built in workspace desk
Photo: Michael Luppino
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Homework Alcove

Recessed built-ins require more planning and construction than ones that attach directly to the wall, but they are the best choice for conserving precious floor space. This homework station in a boy's bedroom was designed by architect Jay Haverson to fit inside an alcove between a clothes closet and a bathroom. In new construction like this, framing out the area is simple. To retrofit an existing bedroom for a built-in desk, you could colonize a closet or steal space from an adjoining room for a bumpout. For a child's room, build with an eye toward the future: The desk is sized just right for a youngster, about 27 inches off the ground, as opposed to 30 inches for adults. In a few years, though, the top of the desk can be raised and mounted on fillers. "It's a nice, basic amenity to have in a bedroom," Haverson says of the built-in homework station, but the same setup also works well in a home office or den.

IDEA: Save desk space by building in lights, such as recessed cans or the pucks used here. Use high-intensity, long-lasting xenon bulbs, and position the light switch within arm’s reach. Don’t forget to include power outlets and phone and data lines nearby.
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