comes to shaving space, one room that’s often on the chopping block is the home office. But just because it doesn’t get its own four walls doesn’t mean it has to disappear from your dream-home plan altogether.

You simply have to design a multifunctional space, and no other place in the home is as adept at multitasking as the kitchen. This hallowed ground serves as culinary hub, party central, family headquarters and now, home office. There are loads of ideas for setting up shop in the kitchen. Check out some of the most current options to keep the home office humming.

Kitchen Home Office Island

Use Part of an Island

Islands are one of the easiest and most versatile places to tuck a kitchen office—if you’re smart about it. It should be located on the backside of the island (away from the hubbub of culinary activity) and at a different level than the top of the counter. Why? First, counter-height stools aren’t as ergonomically comfortable as standard-height or adjustable-height chairs. Also, and maybe more important, islands are wet spots when it comes to food prep—not ideal for computer gear. By designing a dual-height island counter, you can protect your equipment and your posture.

Kitchen Home Office Niche

Convert a Niche

Almost every kitchen has a little “lost space”—a nook that doesn’t have a purpose. Reclaim it with a compact home-office design. All you need is a desk that fits, some shelving or cabinetry mounted above and voila! You’ve found additional square footage that you didn’t even know was missing.

Kitchen Home Office Standing Desk

Standing Room Only

Not every kitchen has enough space for a traditionally shaped desk and chair. If this is the case in your home, consider a “command center” instead. This tall, narrow and oh-so-handy desk is designed for you to stand while you work (although you may need just enough depth to accommodate your knees if you want to lean on a barstool). It’s the ideal place for fast office functions, such as taking messages, writing a bill or updating your social calendar.

Kitchen Home Office Between Space

Bridge the Gap

You know that space where the kitchen ends and the great room begins? Sometimes it can be a dead zone, but it’s also the perfect place to incorporate a home office or bill-paying center. This area’s often within arm’s reach of the kitchen, but removed enough so that the office will be safely out of the way.

Kitchen Home Office Hutch

Hide It in a Hutch

There are those among us who don’t want to see all the paraphernalia that comes with a home office in what’s widely recognized as the hub of the home. We want it totally out of sight, and there are cabinetry manufacturers out there that want to help. Enter the office hutch. Bonus: It’s portable.


Published in the August 2006 issue of Timber Home Living.



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