How to create a budget home office using 3 furniture items

It is expected that half of the UK workforce to be working remotely by 2020 and the home office is one of the most convenient choices for remote working. However, it may be a challenge to find cheap furniture and design your home office if you have a tight budget.  

I recommend the k.i.s.s. (keep it simple stupid) principle that you can make a budget home office furniture design.

You should provide only the basic office furniture- which are a desk, chair and storage- when planning and making of your home office to kick start off. Then you may add some décor and accessories, such as artworks, poster, chic lamps etc. depending on your budget and style.

The furniture that you need in your home office to start with:

  1. Desk
  2. Chair
  3. Storage
1-Desk:

For most of the works, you need a standard size desk for your work and business, unless you are an artist, craft maker, architect or engineer that you need a special size desk. In this case, you need a work table for Artist/ makes/crafts or drawing/drafting table for Architectural/Engineering works

Chose a standard size even modular office desk- which you should apply the for work or drafting tables.

Despite many models and sizes of the furniture suppliers at present, the following technical details will give basics of the office desk and a good starting point when you start your office design.

 

DESKS & WORK TABLES (Mostly without Return)

RETURNS

ARTIST & DRAFTING DESKS

 

Double Pedestal

Single Pedestal

Double Pedestal

Single Pedestal

Executive desks should have the same level returns. Office and secretary have lower returns.

 

 

STANDARD

RANGE

STANDARD

RANGE

STANDARD

RANGE

STANDARD

D

2’ 6”

2’ 0”- 3’ 3”

2’ 6”

2’ 0”- 3’ 3”

2’ 6”

2’ 0”- 3’ 3”

2’ 6”

H

2’ 5”

2’ 4”- 2’ 6”

2’ 5”

2’ 4”- 2’ 6”

2’ 6”

2’ 0”- 3’ 3”

2’ 6”

L

5’ 0”

4’ 6”- 7’ 0”

5’ 0”

3’ 9”- 7’ 0”

2’ 6”

2’ 0”- 3’ 3”

 

(Source: Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design)

Note: You should have min 22” and 24” standard clear distance for your knee.

2. Chair:

Chair types have associated with the type of work you do. Though the generic type of chairs is on the market/ in furniture companies, you should be very careful about the ergonomics of the chair for health and safety reasons. The main criteria you should be aware of main seat height and, that it is easy to adjust, back and arm support, firmness, material quality and its durability, fire resistance etc.

Types of chairs:

Swivel Chair (or Secretarial/ Office Chair): It is named as revolving or spiny, spinning chair, and associated naturally with office chair. It rotates along its centre either on a single leg or by the whole body, as it is an armchair. It has said that Thomas Jefferson has invented this chair.

It has wheels and you can adjust the height. The high options without wheels are suitable for drafting desks.

Rigid Armchair: Though it may be difficult to work at your desk with a rigid armchair, it may be useful to have a separate one for to provide additional working zone to boost productivity.

Stack Chair: Stack means pile, and this type of chair you can store them by stacking so that you save space. Though you do need less than max 4 (maybe 2) chairs in your home office, it will enable you to store together in a limited space of a room to increase the space.

Drafting Stool: A type of bar stool, which has a high height and used in front of the drafting desk.

Side Chair: Any type of chair- even the ones of your dining table, that has fixed legs could be placed close to your workstation to give extra space for anybody like to sit behind you while you are working.

 

Secretarial Chair

Swivel Armchair

Rigid Armchair

Stack Chair

Drafting Stool

Side Chair

 

STAND.

RANGE

STAND.

RANGE

STAND.

RANGE

STAND.

RANGE

STAND.

RANGE

STAND.

RANGE

W

1’ 5”

1’ 4”- 1’ 8”

2’ 4”

1’ 8”- 2’ 6”

1’ 1”

1’ 6”- 2’ 3”

1’ 9”

1’ 6”- 1’ 11”

1’ 6”

1’ 5”- 2’ 0”

1’ 8”

1’ 4”- 2’ 0”

D

1’  7 ½”

1’ 6”- 2’ 0”

2’  3”

1’ 8”- 2’ 6”

1’  1 ”

1’ 7”- 2’ 8”

1’  9”

1’ 7”- 1’ 10”

1’  8 ”

1’ 6”- 2’ 0”

1’  1”

1’ 6”- 2’ 8”

H’

2’ 6”

2’ 5”- 2’ 10”

2’ 9”

2’ 6”- 3’ 00”

2’ 6”

2’ 4”- 2’ 10”

2’ 6”

2’ 4”- 2’ 9”

3’ 0”

2’ 11”- 3’ 6”

2’ 6”

2’ 4”- 2’ 10”

H

1’ 5”

1’ 4”- 1’ 8”

1’ 5”

1’ 4”- 1’ 1”

1’ 6”

1’ 4”- 1’ 7”

1’ 5”

1’ 5”- 1’ 6”

2’ 4”

1’ 5”- 2’ 1”

1’ 6”

1’ 5”- 1’ 7”

3. Storage:

Storage Cabinets (double or single door):

There are many options of fast, flexible and economical solution for your office storage. Many manufacturers build them in different sizes, so there should be a model that covers all needs.

You could place high storage or Lower Storage/ Lateral File as a return of your desk to save space.

Mobile pedestal supply place for any kind of drawer of your choice. Vertical File drawer, File insert drawer or a pull-out personal drawer can be found in them, and the casters provide mobility.

Media Compartment Kit and a pull-out keyboard shelf are other options if you like to have more room on your desk.

If you need more professional items as they found in traditional offices, you could buy storages with Rails, T-bar filing etc. But, should you need less specific items, you could buy an ordinary bookcase, or even use the existing one in your home.

How to reduce your costs when providing your office furniture?

Despite the principle of minimum is the central focus to reduce the cost, you should still be careful not to spend a fortune on them. Besides, there are additional tips to reduce your costs when getting your furniture;

1- Follow discount and sales;

You could buy your furniture in sales/discount season, look for second-hand shops or ask your friends that they may donate their unwanted ones.

2- Buy displayed furniture from the showrooms of the furniture shops.

One way to reduce the cost of the new furniture is buying ex-displayed ones in the shop.

3- Go DIY (Do It Yourself) options;

Ask any friend/relative make your desk, especially the drafting or work tables- which you may need in specific and bespoke dimensions.

It is always to ask help since you will be busy with the new business set up or moving from your office to your home.

4- Paint room by yourself;

Again DIY option. You should paint your room only if it is necessary. Go with the neutral and light colour palette that provides extra light that reduces the amount of lighting you need during working hours. Besides, neutral tones reduce the risk of changing the colour and buying a second colour if you don’t like a bold or statement colour.

5- Choose light and white coloured furniture;

Choose the furniture with light and white colour- except for the chair. The light and white surfaces reflect the lighting from artificial and natural sources that you can reduce your number of lamps in your room. You may not need to turn on the lights during the day.

6- Choose a durable and relatively darker fabric for your chair;

Durability is important for long-lasting and comfortable furniture. The darker colour in the fabric makes a less dirty and new look after the long-time of use.

7- Buy second hand;

Go to charity and second-hand shops. Even, ask your friends that they have furniture that you could use in your office. You can buy from them as a second-hand item which is obviously cheaper than the retail shops. If you are lucky some of your close friends, relatives may give some of their stuff as free.

8- Reuse your existing furniture;

You can use a dining table for a working desk, or you may have a stored old desk in your garage, which is waiting for your discovery for re-use.

9-Less is more;

Minimalist design is one of the significant design styles in modern architecture. However, it may save hundreds of quid in your bank account before the start of your new workplace.

10-Put energy savings methods;

Don’t forget to change bulbs from tungsten to energy-saving ones, record all your utility bills and follow their rate. You may be paying at a higher rate.

11-Re-paint and re-upholster;

Re-paint and re-upholster your existing furniture to get a fresh and new look.

 

Conclusion:

I select these models because of my design experience in interiors. The function is the first determinant for your choice of purchase. However, the style may slightly change from one person to another.

 

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