Perhaps you’re like us, and you don’t have an actual office in your home. We don’t have the need for a full separate office- but we did need a dedicated space to work for small amounts of time, while still being centrally located with the children. How about a kitchen office? I was told a kitchen desk is supposedly “outdated”, but for us it was exactly what we wanted!
An Efficient, Organized Kitchen Desk You Will Actually Use
Here is our why: a lot of homework for our older kids needs to be done on a computer now, and of course we want the computer kept in a central location- like the kitchen! I sit at use the desk for any work I am doing during the day when the kids are playing near me. Jose is a Realtor and will do some quick weekend work at the desk too… and we pay bills here, etc. All this to say- it is well used, but also ideal for being situated in our main living areas.
When planning the kitchen desk cabinets, I was so inspired by Monika Hibbs’ kitchen desk area (picture above!). I had to talk myself out of that beautiful open shelving – it just isn’t practical since we don’t have an actual home office. (We decided to build a dining room instead of an office- hope we don’t regret that decision!) Anyways, we have lots of ugly officey things that need to be hidden away behind cabinets, which is just the reality of life. So I looked in built in desk ideas, and ended up going with simple cabinetry.
But we needed an organized desk area. Not this:
Even better- the kids will climb onto the countertop to reach their own things – sometimes while I am using the desk!
(Edited To Add: I organized this again in Fall of 2019 when our kids went back to school. Read that post here.)
Obviously, assess what kind of storage you need. Every single item at your desk space should have a dedicated place where it lives. If you can’t figure out a space- get rid of it. For me, I move the art supplies to a new location where the kids could reach it without stepping on my chair and desk!
Paper Organization Inside Magazine File Holders
Paper organization will be your biggest battle in keeping a desk clean (even in today’s world!). This is especially true if you have children, because of all the papers they bring home from school. Fix the paper battle, and you’re more than half way there!
I love these fabric covered magazine files to hold folders. The first file holder I dedicated just for the kids. Each child has their own folder inside with their name on it. The individual folders hold all that paperwork sent home from school like field trips, class info, etc. In the other magazine file holder are more folders for Jose and I: paperwork involving home, insurance etc. I love these holders because they keep the folders upright and make everything so much cleaner looking!
On the right side of the cabinet I am looking for a good paper holder. (Update: I found a great one, it is pictured below. I posted about it here!)
We considered a few options for lighting in this area since it is a tad bit separate from the rest of the of the kitchen. We even considered pendant lights. In the end we kept it simple with under counter lighting. We carried the under counter lighting through the rest of the kitchen cabinets as well. The small lamp just adds a touch of decor. I like the way it looks, but if it gets in the way I will end up moving it.
The matching boxes next to them contain items we don’t need too often but still want easy access to at this desk- and are ugly. One checks and receipts, one has all our chargers and cords that seem to collect around the desk area.
Baskets for Easy Access
The plastic basket on the bottom left keeps what a person without babies would keep in a desk drawer. Camille is only 2 and she loves to explore all our drawers, so we keep scissors, tape, envelopes etc. in the basket and the desk drawer sits empty for now. Childproofin, baby! The basket on the right holds my blog supplies.
But where does the clutter go? The invites, the random papers you need but not right now…
This is our landing pad with slots for mail located in our mudroom. It helps us keep all the mail and paper clutter from piling up. If I you don’t have a dedicated spot like this, put up a letter bin next to your desk to keep my mail and all paperwork that floats in and out of the house in one spot. This person has four:
(These exact letter bins I linked below.)
I finally broke down and bought a planner. I need both electronic and written down items for me to stay on track.
This is how the kitchen desk cabinets sit in our layout. When planning this space I was worried if someone was going into the fridge while someone else was sitting at the desk it would be obnoxious, but it has been a non-issue. The doors don’t open close enough to the person at the desk to matter.
You do want to be sure your desk space is not within the cook’s triangle (sink/oven/fridge).
My West Elm chair hides all the kids grimy fingers! It was fairly affordable too. I wanted something upholstered so it would be comfortable for long term desk sitting, but I needed it to be dark because… kids in a kitchen. This chair was perfect but it was the same height as the desk so it didn’t slide under. We hired my friend who is a woodworker to take an inch off the bottom of each leg. She said it was super easy and took her all of 5 minutes. So, I guess if you have the tools, it’s easy! I didn’t want to do it myself because I knew I would end up with a wobbly chair!
Our whole family appreciates sitting here now that it is well organized and pretty to look at. And if you need a kitchen desk… then who is to say it is outdated?
Sources below. Scroll through and click on the photo to see the item!
You Might Also Like: