Some of us are likely to have spent the last few months working from the kitchen, or the living room. And when you’re wrestling for space and time with dinner, TV and a few toys, it’s hard to stay focused and productive. The answer? Recreate what you had when you were commuting to the office. Whether you’ve got room for an entirely new room dedicated to working, or just need to switch up an empty corner, there’s no better time to do it. Here’s how to choose the perfect desk for whatever ‘working from home’ looks like to you.
Believe it or not, you can set up an office anywhere. Don’t feel forced to conform to a typical layout – that unused corner in the bedroom or that nook under the stairs could be the perfect place to get to work. Need some inspiration? You’ve come to the right place.
A corner office with an L-shaped layout
Need plenty of space? An L-shaped desk is the answer. There’s room for all your books, documents and even multiple screens, and it’s making use of an entire corner – so it’s actually saving you a bit of square-footage.
An office under the stairs
Who said the space under your stairs can’t be used for something more than just storage? You can easily cash in on all that hidden potential. If you’ve got the room, all you’ll need is a compact desk and chair. No spreading out – sorry.
Squeeze in a cosy alcove
If your living room layout is partial to an out-of-place alcove, this could be the time to give it a new life. Compact or corner desks are perfect here – they’ll slot in to any tricky set ups, and will easily feel like an isolated, separate space from the rest of the room. Just don't get distracted by daytime TV.
How to decide on a desk size? There are a few ways to look at this – how much space you need, and how much you have. If all you need is an internet connection and an empty corner, choose a compact design like the above. If you’re the opposite, and need to spread out with papers, pens and multiple screens, it’s worth researching larger sized desks, or even creating something custom. Fancy.
The standard height for most desks is usually between 72–75cm, which is perfect if you’re planning to work throughout the day. Anything lower than that, and you could be prone to slouching (if your chair’s taller) and future back or neck pain will definitely be on the cards. That’s a no-go, in case you hadn’t realised.
Something new to try? A standing desk. It’s perfect if you want to change the way you work. Standing helps you keep your back straight, which means less back pain, and it keeps your legs active so you won’t feel stiff at the end of the day.
If you and your partner or housemate work from home, there’s likely to be a bit of pushback on who gets the desk, and who has to sit on the sofa, at the dinner table or on the bed. Try two desks – just get slightly smaller styles and pop them side-by-side. Now the only decision to make is who has to make the tea.
Small, wall-mounted, fold-out desks can be a dream if you’re short on space but still need an area to work. These could go in a corner of your bedroom, or in that otherwise-useless alcove between rooms. All you need is a wall to fix it to, and enough room in front to pop your chair.
The three main ingredients for a great, ergonomically designed home office are a comfortable chair, a good-sized desk at the correct height, and a dedicated task lamp or two. It’s all about making sure you feel comfortable for the eight hour stretch. That means you should have a chair that provides enough back support so that you don’t slouch, your desk isn’t too high nor too low (to keep your eyes and hands comfortably on your work), and that the light is bright enough to prevent any squinting over that paperwork. Once you’ve mastered these, you’ll be tackling those emails in no time.
Desks can be made from a whole range of materials – which is handy, as you can pick one that suits where you’re sat perfectly. Our top tip for smaller rooms? Choose a desk with a glass top. It’ll help give the illusion of more space – just make sure you don’t store all your clutter underneath.
On the other hand, if you want to give a bit more structure to your area, a dark-stained wood or metallic-featured desk makes a real statement, giving it an air of importance where you conduct your business. It’s your one-stop solution to feeling like a boss.
White or natural wood desks are a versatile option, and one that can easily fit any interior. It’s no wonder Nordic design has found its way into so many of our homes – it’s all about that hygge life, from the 9-5 to when we’re out of office.