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Making A Home Office Divine

Divine Home OfficeMany of us work at least part of the time from a home office. That could be the dining room table or it could be a specific desk in an room designated as the home office in our house.

We had the design challenge of working with someone who has a home office used to run their business, but the location was in a high traffic area and had become a dumping ground for things not at all related to the business.


Transform a cluttered dumping ground into a beautiful, efficient space that allows the homeowner to manage a home based business. This particular business involves lots of shipping, so horizontal surfaces for wrapping and concealed storage for supplies and files were paramount.


There were lots of items “living” in this space that didn't belong there. Things like a piano that their children had outgrown, toys for the grandchildren and pets that were strewn all over and extra kitchen supplies like dishes and serving platters.

This space is located next to the kitchen, so it literally became a catch all. It has lovely french doors and a huge window overlooking the home's entrance. But these beautiful architectural features made it difficult to “hide” the mess that had accumulated.

Built-in Storage around large home office windowSo the design challenge for this space was driven by the need for a large amount of storage and a way to incorporate the space underneath the beautiful window so that it became functional.

Originally, the client had a dark wood finish in mind. After discussing things with the designer, they decided that glazed ivory melamine with raised panel fronts was the perfect choice, as it balanced with all of the other stronger wood features already existing in the home.

Logistically, we put lateral file storage in cabinets under the window. The two tall cabinets to the left of the window now became home for toys. The cabinets on the right side of the window now store shipping supplies, forms and office supplies.  Moving to the right, there's a horizontal work space for getting the shipping jobs done efficiently. The desk does double duty when the granddaughter is around and wants to “play office” with grandma.

Tall, shallow cabinets to the right of the shipping counter house a multitude of items including dishes used for holidays. The main workstation area is equipped with a long counter for really spreading out the daily tasks and allowing space for equipment like printers and fax machines.

There are tack boards above each work station to keep notes visible and organized.

And one of the best features, under counter LED lighting in a glazed light box allows for proper lighting even on the gloomiest of days and, in the evening when work is done, that lighting gives the space a beautiful glow.

With upper cabinets enhanced by an extra large glazed crown molding to the ceiling, a cheerful paint color definitely brought out the feeling of a happy place to spend so many hours of each day.

Pictured below are a few more Elegant Home Office designs from Closet Organizing Systems:

Luxurious Home Office SpaceCustom Home Office Media Center

Organize Your Media Cabinet

Media Wall OrganizationMedia cabinets and closets are a place in your home where a couple of hours invested could net you lots of new storage space. And, perhaps, even some new entertainment value.

We all have a bit of “old media syndrome” - whether it's cassettes, VHS or DVD's (dare we not say 8-Tracks). We're so “full of media” that we often can't find the titles we're looking for when we want them. Plus most of us have outdated items that we'll never view or need to reference again (remember, you can find almost anything on line these days, with the exception of your personal wedding video, though perhaps you uploaded that to You Tube too!)

Here are some action steps to take that will bring your media in to the 21st century:

Get a couple of big shopping bags or boxes for sorting. One box is for any duplicates as well as for things you no longer have the technology to watch (like tapes that require a VCR) and don't love enough to pay to have transferred to new technology.

modern home theater solutionshome office media center

Second box is for those items you want to have transferred to new technology, along with a “by when” date that you'll get it completed by. We're not making a “to do” pile here. We're committing to getting organized, getting rid of and getting current. If you're really good with technology and have the time, you can do these transfers yourself. If not, you can take them to somewhere like Costco and get it done for around ten dollars each.

Third box is for the “keepers”. In order to really save space and time, you should take all of these out of their plastic cases and put them into binders with appropriately sized sleeves. They will be easier to find in the future and allow you more space to buy more media (who doesn't like that idea?). You can find media binders at places like Office Max or any other office supply store.

pull out media shelvingIdeally, you would organize things alphabetically. And it's a good idea to leave an open space every “here” and “there” so if you add something later, there is space. Be organized, but perfection is not required.

Also, consider accessibility. Make sure you have some storage low enough for kid's if you allow them to access the media. On the other end, don't go so high that you can't see what the media is or read the title. If you incorporate the binder idea, you can go higher because you'll be pulling down the binder and looking inside.

And don't get too specific in your media storage solutions. Face it, media is a result of technology and technology changes as fast as we can turn around. You want to incorporate design that isn't so specific that it can't be changed. Sometimes drawers can be “over-divided” and then your options become limited. You want organized spaces that have flexibility. Shelving that is adjustable and a combination of open and closed storage is ideal.

Good luck! And send us your pictures once you've re-organized. We would love to see your progress. And if you need help, give us a call at 866-521-4267 and one of our designers will schedule a time to discuss your project with you.


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