Setting up a home office is one of the most popular trends in the small business world. Working from home affords a number of benefits, most notably a reduction in work space costs. Secondly, this type of addition creates added value to your home by doubling as guest quarters or space for entertaining.
Before erecting a small out-building that has a couple of windows and a door, consider possible uses beyond simple desk space that provides for private phone conversations. A large screen monitor on the wall could pull double duty on family movie night. An exterior deck could provide space for outdoor seating during work hours and serve as an area for entertaining house guests. Adding solar panels to the roof could provide enough power to keep the addition off the grid. Finally, carefully thought out overhangs and window placement could create natural ventilation, reducing or eliminating the need for mechanical ventilation and the associated power requirements.
In this napkin sketch, I’ve laid out my idea for an architect’s private studio, but the spaces could be interchangeable with other types of office uses. The building is sheltered by a deep overhanging roof with an entry at the end of a deep set wood deck. A table with seating provides a conference area for quick meetings. Opposite the conference table is the work space, with a stand up drafting table and a desk for computer work. Corner space is provided for a large format file cabinet, and a long nook inset in the exterior wall provides book storage for reference manuals. Windows surround the perimeter, though sill height varies depending on adjacent functions. With natural light flooding the space, there’s a shared experience with the outdoors, eliminating the closed-up feeling.
For a modicum of space on one’s property, a private office or studio can be created that doubles as a work space or private retreat, yet allows connection to family activities.
Ed Garbee can be found at Garbee Architecture, located at 633 Chestnut Street, Suite 600. Contact him at (423) 364-2830 or email@example.com.