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crystalbrown1235

Office Design Help

Crystal
8 months ago

I’m needing help with the design of my home office. I’m open to changing the layout/configuration of furniture as needed.

I was working with an interior designer virtually, but the furniture choices seem to clash in my opinion. The scaling also seems off. There is too much furniture for the space.

The credenza and the rug near the desk in these photos are mine. Everything else was chosen by the designer.

What I need: Large desk (preferably L shape) with at least some storage. If the storage is minimal, I need storage on the wall above the desk for function and flow. I can get a different credenza, but must have one for storage purposes as I keep a lot of marketing materials on hand and they don’t look very pretty on bookshelves.

I’ll add photos of my office as it is for reference.
Thoughts or input would be appreciated.

Comments (31)

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Few other photos of design

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Here’s the floor plan and measurements. The doorway is an opening off the living room. No doors.

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  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    A few images of my office as is. As you can see, I have it all tore apart. Do to my monitors, a hutch won’t work unfortunately.

  • HU-187528210
    8 months ago

    I would do the built ins on the back wall. Something pretty. Maybe arched shelving. In black? Deep green? A desk in front of it. And a small seating area. What’s with the carpet? Staying? Leaving? What’s your style? My guess is splash of Scandinavian maybe. And that your not afraid of color... good space!!

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    I have a pretty mixed style, but boho/Scandinavian primarily. The rug I would like to stay although can be repositioned. I love the colors in it. I’m afraid the built in look will be a bit too much for the space and make it feel over crowded. A desk in the middle of the room won’t work as I need a large work space and the room isn’t quite wide enough.

    Does the mix of furniture in the design look cohesive to you? It looks very thrown together to me.

  • shirlpp
    8 months ago

    The pieces chosen for your office - look good.

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    How about this alternative?? Thoughts compared to the ones above??

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    The credenza won’t fit in that space, it’s just a smidge too long.

    I don’t see clients here. I like the concept of a sitting area in the corner as I do sit and read often. The chaise seems to be too much for that space though? To big maybe?

    I do host a significant amount of events and do a lot of public speaking virtually so lighting is a big factor. Facing the window isn’t really an option that I can see except being in the small space which feels like I’m blocked in. I like being able to see out of the room as well.

    Do you have any ideas on pieces to ground the room? I love that idea!

  • decoenthusiaste
    8 months ago

    I think to get the positive effect of the natural light, you have to be much closer to it. You also appear better on screen if you are looking up and not down. Not sure how you are using your halo light, but it really should be higher than it is right now. Do you conference using the large monitor or the laptop? Are you limited by hook ups and outlets for the computer? Consider the background that others will see behind you online. Its possible that the rug could provide an interesting backdrop, unless it would be out of line with the presence you need to put forward to your clientele and co-workers. You could paint the room in one of the colors from the rug for a welcome relief from all the gray we're overloaded with these days. Perhaps a smaller chair with a footstool and a side table and lamp would work for you in the "nook." Does the credenza provide much useful storage or is it not really for an office application? It and the rug look good together. If we can find other pieces to work I think it can come together. I prefer art to mirrors in office settings. Just the right piece above the credenza will set the tone. Depending on how tall it is, you could remove the legs and float it will other storage above.


    Conference Room Credenza · More Info


  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    My desk is pretty close to the window. I also have lighting being installed soon. My halo light is typically adjusted to be straight forward, but in these pictures I have the office all torn apart. As far as my background, I usually am using virtual backgrounds as that is the route my company prefers for us. I use both monitors depending on the conference. Most often I use the laptop, but for larger presentations, I use the large monitor as I often prefer to stand. I am not at all limited by outlets. The credenza is definitely needed for storage. I keep a lot of materials on hand for work and it holds them well and keeps them hidden and organized. It does have removable legs that I could take off. I really love the credenza and the rug. The credenza was one of those pieces I saw and KNEW I had to have! I could use it elsewhere if necessary.

    I also like your idea of more artwork. I’d like to lighten the room up and add some color! I like the neutral vibe of the wood tones and grey, but need some more color to make the space more lively.

  • decoenthusiaste
    8 months ago

    Would the credenza as a surface be helpful when you do stand up presentations?

  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 months ago

    Much depends on what you do and how you do your work.


    You seem to have a good idea of the core layout that works for you.

    - Amount of desk space

    - Desk in relation to window

    - Amount and type of storage requirements.

    - Lighting needs


    Considerations I have not noted

    - Do you need a lift desk

    - Do you love your chair (comfort vs color or style)


    Are there any major pain points in the functionality of your current setup?


    You did mention wanting a place to sit and read. I would get a really nice chair for the inset space next to the door with a small table and a great reading lamp. Make that a comfort corner.

    For me it would be Stressless recliner or something similar with the separate ottoman.


    The next consideration is color.

    There are a lot of studies on color and productivity, but more than anything I want colors in my office that make me feel energized and happy/content.


    I spend 10 hours a day at my desk. I need to be surrounded by a variety of colors that both provide interest and bring me joy when I look at them.


    Lighter, brighter environments make it easier to stay alert and focused. Your office would not work for me - too subdued and neutral.

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    I don’t need the credenza as a surface area.

    @Jennifer! I completely agree about the colors! I love the neutral colors of the wood tones and walls, but I want/need some vibrant colors added to the space. This is why the current rug in my space brings me joy... it’s colorful and playful!

    Functionality is not currently working What I need for better functionality is a larger desk space since having to remove my hutch. I also need decorative storage above my desk. I do not love the chair. I’d like a mix of comfort and color/style.

    My biggest pain point beyond my desk space is that it’s drab and boring. Like you, I’m in my office for 8-10 hours a day! A reading book is ideal and I think that’s an area that could be spruced up with color.

    I would like to have a lift desk, but finding one to match the overall look of the room has proved to be a challenge. I may get one to put on the desk that can be easily stored and gotten out as needed.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 months ago

    What are your current desk dimensions?


    Can you hang you one monitor on the wall?



  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Current dimensions are 58” wide by 18” deep.
    I could potentially hang the monitor. I hadn’t really thought of that. Although, I would need to think through that to see if it would function well. It’s already a bit high and strains my neck at times.

  • decoenthusiaste
    8 months ago

    Painting the nook in a color from your rug would liven things up a bit!

  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 months ago

    You will get a lot more useable space from your desk without using up much more floor space if you get one that is 30" deep. 18" gives you only enough room for the keyboard and monitor.

    Looking at your monitor it looks way to high. The top of the monitor should be at or just above eye level. You should be looking slightly down when viewing the center of the screen. Is your stand adjustable? If not they usually sell different stands that work with various brands/styles of monitors.


  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    I love the idea of painting the book wall! Thank you for that suggestion!

    I agree, a deeper desk will definitely be helpful. The stand only allows for a tilt and not an up/down adjustment. I’ll have to look into another stand.

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Here is another update. I’m loving this much better. I still feel like it’s dull and boring though.

    The straight facing chair also doesn’t appeal to me. Thoughts?

  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 months ago

    Replace the mirror with a large piece of art. Use a more vibrant piece of art over the chair. or pick a more vibrant chair / ottoman or both.



  • Jennifer Hogan
    8 months ago




  • HU-187528210
    8 months ago

    What about built ins in that nook. And create a little coffee “moment”
    Or maybe even just a bench.
    I agree the chair looks odd. Like a drop introverted if that makes sense.

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Okay... So we’ve adjusted the layout in the nook a bit. Still feel like it needs sprucing up. Shelving on the wall for books and decor may be a better alternative to the single photo.

    The vibrant colors won’t go with my rug, but I do think more color and texture would be helpful.

  • tartanmeup
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Is the window too low for the desk to be turned with the short "L" part against it? (If your L desk doesn't need to be all the same height, this could be an option. See the Ikea Malm desk with pull-out panel as example of configuration I mean.)



    (I read the whole thread but might still repeat ideas already shared. Apologies.)

    You mentioned monitors but I only see one large monitor and your laptop. Is this your regular configuration? (Any glare issues with the window?) For practicality's sake, I'd consider the visibility of wires when choosing a desk. A lot of your renderings show open desks - lovely in mockups but not always so in real life with the inescapable reality of wires. (This is one of reasons I reconfigured my desk to be against a wall, perpendicular to my window. It was floating in the room. Not only were the wires messy (wireless accessories need charging...), I was missing an accessible wall for my visible planning, aka white board.) Some desk drawers are configured for USB charging.

    How much space do you have next to each window? Could bookshelves on either side make functional sense for you? In the latest mockup, the shelves look to be display shelves. My advice: make sure whatever you display is adding enough pretty to make it worth the dusting. ;-)

    You mentioned an electrician coming in to add a light? What type of light? I'm not a lighting expert but I have a smaller office than yours with just one overhead light (and a table lamp) and it's terribly dreary on overcast days. Table and floor lamps do help in a space but make sure your overhead lighting is adequate for the room (wattage, type of bulb, placement...).

    Have you played around with possible layouts or has it been just the designer? I did my scaled room drawing on graph paper and then played around with my little cut out pieces of scaled furniture and came up with 4 possible layouts with Pros and Cons for each. (Sometimes, moving around physical things makes us see things differently.)

    Continue to be realistic with your work space planning. Knowing yourself and how you work is key to creating a functional space that meets your needs. And if you're already working in this space, you know what's working for you and what's not. Don't lose sight of your functional priorities. It's not just about decor which is why it's a good idea to analyze inspo pics realistically. Don't forget to allocate your budget according to your priorities: is a comfortable chair just as important or more important than the art? etc. and know that the look of things can be tweaked later on, provided enough time, money and energy (an ugly comfortable chair can be recovered, a desk painted, etc.).

    Hth.


    ETA: Looking at the current office pictures vs the designer mockups. You have a shredder and a printer in your current office but not sure I see them in the mockups? Offices have a lot of "non-pretty" stuff so make sure your layout accounts for these essentials. If you want them behind closed storage... You also mention possibly getting a lift desk that can be stored away. I caution you in choosing things that might be a pain to use. Have you considered accessories such as swivel arms for monitors or laptop shelves?


    Sit-stand desks come in many price points with different finishes. Below is one example by a local company. Ikea makes a more affordable version. If you want one, I'm sure you can find one that meets your needs. You can add a filing cabinet or small drawer tower under an open one.







  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Excellent suggestions! Functionality is definitely my top priority. I want the room to feel good because I spend so much time in there, but you are absolutely right that it has to work well and function accordingly! This has been my constant pain point for me in working with my designer. Storage is essential and my credenza is a lifesaver for that! The window is too low for my desk to sit on the wall. Also, I don’t like to have my back to the doorway. Especially given the current environment of kids being home. They come to the door and motion to me rather than interrupting if there is a need. It also nice having a direct line of sight to the front door. A level L desk is ideal. I love the idea of the rotating L, but it’s not practical and functional for me as I do most of my writing on one side of the desk where all my plans and such are and then the other L is used for monitors and computer setup. I don’t have everything out in the pics above. I did just order a monitor stand like the one in your last picture so to free up desk space and allow for better adjustment when needing to sit or stand. I’ve decided to keep my current media stand for my printer and scanner. It works well for me and has everything I need. The design simply wasn’t meeting my need for that. I absolutely agree regarding the wires and cords. I want them along a wall and minimally visible, which limits desk placement, but I’m okay with that.

    My biggest hurdle currently is functional wall decor above my desk. Now that I am moving the monitors, I’ll be able to do more on that wall. This will be important because I’m losing cabinet and drawer space without a hutch on my desk.

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    I forgot to mention the lighting. I’m having recessed lighting added. I have great lighting in the afternoon on a sunny day, but otherwise it’s horrible. The ring light is super helpful and functions for both working and zooms... but is not a long-term solution.

  • tartanmeup
    8 months ago

    "My biggest hurdle currently is functional wall decor above my desk."


    What does functional wall decor mean to you? Functional as in storage?

  • Crystal
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Yes, storage. Whether decorative shelving that will hold some notebooks and such or wall mount paper sorter. Something to help with losing my desk hutch.

  • tartanmeup
    7 months ago

    @decoenthusiaste's conference room pic example has a closed cabinet that makes sense in an office. Ikea has this type of cabinet as well. A wall mount paper sorter though? Open, that can look quickly look messy. Really depends on how YOU work and if you prefer closed or open storage. For looks, I always prefer closed storage but realistically, I know myself and "out of sight IS out of mind" for me. For me, a mix of closed and open storage makes the most sense.


    Important to know what needs to be stored (as in accessed infrequently) and what needs to be within easy reach throughout the day. Sorters can be stored in drawers as well.





  • Crystal
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    I definitely agree! I’d prefer more closed storage, but like you.. out of sight out of mind! These are items I use frequently and need to be within quick reach. Although I’m switching to a larger desk with more surface area, I’m loosing my hutch which provided a ton of easy access storage and I’m also loosing a cabinet and two drawers on the bottom. I realize it won’t look the prettiest, but functionality is top priority for my immediate work space.