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Desk top and cup of coffeeIn this modern age, good design means attention to details. That one piece in a room can serve as an anchor to affect the atmosphere and comfort for the whole room.

In a room like a den or a study, that object is often the good old desk (or the flashy new one). And to the person who chooses to work from home, the decision on which desk to buy has practical considerations, too.  Writer Lenore Holditch talks about five kinds of desk design that can transform your space, and your working life at home.

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Your home office is your sanctuary. Unlike some cramped cubical with a built-in “table” of a desk where you have to fill in the rest of the blanks of your work space (such as filing, book shelving, etc.), you have the ability to choose a desk for your home office that caters exactly to your home office needs. But before you head to an office supply store and quickly make a decision that could affect the rest of your life and your career of working from home, allow me to lend you some interesting suggestions and ideas to keep in mind when picking that perfect home-office desk.

Desk design with built-in shelving

There are a number of ways you can go about getting built-in shelving in desks. Some desks are tall and have built in shelving as you go up the desk. Others have shelving built in on the side of the desk. I say go for whatever works best with your workflow layout. Some people need a lot of vertical space on their desk (say if they have some tall monitors or speakers) while others need more horizontal space (perhaps for drawing diagrams).

One desk design that I’ve personally observed working great is the Expedit workstation from Ikea, which has the desk latch to the middle of a bookshelf. Since the bookshelves are wide, you can usually use two rows of books in each shelf hole, one facing your desk and the other facing away.

Glass desk-tops desk design

Getting a desk with a glass top will really open up space in your office. It is surprising how much more open your office will feel. Not only will it give your room a feeling of bigger space, but it will also be much easier to reach for things stored under your desk, particularly anything filed, as you can see it right through the top rather than having to hunch your back to get your head under the table.

Use your home office space effectively

If you plan on putting your desk against a wall, why not get a wall-mounted desk? There are several different options you can choose from with wall-mounted desks although you may have to search around a bit to find one that fits your needs just right. But with exciting new prototypes like the K Workstation from MisSoup Design in the works, the sky is the limit.

Use your office space efficiently

If you have a very long desk, consider putting some type of filing system to fill the space under it; just be sure to leave enough room for legs to move about comfortably. There are many desks that have an under-the-desk filing cabinet built into their design, so you can always go for that if you want a more unified design.

Also consider desks that fold or stack, particularly if you work in an area that is tight in space and has to serve multiple purposes other than being your home office. The most elegant and practical solution I’ve seen for a stackable desk is the One Less Office desk [ed: follow founder Dean Heckler on Twitter].

Home office mobility

Consider what office supplies you’d like to put into your briefcase and how your desk will store these supplies. Some desks often come with built-in storage areas for these types of materials that you can easily dump into a briefcase (such as a pullout drawer). One desk even has briefcases as drawers.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, you just have to choose a desk that caters best to the shape of your workflow. For some, that means more horizontal space, and for others, it means more vertical space. Some desks offer a variety of built-in storage and office-supply areas, but you can also just use your own office storage equipment that can rest on your desk’s surface.

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Thanks, Lenore!

Lenore Holditch specializes in writing about top online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to: holditch.lenore (at) gmail.com.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.