Feels Like Home
One of the biggest trends in home offices today is the move away from the business/corporate look, toward a warmer, more homelike environment. When Minneapolis designer David Heide was hired to add on to an early-1900s foursquare, he was asked to design an office that flowed into the rest of the house. Using the home's original Colonial Revival details such as colonnades (1) and stile-and-rail wainscoting (2), and adding decorative art-glass windows (3), Heide created a traditional-looking library that conceals its technology with a pullout keyboard tray (4), a hidden hard-drive tower (5), and wiring that runs behind the kneespace's beadboard back (6), which is built out 3 inches from the wall. The desk's 5-foot-wide seating area (7) was intended to allow a parent to pull up a chair during after-school homework sessions.

Away From It All
For a paper person, the desk comes first. That's what Greenwich, Connecticut, architect Jay Haverson was told when it came time to build an executive's study in a new lakefront home: "He told me to work around it," says Haverson of the mahogany writing table. While the homeowner wanted a computer (1), he also wanted additional work surfaces (2, 3) where he could spread out his paperwork and refer to it while on the phone (4)—which is constantly. Cabinets that hold files (5) and a shredder (6) were kept discreet and functional, tucked under the desktop and painted alabaster–white to match the home's trimwork. From his seat, the homeowner can look out over the water (7), keep up with the news on the plasma–screen TV on the opposite wall (not shown), and when online, view his monitor glare–free since it's positioned well away from the windows.

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