How To Create The Perfect Kitchen Office
The world of employment is evolving quickly in the UK today and the way we work is changing at a rapid pace day by day. More people than ever are now working flexibly, choosing either to work from home on a full-time or ad-hoc basis, which means that our houses are no longer just our homes, they are our work spaces too.
In recent years, we here at PD Designs have seen the way people are using their kitchens change dramatically. From being purely functional rooms used only for meal preparation, we’ve seen the transformation over the past couple of decades as kitchens have become the heart of the home.
Now, the kitchen is probably the most important room in the house and provides a space where families can eat, relax, socialise, learn – and even work. But how do you create a useful, useable space within the framework of your family kitchen, particularly if you don’t have a lot of money or physical space to work with? To give you a helping hand, we’ve teamed up with Calibre Office Furniture & Interiors Ltd. to bring you our top 3 tips on making your new kitchen office a success.
Choose Your Location Carefully
It may sound like we’re pointing out the obvious here, but where you choose to put your kitchen office is the biggest single factor in determining whether or not it will be a success. And here, it’s important to consider both how you will use your office and also how you will use your kitchen too; for example, there’s no point selecting a spot that’s perfect for your desk, if you’re going to trip up over your office chair every time you use your cooker!
Instead, try to select a place that is as far away from your main kitchen work area – the ‘golden triangle’ of worktop, cooker and sink – as possible, perhaps in a corner of the room or alcove away from your cupboards and appliances. Alternatively, if you have a very small kitchen with minimal space or limited options, then you could always opt for a multipurpose zone instead, maybe by turning your breakfast bar into your office desk, or installing a custom made foldaway table to maximise your usable space? Again though, try to keep your work area as far away from your main food preparation area as possible, not only to maintain some basic standards of hygiene but also to prevent you having to completely pack up your office each time you want to make a sandwich.
One other factor to consider when choosing the location of your kitchen office is the view; don’t forget, you may be sitting at this workspace for several hours at a time, so it’s important to make sure you will be able to work productively in it. If you’re a daydreamer or procrastinator, then you may want to avoid placing your work station in a distracting location, such as overlooking a bustling street. On the other hand, if you have a particularly stressful job, then a peaceful view over a calming garden may be just what your working mind needs to recharge.
And of course, don’t forget the practicalities either; the last thing you want is to set up your work station only to realise that the only plug socket is on the other side of the room!
Use Space Wisely
Whether you have oodles of room in your large country kitchen or a tiny amount of space in your bijou city bedsit, the key to a successful and serviceable kitchen office is an effective use of the available space. Obviously, the amount of space you have for your mini office will depend on the location you’ve chosen, but you don’t need acres of it to make a good, functioning work area.
The most effective way of maximising your office potential is to utilise the facilities that you already have to hand. One way of achieving this would be to condense the contents of your kitchen units to free-up one or two kitchen cupboards, which could then be used as hidden filing cabinets or handy office storage solutions. Alternatively, for larger rooms, kitchens islands provide a stylish and practical way of supplying much needed storage space, whilst simultaneously dividing your kitchen and office areas. You could even use your kitchen island as a conference table if needs be!
If you’re really pushed for useable space, then a foldaway desk or additional clever storage solutions – such as custom draws or filing caddies under the desk – could really amplify the amount of room you’ve got to work with. Moreover, it’s important to make use of all the wall space around you too, either by putting up some office shelving units or hanging a white board or other helpful devices. Remember though to either match these entirely to the rest of your kitchen décor to ensure continuity, or juxtapose the two styles sympathetically, if you prefer to completely delineate the two areas.
Choose The Right Office Furniture
As we’ve already mentioned, making sure your office furniture is right is equally as important when setting up your kitchen office for success. Especially if you’re working within a very small kitchen, then the office furniture you choose is critical, whether that be duel-purpose – such as a fold and slide desk under your worktop – or a reduced size desk that can slip neatly into a corner or alcove. Again, if you need to maximise your useable storage space, then make sure you go for an office desk with plenty of drawers and shelving underneath, or one that has shelves built on over the top.
In addition to your desk, it’s important to get your office chairs right too. On the one hand, you’ll want to make sure that the chair you choose matches the theme and style of your kitchen – or of your kitchen office if you’ve chosen to create a completely segregated work space – but of equal importance is the need for your desk chair to be comfy; after all, you’ll be sitting on it for long periods of time. So, whether you decide to go with a stool, a traditional chair or a wheeled office chair, then it’s a good idea to try it out first, just to make sure it suits both you and the way you work.
Moreover, if you’re having any additional office furniture, such as bookcases or wall shelving – particularly if you’re having these built in to the design of your fitted kitchen – then it’s important to bear in mind the kind of things you’ll need to be storing or filing; small shelves will be useless if you need to file large folders, whilst widely spaced shelves will look ridiculous and sparse with tiny storage boxes on them.
Furthermore, try to be both savvy with your filing too; there are plenty of clever ideas online to provide you with storage inspiration, that will help you to store your work or documents both neatly and stylishly and, most importantly, in-keeping with the rest of your kitchen.
Get In Touch
So there you have it; as long as you think about your kitchen office carefully in advance and follow these three simple tips, then it’s incredibly easy to create a gorgeous, functioning office within your home kitchen, no matter how big the size of your room or how much money you’re got to spend on it. However, if you’re not entirely comfortable with doing it all yourself, then why not call in the experts instead?
Here at PD Designs, we’ve been designing and building quality fitted kitchens for over 24 years, so we know a thing or two about making your kitchen space work for you and the needs of your family. We can help you design an office space inside your family kitchen from the get-go, so that every element will fit perfectly within your brand-new luxury fitted kitchen.
Alternatively, Calibre Furniture are your one-stop-shop for all your office furniture needs, so if you need any additional advice on how to get the perfect pieces for your home kitchen office, then why not get in touch and speak to one of their expert team? You can contact them by emailing email@example.com or by phoning the Sales & Advice line on 0800 012 5648.