• How to Turn Your Kitchen into a Workspace

  • COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation of the workplace. Although most Americans aren’t working from home because of lockdowns or fear of COVID, they are choosing to do so even though their office is open. In fact, according to a study from Pew Research Center, 61% of employees are choosing to work from home.  

    When speaking of home workspaces, not everyone has the room for an entire office. Many telecommuters use their kitchens as their office because it’s the heart of the home and the hub of activity. The problem is makeshift areas for office work can get very disorganized. Therefore, it’s reasonable to integrate an office area within the kitchen that adults can use for work and kids can use for homework.  

    Create a Zoned Kitchen 

    First, you have to plan the layout of your kitchen. Do you want your workspace to be in a divided, quieter area where you can better focus or do you want to be able to interact with whoever else is in the kitchen? If your wish is for the former, a closed concept kitchen or the addition of walls may be worth exploring. If you are looking for the latter, an open kitchen floor plan can give you that.  

    A closed-concept kitchen has a door or doorway where you must enter to get inside the kitchen. An office nook can be built just outside the doorway, such as in the design shown below. While it is not technically in the kitchen, but next to the kitchen, trips to the kitchen will still be convenient. You’ll also maintain a sense of privacy. 


    In an open-concept kitchen, you can place an office nook in a variety of areas such as next to the refrigerator or the oven wall, for example. You can even create an island with a lower level that doubles as a dining table and a workspace. This is a great option for people who like to multi-task.  

    Architectural Digest

    Many office-area placements can be used in both closed and open concept kitchens. All-in-all an open-concept kitchen is ideal for a family because it has better traffic flow and is also better for people who like to entertain, while a closed kitchen offers more privacy and can better conceal clutter away from the living area of the house. However, a closed concept kitchen may have less ventilation and natural light, which may not be suitable for some people.  

    Make Sure Your Work Surface is a Good Height 

    The standard countertop height is 36” and bar-height countertops can go as high as 42”. With these heights, most people will have to opt for seating that is taller than typical seating for desks.  

    Ideally, you should design a built-in desk with a standard desk height of around 28-30” high, a height that is more comfortable for most people. Another idea is to design a kitchen island with a lower surface for seating (such as in the design from Architectural Digest shown above). This would make sitting for an extended amount of hours more comfortable.  

    With that said, because studies have shown that prolonged sitting has a negative effect on health, you could consider purchasing a tabletop converter that you can place on top of your counter and periodically stand while working. Standing promotes blood flow to the legs and straightening of the bones that are compressed while sitting.  

    Invest in Comfortable Seating  

    If you’re going to be sitting for long hours, a typical kitchen chair or stool would not be a good choice. Unlike office chairs, most kitchen seating isn’t designed with ergonomics in mind. Sitting on a kitchen stool for hours (especially the backless style) can leave you with a backache and affect your posture.  

    We recommend purchasing a padded chair that is a suitable height for the table or countertop you’ll be working from. Again, we find desk-height surfaces the most suitable for working. So keep that in mind when designing your kitchen. Adjustable-height seating is also something to consider if multiple people will be utilizing the space.  

    Pottery Barn

    Have Enough Storage 

    A functional office space needs storage for all your documents and supplies. Your cabinet maker can help you design a built-in storage area catered to everything you may need to safely tuck away in a centralized spot.  

    Kountry Kraft

    Manage Those Cables 

    Long cords, cables, and power strips dragging across the floors are a tripping and electrical hazard. Avoid this problem by integrating electrical outlets on the side of your kitchen island, on the countertop, or on an adjacent wall. Some models are pop up outlets that go well with the design and easily hide when not in use.  

    Lew Electric

    Top it Off with Good Lighting  

    At minimum, install multiple recessed lights to illuminate the work area. Then you can add other lights, such as pendant lights to further brighten up your workspace. When purchasing light bulbs, remember that high wattage doesn’t necessarily mean brighter. Look for light bulbs with higher lumens that are within the specified wattage for your lights. Regarding color temperature, cooler and whiter lights tend to make people more productive. Cooler lights are recommended for daytime use. Look for light bulbs in the 4,000-6,000 Kelvin (K) range for task lighting.  

    Additionally, studies have revealed the importance of good lighting, especially natural light. It uplifts the mood, brings in positive energy, and inspires more activity. Read our article about how to bring more light into your kitchen here.  


    Create a Multi-Tasking Kitchen You’ll Love 

    We are proud to offer custom cabinetry that will look great in your new kitchen office space. We will help you build a kitchen/office layout that works for you. To explore further, get a FREE estimate! 

    Featured Image Credit: Wickes