A guide to house building in South Africa

Blog: Tips on creating a basic home office

Home desk

It appears the lifestyle guru’s predictions for home ‘cocooning’ (or shall we just stick to ‘home isolation’) could not have been truer. Most of the planet is either stuck indoors, and if able, working from home. The home office is here to stay!

With three kids home schooling all of a sudden, I found myself in a predicament where I needed to create extra desk space fast.

Here are three ideas to create your home office (although you might require the hardware store to be open – let’s hope soon!).

  • For a large desk, standard wood trestles are cheap and easy to buy. You can place either an old door (junkyard) or piece of safety glass on top (ask a glass shop for reject shower glass or seconds for next to nothing).
    If you don’t have access to trestle bases right now, try bar stools and any timber you might have. A bright table cloth can hide a multitude of ugly stains.
  • For a narrower desk, use ready pack shelving, crates or any furniture units you have to create a base for a timber top. Supawood is cheapest and works well once painted with a good enamel paint.
The narrow, supawood table top.
  • For a small kids’ table, repurpose an old shelving unit, remove the middle shelf for leg room and add a top that extends out by at least 200mm. We had a piece of cut out engineered stone left over from the sink installation. An angle grinder allowed us to resize and soften the edges.  Large format tiles (600x1200mm) can do the same. Attach with strong, purpose made glue.
Shelving unit repurposed.

Remember the following:

Desk height is generally 700mm. To prevent bad posture, place any laptops or screens on books for correct eye level.

Cut outs for cables always helps keep it tidy.

Cheap, but cheerful plastic chairs work fine (Mr Price/Game/Makro). Add a cushion for comfort.

Hardware shops sell cork tiles. These can be glued onto a wall for an instant pin board. Blackboard paint in another great option for kids.

If you experience back pain from poor posture, consider a standing desk

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