Kitchens are the heart of a home, and often they become the workhorse as well. While we often think of living areas as the “cover-all” spaces that do time as entertainment rooms, reading or relaxing rooms, or a second office space, kitchens tend to fall into all of these categories at one time or another. Our kitchens double as bars, dining areas, social spaces, and more and more often as work spaces.
Kitchens are often where the mail and the bills pile up and where school books get stacked in the afternoons, so naturally we try to get work done there as well. With the effort we put into designing good task lighting for our kitchens, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best rooms in the house for being able to see what you’re doing. And since it’s highly likely that you’ll end up doing some work there, devoting some kitchen space as a work area can be a great idea. Most of the time this means having a kitchen desk.
As we covered in our guide to kitchen remodeling, you should first think about exactly what you plan to do there and then design your desk accordingly. Do you want a nook to jot out some quick emails, pay bills or store cookbooks? Or do you need a full-blown work and study area to spread out some schoolbooks, house a printer and monitor, or do some other sort of work? Another major consideration is how much storage or organization space you’ll need. Will a drawer or two suffice, or will you need plenty of shelving flanking the work space?
In the past, this area is where our landline phones would sit, but today those aren’t very common. Instead, consider where you might have a charging area, a docking station, or at least a convenient outlet or two. They will no doubt get plenty of use. Consider adding a chalkboard or cork board backsplash above the desk area. This can add a fun and different touch but also give you even more functionality. One great idea for your kitchen desk is to have it facing an area with windows if possible, to take advantage of the natural lighting. If you need to be able to see clearly, natural sunlight always trumps light bulbs.
An alternative to a full kitchen desk is to drop one counter six inches or so and have it double as a work space and a baking area or serving station. If you’re shorter on space but still want a kitchen desk, you might be able to choose a small counter-height space to designate as a message area. This plus a bit of storage can let you put your laptop or work materials there when needed but be able to remove them and still have “kitchen” space. And if you’re really pinched for room, remember that with the ability to go completely wireless all you really need is a chair and some counter space when it comes right down to it.
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