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Whether you want to put the home office in the kitchen or just set up a small desk area, find inspiration from these hardworking kitchen workstations.
With any kitchen office, use cabinets that match or complement what's in the kitchen so the space blends in seamlessly. Search home centers and kitchen stores for semicustom cabinets that allow you to pack more into the typically petite workspace.
This custom-built desk anchors one end of the kitchen. Blue paint and a zebrawood top make the desk feel like a piece of furniture rather than a bank of cabinets. The kitchen office was built with overflowing drawers and bins so it can easily accommodate filing, schoolwork, the family computer, a phone, a calendar, and a printer.
Crisp white cabinetry, a teak desktop, and furniture-style legs connect this workstation with the rest of the kitchen. The space next to this kitchen's refrigerator was thought to be unusable, but a desk served as a perfect, practical addition. It's a handy spot for handling messages, mail, and bills.
Using the same materials as the rest of the kitchen -- dark granite counters and eucalyptus-green wash on the cabinets -- this kitchen office blends seamlessly into a previously unused space next to the refrigerator. Generous storage space makes it easy to stash mail, homework, cookbooks, and important documents.
This corner message center combines practical storage with attractive display space. Laminate cabinets conceal drawers and bins while a bulletin board displays a calendar, postcards, and family photographs. Create a similar design in your own kitchen: pair an 8-inch-deep cabinet with a wall of traditionally sized units. You end up with functional corner space and an ideal zone to stash bills, reminders, and supplies.
Nestled between a cabinet and the wine cooler, this tiny desk area offers just enough room to look up recipes and plan menus. The desk area blends effortlessly with the rest of the kitchen by using the same elements: concrete for the desktop and recycled glass tile on the wall.
Here, a compact kitchen office tucks into a corner, with just enough space to pull up a stool. Open storage works for sorting bills and paperwork while file drawers organize important documents. Large, deep cabinets above reach to the ceiling, providing even more storage space. Chalkboard panels on the refrigerator invite messages -- and artwork.
In this cozy kitchen office, built-in Shaker-style cabinets provide plenty of storage and conceal outlets for charging phones and other electronics. The large desk area allows the homeowner to do work comfortably in her own kitchen. Frosted windows above admit extra light into the office area from the back hall.
Here, a peninsula next to the banquette functions as the message center for a busy family. It's the perfect place to leave keys, mail, or grocery bags, and it also works as a snack bar or homework haven where mom can easily monitor as she cooks.
Here, a built-in desk boasts a long granite countertop for spreading out paperwork, as well as traditional-style cabinetry that incorporates file drawers and roll-out shelves. Large, double-hung windows bring in sunlight and give the office area great views of the backyard.
Here, traditional white cabinetry combined with a desk topped with American cherry give the homeowners an elegant space to stay organized. Create a similar design in your own kitchen: Integrate a desk area into a run of built-in cabinets by stepping down 4-6 inches from traditional counter height to table height. Bump in the desk area 3 or 4 inches to allow space for a chair.
This home's office space is tucked into an alcove adjacent to the kitchen pantry -- safely out of view of gathering areas so there's no pressure to keep things perfectly neat. The space is used for everything from work to menu planning, and it's also a place for the homeowners to display their Asian antiques.
If you're planning on using the space as your home's central work area, make sure the desktop is deep enough to accommodate a computer and other essential equipment; a standard desktop is 36 inches deep. You'll also need easy access to electrical outlets and a phone jack.