The Office, Part 2

office design
So, the last time I talked about my office, I had a lot of complaints and not a lot of solutions. I sort of whined for a little bit, and then went on doing absolutely nothing to make it better. What can I say, sometimes I just need to let it settle for a while! am lazy!

When David and I were driving to Easter brunch at his parent’s this past Sunday, we were discussing ideas to make the space better. It seemed like an unsolvable problem.  There was just too much damn stuff in there, but there was nowhere else for any of it to go. We considered getting rid of Caspian’s couch. It definitely took up a lot of space, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on that idea. I like having him in here with me, and I like the couch too much to get rid of it. We did decide to put a sheet over it at some point in the future, so when we wanted to sit on it we wouldn’t get all furry.

office design
I will be honest, I have been wishing for my own office space. David doesn’t sit at his desk very often, and it felt wasteful to have all of this space dedicated to his computer and desk when he doesn’t use it on a regular basis. The problem is, there isn’t anywhere else in the apartment for him to have a desk set up.

So I asked him what he would think about putting his computer in the closet. I have seen some functional closet office setups floating around on the web, and it would free up a ton of space in the office. His response was awesome: he thought about it for a second, and said that it was a dream he never even realized he’d had.

office design
When we got back that evening, we started rearranging. We moved the bookcase out of the room, we put a side table in the closet and made an L-shaped desk for me in the opposite corner.

The room still needs work (I have a lot of finishing touches to implement..) but for the most part, I love it. I think it looks so much airier and open, and having space to freely move around is amazing. This feels so much more functional, and so much less messy, even though I didn’t take much out. More importantly, David likes his mini-office! He doesn’t have me bugging him to clean up his desk all the time,  and it’s actually going to be pretty cool in there. In his own words:

When Alison suggested somehow moving my desk into a closet, I loved the idea right away. As a software developer, I’m sucker for efficiency and minimalism. If I had my way, every bed, couch, and table would fold up into the wall to save space.

The tough part of fitting everything into the closet was finding a desk that was the right size. The desk I had been using was too wide, but it turned out that an end-table from the living room fit perfectly. The table is tall enough that it feels like a desk, and it has a leaf that folds out on the front, allowing me to add more depth to the table when the closet door is open. The leaf is key because a desk only as deep as the closet would be too shallow to use.

Then I had to decide what items on my old desk made the cut for the new one. It turns out almost everything on my old desk was junk, so a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers were all I needed (plus a beer coaster).

Working with my head in a closet does have a different feel than working in an open space, but it’s a good feel. It’s like wearing blinders. Somehow it’s much easier to focus on a task in that small physical space. It’s not claustrophobic though. Most of the time I’m on the computer, I am oblivious to what’s around me. It also helps that my chair is outside the closet, so I don’t feel like I’m actually in the closet.

I’ve only been using my new setup for a couple of days, but so far it’s great. I’ve worked at my computer quite a bit in those few days, and I don’t have any complaints. It’s also great how much more open the office feels with the newly free space. Too bad we didn’t think of this sooner.