Create a Kitchen Office with these Designer Tips

The owner of this house has a home office, but also wanted a kitchen office as a central location to look up recipes and allow her daughter a space where she could work on crafts. So during the remodel, designer Sarah Barnard set to work giving her an unobtrusive yet useful kitchen desk area.

For a serene feel, Sarah kept the kitchen colors simple: white, gray and pale blue, with sparse, organic yellow and green accents. (Photo: Charles Metivier)

For a serene feel, Sarah kept the kitchen colors simple: white, gray and pale blue, with sparse, organic yellow and green accents. (Photo: Charles Metivier)

“This client is rather well-connected with the environment and nature, so her desire was to have both a clean space, but also one that was warm, familiar and useful,” Sarah says. During the remodel, the home’s footprint remained the same, but the kitchen, bathrooms, lighting and floors were replaced and updated, and several walls came down to open up the space–which created room for the kitchen office. In addition, the family’s interest in updating the home allowed Sarah to personalize the decor for the family, who enjoy ocean views from several of the second floor rooms.

The following tips can help you create a functional kitchen office space without compromising a family feel or sophisticated style.

Tip: Ikea sells wall-mount, fold-down desks that fit nicely into tight kitchens; visit ikea.com. (Photo: Charles Metivier)

Tip: Ikea sells wall-mount, fold-down desks that fit nicely into tight kitchens; visit ikea.com. (Photo: Charles Metivier)

• Look for an area of the kitchen where a desk feels natural. You can’t simply drop a desk in the center of your kitchen, where it might interrupt the flow. Instead, look for an open spot, or create one. “In this home, it was just sort of a natural use of that nook space at the end of the cabinetry,” Sarah says.

• Find innocuous storage. Although a huge filing cabinet next to your dishwasher might look out of place, you can find other storage solutions that are less conspicuous. “In this home, a large section of the walk-in pantry is currently being used for crafts so the homeowner’s daughter can take those back to the desk,” Sarah says. If you don’t have a large storage space, dedicate a cabinet to office supplies, or buy a like-colored storage bin to place under your desk.

• Consider materials. Remember that your kitchen will be home to a variety of air quality changes. For instance, when your dishwasher runs, the air will be moist, and when you’re broiling, there could be smoke. Therefore, you don’t want to buy a material that will warp when near moisture or that will absorb odors such as smoke.

 

Sarah Barnard is a Santa Monica, California-based designer whose work combines smart design with healthy living. She uses her expertise to transform residential, business and non-profits into her clients’ dream locations.

 

Written by Torrey Kim

Styled by Sarah Barnard

Photographed by Charles Metivier

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