My girlfriend and I share 640 square feet of living space, and while not cramped, it's definitely quite cozy. With 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and a combined living/dining space, there isn't much option for where to keep a computer for daily use. While we each have our laptops to pull out and plunk down on the couch or in bed, it's nice to have that instantly-available computer with a big monitor, a real mouse, and some space to work at home if needed. Read on through to see how we ended up tackling the problem without sacrificing the overall look of our apartment.
Condo/apartment living has it's advantages, spaciousness generally not being one of them. Not having a dedicated home office, it's often a spacial puzzle figuring out where to put your computer in your home. My bedroom options weren't great - tucked into a corner facing the wall or in front of a window with a monitor blocking the light and view. I've always been loath to sit right up against the wall and there are mixed (generally negative) feelings about blocking windows. In my living/dining room my massive couch (bought for a previous home with triple the space) prevented me from having space for an extra desk.
What I ended up doing was putting the computer on my dining table. Against normalcy and death stares from the general public, this actually works out okay primarily because my monitor is an Apple Cinema Display and looks fairly nice compared to most generic black plastic PC monitors. The back faces the corner/wall which helps hide the display considerably. The computer itself is further away and I'm able to keep its
mass mess tucked away from the dining area with a long DVI cable and USB repeater for the keyboard and mouse.
When it's just the two of us having dinner the setup leaves plenty of space at the table. When company is over we simply move the monitor, keyboard, and mouse over to a side buffet table where it's handily in reach for setting the evening's music selections.
Its not the ideal setup versus having a home office and dedicated work space but given my constraints it works and looks fairly well. For those of you in similar small space living situations, where do you keep your computer and how have you integrated it into your lifestyle without hampering design aesthetics? We here at Unplggd would love to see/hear your setups. Send your stories with pics and descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd love to showcase some of the best reader solutions from our creative readers.