Better than Basic - A Guide to Modern Built-Ins as Office Shelves

With so many of us working from home these days, maximizing the space in our home office is more important than ever and an easy way to do that is to create modern built-ins.

If you caught the recent blog post on How to Design A Home Office that works as hard as you do, we discussed the overarching details that go into creating a home office. The where the what, and the how-to personalize it was key "ingredients" to creating a home office instead of working from your dining table but we didn't talk about modern built-ins...a potential must for many who need ample storage.

I have recently relocated my own workspace and found that storage was integral to my productivity. Not just within my desk, but also for stationery, copy paper, the copier, banking supplies, reference materials, file folders, extra binders, hole punchers, extra batteries, and on and on and on. All the things that you don't want to put on display, but all the things we need at our fingertips. Ideally, most of this can go into a closet with the room you've designated for your office, but that isn't always an option. Office shelves can add beauty and function when planned and implemented properly.

Don't settle for basic.

Often we find clients who ask their contractor to "build them some office shelves" and this is what they get:

Functional, right? But when we opened the doors and drawers, the client didn't have anything inside them. They're fortunate and have a large closet that provided ample storage. Basically, this solution was to house his television and the decorative items that had sentimental value. When we measured it, this built-in unit, "ate up" 26 inches of depth. That means there were more than 2 feet of space that was not able to be included in a floor plan, which decreased the size of the desk that would fit into the office space - and almost completely eliminated any additional seating (the Mrs. enjoyed coming in and keeping the Mr. company).

Determining WHAT sort of solution you need is the first step in creating shelving that is more stylish AND functional for your needs. Why create a basic shelf solution when you can have a modern built-in?

You can see above, we created modern, "floating" shelving that housed the decorative items he loved the most, a few reference books, some art, and of course some greenery. The shelves were different widths and depths so the solution was not only functional but also highly decorative. By removing the over two-foot-deep built-in, we added room for a larger desk, a comfy chair, and definitely more style. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectSouthcrest.

Don't assume your office shelves have to start from scratch.

In some instances, the built-in office shelves are too magnificent to simply rip out and replace. So what do you do? Add a coat (or three) of paint and transform them into a more modern version of what was original to the home. In this instance, we covered the dated wood with a beautiful black color selection to add richness and depth, while also keeping the masculinity and honoring the architecture of the space. Voila! Traditional shelves become a modern built-in!

Don't be afraid to go bold.

Don't be afraid to paint over yesterday's trend.

Just make sure you hire a professional to do the painting so you're not finding paint chips or missed curves & crevices that will annoy you as you use your home office in the years to come. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectTulip.

Wall-mounted shelving solutions still count as cool.

Home office shelves can provide a lot of storage solutions, but sometimes you just want to add a dose of pretty to your space without committing to modern built-ins. If you don't need a bunch of reference materials at your fingertips - you just want to gaze at your decor and enjoy the serenity of what surrounds you, adding a wall-mounted shelf may be just the solution needed! A home office can be a sanctuary for your sanity...getting work done in a beautiful surrounding may not feel like work at all.

This home office served as the home base for a mom who ran her own business AND the household, so it needed to provide peace and productivity. The gold & white mountable shelving provided a place for beautiful displays as well as adding visual depth to the design. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #ProjectMockingbirdLane.

Need it all? Hire a professional.

And finally, when you absolutely have to have storage at your fingertips and a dual workstation, identify what you need, what you want, and hire a designer. This beautiful modern built-in wall unit was designed to meet the specifics of the client. See those drawers? There are hanging files, niches for folders, and one even pulls out with a printer. Plus, they were all designed around the existing windows so the natural light could continue to pour in around the office shelves. Additionally, the client wanted to have the option to turn around from his computer, use his writing desk, AND have room to host a conversation.

With the wooden desktop accentuating the painted built-ins, subtle shiplap texture on the wall, and accent lighting above the windows, the aesthetic is as purposeful as the storage created with these modern built in shelves. See more of this project via Instagram searching the hashtag #LovelyInLakeHighlands.

If you want a workspace that reflects your needs and your style, give us a call at 972-248-4733, contact us - or simply email at Hello(at)MLInteriorsGroup(dot)com. We would love to help you find your groove as the #WFH (work from home) practice doesn't look to be going away anytime soon!



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