A dedicated home office space that helps insulate you from distractions and concentrate on work is invaluable—and not just in this time of pandemic. “We’ve chosen five inspiring examples of today’s residential workspaces—from the elegantly simple to the built-in and fully customized—that use hardwood with expertise and imagination,” says Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center. “The advantages of American hardwoods, from classics like oak or maple to less familiar species like cypress or tulipwood, are that they’re durable, easy to work with, and sustainably grown.” And hardwoods look great, too, so you’ll enjoy the appearance of your workspace as much as its usefulness.
1. FRESH AND MINIMAL
In a Philadelphia house, designer Mel McDaniel uses three beech desktops, purchased at a local big-box store, to turn an alcove into a simple but effective workspace for two people. Vintage chairs, painted white, and a pair of residential table lamps complete the homey yet professional look.
2. OFFICE IN A CLOSET
For many homeowners, finding sufficient space for a dedicated office is a problem. One solution, even in a small apartment, is to transform a closet with hardwood built-ins. Michael K Chen Architecture shows how it’s done with this admirably compact yet surprisingly roomy example in a New York loft.
3. WORKING UNDER STAIRS
If you live in a multistory house, you may have a dark space under the stairs that could be made to look and function better. In Los Angeles, Hamilton Architects transform one such triangle into a bright home office with a built-in hardwood desk and a strategically placed window.
4. THE ATTIC OFFICE
As Hutker Architects and designer Kathleen Walsh demonstrate in this farmhouse on Martha’s Vineyard, the height-challenged space under the eaves in an attic can be the ideal spot for a substantial work surface. Dormer windows bathe the custom oak-and-steel desking with daylight while also providing a view.
5. THE FULLY FITTED OFFICE
If you’re able to use a whole room as a workspace, it can be outfitted fully with custom built-ins and decorated in appropriate style. Lisa Michael Interiors juxtaposes crisp white-painted hardwood cabinetry with navy-blue nautically inspired wallpaper and accessories in this shipshape Boca Raton home office.