DIY Project: Turning a Home Office on Its Side

DIY Project: Turning a Home Office on Its Side

Sonia Zjawinski
Apr 21, 2008

Our recent survey on vertical and horizontal workspaces got us thinking, what if you're working in the wrong direction? Could this hinder your productivity?

My theory, based on my own office space, is yes. Above is my current home office situation. I live in a large studio apartment in Brooklyn that doesn't have much room for a workspace. I didn't want my office to take over my entire home so I converted a closet into a very small reporting station. This could have worked if I didn't work 10 to 12 hours a day on my computer. Being cramped on a 29.5 inch desk, that didn't even have enough room for my keyboard and mouse, led me to take my laptop anywhere but the "office"...

Files were constantly piled on the ground, my printer, scanner, and various modems were across the room tucked into a small table where my cats also feed leading me to scan dried kibble along with my clips. So not profesh!

I would rarely work at my desk, taking my laptop into bed (and then quickly falling asleep) or to the dining table, which quickly turned into a satellite office rather than a diner.
I've come to the conclusion that maybe I should be working in the horizontal, but this change is forcing me to modify more than my location. I need to get a new, larger, desk, more compact desktop accessories, and some creative solutions for hiding some of my office life so I don't feel like I actually live at work.

Over the next few weeks I'll be chronicling this overhaul. Hopefully you'll get some ideas for your own home offices, or even office offices, but please pass on any suggestions to us. It's a wide world of office supplies out there and we can't know all the secrets. We'll call this our Open Source design project.

In the meantime here's what I'm thinking. Since computer desks are gagtastic and attractive, yet affordable, desks are hard to find I'm looking at this Ikea dining table. Ah Ikea... the back-up plan for everything.

The 49-inch version is just wide enough for me to spread my wings, and it's deep enough so that I can set up my monitor and not have to lean over or back to actually read what's on screen. Plus I like it's clean design. Question is, what to do with all the power cables that will be running from monitor and laptop down the back of the table? Ideas?

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