small spaces Home Office

Well, one has to practice what one preaches after all. This is my own home office. My house is a classic Dublin Corporation Parlour house – very familiar to anyone who lives in Crumlin, Cabra, Whitehall, Ballyfermot and a host of other parts of Dublin. The office is in the original “parlour” – the good room at the front of the house.

Like certain rooms in many people’s houses, this one had become a little unloved – it was a dumping ground for all the stuff we didn’t want to sit looking at throughout the rest of the house. I found myself working around all kinds of odds and ends.

So, I decided to take my own advice and custom-design a home office.

I needed to make the space work pretty hard; it had to have an expansive work surface for drawing and making models on, alcoves and shelves for all the IT gear and printers (keeping them handy but unobtrusive), for large format paper (in the space under the desk), for all our books (both work related and not) and finally, because the house only has two bedrooms, the whole thing had to function as a comfortable (enough) spare bedroom. And in addition I wanted the design to make the room look as spacious as possible, to keep me as close to the window as possible (it faces north across the canal) to preserve the original fireplace and not to move the radiator.

The photos show the results.

And if it ever starts feeling small or (in the winter) dark, I can just pick a spot on the world map and head off there for a few minutes – sometimes extra space can be obtained in unusual ways.

How it looked beforehand

How it looked beforehand...

The shelving units are made up in polished birch plywood (by Moore & O'Gorman Joinery)

The deeper windowsill can be used for extra display and storage - and as an extension of desk space. It's also nice to sit on.

And the whole thing gets to moonlight as a spare bedroom... So far no complaints about the hospitality.

A close-up of the birch plywood units. The full width and full depth alcove in the desk is big enough to store large drawings.