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Back to basics: Perfect positions for home office desks

Updated on September 27, 2017
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe knows about finding the perfect spot for picking out a home office with a desk, computer, and chair, even for an apartment.

Transform any room into a home office

Whether you work at home, go to college or work, or an aspiring author like me, you would need to find the perfect space for your office. If you want more production in a quiet room for your work--or homework---these helpful tips would work wonders for you and your family.

For starters, if you live in an any-sized home, you may find yourself with a spare room to transform, like a second bedroom, a den or a family room. If you live in a dorm or on-campus/off-campus housing, a condo or an apartment, finding the perfect niche is key in any small space. Or, if you prefer to spend some more money, you can choose to transfer to a two-bedroom condo or apartment. Otherwise, you can transform any room into one. For those in college, due to limited space, you can have a portable office wherever you are.

The key is to position your desk against the wall and under your bedroom window. If that's not an option, (like for me when I moved recently to a new apartment), you can find a small niche against the wall near the living room-dining room area. Depending on how much money you want to spend on the type of desk you want, the size or length depends on your preferences, or to fit you and your writing needs.

If you can't afford sound-proofing from inside noises like a pet or other family members, you can close the door on them. A handy sign saying something "Do No Disturb" and place it on the wall.

A desk can fit into any niches

An ideal perfect desk to fit your needs

You should keep it simple, sturdy, and nothing fancy and too exorbitant. They can be find at any department or furniture store, like IKEA, or online like at Amazon.com. Feel free to do some comparison shopping to find the right one for you. Your desk should have plenty of room for your laptop or desk computer, your printer, and TV as a temporary TV stand. If you have a family pet like a dog or cat that likes to climb on top of your desk to keep you company while you work, there should be room for your pet as well.

The perfect desk should have, at least, two to four drawers--with an optional middle desk, since you'll need space for leg room for you and your chair. With those drawers, you should have plenty of space to store your homework or research papers, writing utensils, printer papers, envelopes, mailing labels, etc. You name it! It should have at least one drawer at each side, minimal, to fit your needs. Most desks would come with a slot for putting your cords through it, so they won't get in the way. They should also have a slot for your printer paper to shoot through. If you prefer not to have that option, that's okay. Another option is to buy a desk with a keyboard tray as well instead of buying it separately.


Office desk placement poll

Where do you prefer your office desk to be?

See results

You can transform your own working space into a dream office to fit your writing needs

For corner niches against a wall, a small desk can be handy to fit in any tight space in apartments or lofts

Long desks are perfect for big spaces in any room

There's three types of computer desks that's out there: wood, metal and even glass. If you have plenty of room to slide a desk under the window, go big and long with plenty of storage space for your accessories. It would take up most of the wall. You would also have plenty of leg room for you and your chair to move around in from place to place.

Small desks and laptop trays are perfect for the corner wall

If you want smaller to find into a niche of the wall, (like I'm doing in downgrading my desk size soon, when I get my new desk), you can go with the standard desk. You can position it against any corner to fit your desk and chair in. This would be a perfect choice for apartments and college dorms

If you wanted to save money and space, another perfect option for you would be is an inexpensive laptop tray. You can do your computer work right in the bed. But the only disadvantage of that, is no drawers and spaces for your printer.

What's your perfect space for a home office and computer desk?

Home office desk poll

What kind of desk works best for you?

See results

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    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 8 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Audrey. Thanks for the follow and pinning my hub. I miss looking out of my window in my bedroom. I can see the trees from my living room window at times. You're welcome.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      My office and small computer desk is located in my bedroom under my window. I enjoy being able to look outside at the trees and blue sky as I'm working on my hubs and book. Thanks for your great ideas. They are most helpful. Posting this to my pinterest board.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Londonlady for commenting and stopping by. Me too. But I have no longer have that option in my new apartment. But I do look through the window.

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 21 months ago

      I love having mine right in a corner and next to a window so I can daydream when appropriate.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by twice, Breathing.

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 23 months ago from Bangladesh

      Really a useful post for those who already have a home office or looking to give home offices in future. Yes, it is hard to imagine an office without any desk. That’s why the author described the different positions for home desks perfectly. Here I say that the positioning depends on the usage and needs of the office. If you have more workers and many guests visiting your office, you will need to have big rooms of your house as office with more desks for workers and guests. Also you should have sufficient chairs. But if you have a small range office where you and some other works then you can just adjust with a big or medium sized desk. All is dependent on the work type.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 2 years ago from Australia

      Very useful tips here thanks!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Jill, thanks for stopping by and commenting, my friend. What a great idea to use that table for a desk. Oh no, don't do that! Really? Oh wow.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      I use a coffee bar table with a marble top for my desk-- facing the wall. I think being in front of a window would distract me as I write. I'm so easily distracted now I'm considering putting a bag over my head! (I read about a writer who does that actually, to help himself let go.)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Eva. Good for you for straightening up your home office. That's true about feng sui. My desk is pretty much neat and tidy against the wall.

    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 2 years ago from Georgia

      My home office is a wreck. I have it on my to-do list to clean it up and out. According to Feng Shui, it is important to keep your office neat and tidy... For whatever reason, I have the hardest time doing that. Great hub...

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Stephanie, thanks for stopping by to comment. I love my laptop over my former desktop computers. I miss looking out my window at my own apartment. Great desk positioning, too!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      I like being able to look out a window, but I don't like sitting with my back to the room. To solve this problem, I placed my desk at right angles to the window and a few feet from the wall behind me. That way, I can look to my right to see out the window or look ahead to see the rest of the room and doorway. Behind me, I've placed shelves and a file cabinet to keep supplies handy. My "desk" is actually a rectangular table that serves multiple uses as a desk, crafting space and painting table. I like having my most used items within reach. Of course, my laptop computer is easily portable to the living room or other rooms in the house when I want to be where the action is!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Blond Logic. Me too at the dining room table! Now I've been at my corner desk for my home office and used it since then. I know what you mean about distractions. Thanks for the link, BL. I appreciate it!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      Good advice. My situation is far from ideal. I use to be at the dining room table which was a pain. Now I am in our front room at a table. What I need is a door to keep distractions out. I also think I need glue to keep my backside in the chair. lol.

      I will be placing a link to this hub on the most recent post. I think those two would work well together.

      Voted up..

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Peg, that's pretty cool and awesome. I would have to check that book out someday. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Peg. Nice desk placement.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is an interesting commentary on desk placement. I was up late last night reading Stephen King's book, "On Writing" and he talks about desk size and placement! Funny that I should run across your hub today on the same subject. My desk is in a corner of our TV room where I can write and yet still be there while the hubby watches his car shows.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Alun, thanks for commenting. I have my cats as a distraction and the radio on my computer. Go for it, my friend! Don't hurt yourself or your back, etiher.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

      For me, I like to have everything close to access - printer, scanner, discs and files and desktop computer (I don't like lap tops let alone miniscule tablets). So the bigger the better.

      Trouble is, I can't discipline myself to work in silence when I'm writing hubs; I have to have the TV on as a distraction, and organising the room so I can see the computer screen, and then also see the TV screen with just a small flick of the head, has so far proved to be beyond my interior design skills. As I write this, the TV is on behind me, and if something good happens, I just have to twist round to watch - probably not doing my back very much good!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Susie, I'm so agree with you about winter being over and spring's here before summer arrives. I used to have my office in my bedroom before I moved last fall. Now it's just a corner space.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      It doesn't take much space to set up an office. I have my desk in the bedroom with a view of the east and the south and love all the light. My mini portable office is usually set up in the living room or kitchen where I can keep an eye on my elderly mom. I go outside several times a day and sit on the back porch and take a walk in the woods or in the yard. I'm so glad winter is over.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Sandy for stopping by to check out my home office desk hub.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Good back to the basics with a home office.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Peach for stopping by. Me too!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i like your desk ideas, the l shape

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good thoughts Paradigm. I prefer windows as well. How come there's two of you here?

    • paradigm search profile image

      paradigm search 2 years ago

      I, too, like my desk facing open space. Whenever we look into the distance, that is essentially resting our eyes.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by. I like my desk facing the window too. But in my new apartment, I don't have enough space for one. It's against the wall.

    • prasonline profile image

      Prasanna Marlin 2 years ago from Sri lanka

      Grade ideea, i am also like my desk facing to a window.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good idea, Mary. I used to have my desk like that in my old place. Now it's up against the wall near my mini library and closets. Thanks for stopping by.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I also like my desk facing a window so I can look out once in a while but I want one where I can spread out papers when I'm working.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
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      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Dolores for stopping by. That's the perfect spot.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great advice. I like my desk in a spot where I can see out the window!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thank you Julie for stopping by and commenting. You're welcome. This also helped me out, too.

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 2 years ago

      Thank you for addressing this issue with practical and helpful advice. I use a long folding table as my desk, and this has worked out well for me.