Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Home Office

All the telecommuting and real estate perusing I've been doing lately has me thinking a lot about what my next home office will look like.  In our fantasy dream home, I have a vision for a shared home office with the husband with two huge desks and doors that open out onto a beautiful patio and garden.  There may or may not be a wine fridge and/or sauna connected to this office.  However, in the immediate future, and with city living space being what it is, I expect we'll need to make spaces multi-task for us, and I LOVE the idea of a kitchen office.  My love for the kitchen work space is growing all the time, but the seeds were originally planted by the movie The Family Stone.
Diane Keaton's character, the uber-mom, has a sprawling desk in the middle of their kitchen that is obviously command central.  I love how it faces out into the room, so that from her perch she can work and simultaneously not miss a beat with what is going on around her. 
I don't think I could hang with that level of clutter, but I love the idea of having your work space be at the nexus of the home and just thriving on that energy and being able to multitask at a higher level.  There was a great article by Michelle Slatella in this month's Real Simple about the "Secrets of an Unflappable Working Mom" and one of them was to literally make your home office be a command center, where you can simultaneously stir a pot of soup and help with a history project while checking your e-mail.  Sounds familiar (except swap history project with teething ring). I like it.
My current home office in Maine, pictured above, has something of the same effect.  See my laptop and multiple planners in the background, with the fresh OJ I squeezed for a morning snack to combat the sore throat I woke up with this morning (dammit!) in the foreground.  Unpictured are the baby jumper and shelves of books he entertains himself with while I type away.  Also unpictured is the ocean out those windows, which is pretty much the best thing ever.  However, my "office" is also taking up valuable dining table real estate.  Ideally, it would be cool to have a space to work in the eating area that isn't the actual eating area.  Like so:
From Country Living
From Real Simple
What I really love lies somewhere between all the sleek, modern, ultra-efficient magazine versions of this vision, and the quirkier, more eclectic Diane Keaton version.  I see a funky desk in a beautiful, eye-popping color, maybe something like this (but sans lucite furniture, which I don't really dig):
With a big smooshy comfy chair, a MacBook Pro, some framed pics of my boys and my ladies, a vase of fresh peonies, a gorgeous lamp, and my espresso machine but an arm's reach away, it sounds just about perfect.  Everyone needs a space of their own, but at this stage in life, I'm fine with mine being right in the mix.



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  2. I LOVE the idea of a command-central office as well. I bought an unfinished desk for a very reasonable price, and painted it myself (the very color in the pic you posted!). It's vibrancy makes me very happy to sit and work away. :)
    However, if you don't mind, I'd like to provide a little insight of my own. I currently live in a one-bedroom apartment with my unemployed husband and a puppy. Which means that my home office is in the middle of our living room/laundry room/kitchen/front entryway. It does open onto a lovely back porch looking into a beautiful, serene forest. It also makes for a wonderful multi-tasking scenario: puppy-supervising, espresso brewing, laundry-doing, and daily planning with the husband. Wonderful!
    However, a highly productive work space it does not make. All those distractions, I must admit, have made me much less efficient with my work. So, might I suggest that whatever your home office scenario ends up being in your new digs, perhaps a non-permanent, potentially changeable situation would be best. That way if you need to re-locate for your job's sake, you can do so. :)

  3. Great blog - enjoyed the imagination & potential a'brewin'. I currently have a Baby Command Central set up for my weekdays while on maternity leave. I've made quite the indent in one of my sofa cushions in the living room, with a tray set up before me to hold: laptop, water bottle, baby gas drops. The house & cell phones are on the sofa armrest, within reach. The cushion next to me holds books & x'word puzzle. The boppy pillow is semi-permanently affixed around my middle, and a burp cloth is my daily shoulder accessory. Baby on a boob, and voila!

    Good timing with this blog topic too - will email you shortly with an update for your advice.

    Feel better & I hope you can avoid a full-blown cold! xo