Sunday, November 20, 2011

Office Desk Design

For two people who spend a great deal of time at the computer, we are seriously lacking a proper desk for our office.  I am using an oak vanity as a desk… it’s too short and the center drawer hits me in the leg.  Michael is using a cheap second hand computer desk that has limited knee space and wobbles.  So, it goes without saying that we need a new desk!  I have been scheming and dreaming for a few years now.  And I have finally decided the time has come for our wishes to come true.  This Christmas I asked my family for wood and hardware to build a desk.  Naturally before any shopping lists can be drafted for Santa, I have to finalize plans for the dream desk!
Enter Google SketchUp.  After a tenuous “getting-to-know-you” period, SketchUp and I have become fast friends.  Don’t ask me to draw any spindley legs or spheres, but I think I have a handle on the simple operations required to draw a desk.  I’ll let you be the judge. :)
Here is the latest (and hopefully final) version of the Horvaths’ Dream Desk:
desk 2 iso
I call it the airplane desk, because of those 5’ wings on each side, it looks like it’s about to lift off. 
It is no easy task to design a desk for two people in a 10x10 room with a window, a closet and a door.  It should be.  But these are the Horvaths we’re talking about here.  Nothing is ever easy with those two. :) 
Our original plan was to build an L-shaped corner desk facing the window so we could both enjoy the view.  The desk was nearly nine feet wide and two feet deep.  The corner would allow Michael ample desk space for his elbows and giant monitor, and I would have a little cabinet with a drawer:
desk 1 iso
Here’s the room in SketchUp with the furniture and walls and doors:
office 1 top office 1 closet
I rearranged our existing furniture in the room to simulate the L-shaped desk (minus the corner):
That didn’t leave us much breathing room with the chairs so close together and the closet door to the left.  (The closet door is getting replaced with bifold doors in all of these designs.  That will allow us to put furniture a bit closer to the closet and still be able to open the door.)  The desk area of the room was cluttered and there wasn’t a lot of space for us to spread out without bumping into each other.  Even though it was crowded, we loved being able to see out the window.  We tried this arrangement with the dimensions taped out on the floor.  It seemed like it would work; I was about ready to post it to the blog, thereby making it official, when we decided to try another arrangement.
So, I designed Desk #2 on the 10-foot wall across from the bookcase.  Enter airplane desk… it’s 10 feet wide and 30 inches deep.  That’s twenty five square feet of desk space on top for us to spread out and set up laptops and additional monitors.  A programmer’s heart’s desire.
desk 2 iso
In addition to a giant tabletop, it’s also got a few storage secrets.  The three drawers in the middle will be perfect for office supplies and files.  And in the middle of each workspace there is a hidden drawer where we can stash more office papers and junk.  See it up under the front edge?
desk 2 drawer detail
Here’s the second design in SketchUp with the furniture and walls and doors:
office 2 top
office 2 closet 
office 2 desk
Then I rearranged the room to simulate the new design:
I love it!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the best and final version of the desk.  Now to get the programmer’s seal of approval so I can start that shopping list!


Nick said...

I modeled my desk in sketchup before I built it too. Just an idea: when I built my desk I put in a little shelf at the back to hold the power-strip, modem, router, wires, etc. Keeps everything nice and out of sight. I can send you my sketchup drawing if you want.


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