Laptop table instead of large desk

August 11, 2014

Slowly but surely things are coming around in the family room. If you’re just joining me on this project we recently took down a wall between my office and our family room. The end result is AWESOME. Seriously the best thing we’ve ever done in this house, hands down, no question.

My office was the brightest room in our house so not only did we get more space, we get a TON more natural light as well. It’s my favorite part. :)

But the question for me has been where to put a new desk. This was my set up in the office before:  

farmhouse table desk

The old farmhouse table was huge! I absolutely loved it as a desk although recently it was feeling a bit too big to me. I was looking into something smaller and smaller is definitely what I ended up with. ;)

Originally I planned on keeping an actual desk in that area. I even considered building out window seats in the corner for me to sit on. But when all the floors were done and I started moving furniture around I realized it was a perfectly lovely corner just as it is.

I came up with a plan for a desk space that has worked really great for me so far. It’s not going to be for everyone but I love it. Even though we have more space I still want to use it wisely and this has worked well!

The corner where my desk was now holds a comfy chair and an ottoman:

chair in corner with windows

Both of which we already had. I’ve actually bought very little for the “new” family room – the only two things are in this corner! That brass banker’s lamp is from Target and is perfect in that spot. I really wanted some soft light back there in the evenings.

By the way -- the subwoofer is a part of life that I’ve come to embrace. I may cover it someday, I may leave it as is – it doesn’t bother me like it used to. You pick your battles. ;)

Now my “desk” is a simple laptop table from World Market:

desk alternatives

Most of the time it’s used as an end table next to the sectional. When it’s time for me to work in the morning I pull it over (I have pads on the bottom so it doesn’t scratch the floors) and then sit down to work (with my feet up on that ottoman!).

I got their oversized version so there’s plenty of room for my laptop, camera, notebook, whatever:

world market laptop desk

It’s nice for when I’m sorting mail or writing checks or whatever too, although I do have to write on a paper or notepad because the top is textured. Not a big deal to me – they have smoother versions but I loved this look. 

I’m still working out the other storage in this part of the room so it’s functional for me. The dresser that was in my office is now in the living room and still has the office stuff in it. I need to switch out some of the contents to the dresser that’s in this little nook now.

The built ins next to the fireplace give us tons of new storage too so I’m considering those for my supplies as well. I have an outlet next to the built ins that I plug my computer into and just leave there so it’s always ready.

So far I’m quite loving it! It’s no big deal at all to pull the table over in the morning. And when I’m done working I put it back next to the sofa – it’s kind of nice to be able to put it all away, you know? I considered moving my desk upstairs to the loft and working up there every day, but especially in the summer when the kiddo is home I need to be downstairs where all the action is.

And I still get to work in what I think is the prettiest corner in our house: 

laptop desk as workspace

There are a few minor things that will be changed here over the next few weeks – I’m redoing all the window trim like I did in the living room. The walls will all be painted a new color (more on that this week) and I still need to do little things like touch up the crown molding and baseboards.

But for now this spot is the most completed area in the family room and I’m enjoying it! The view doesn’t hurt either:

limelight hydrangea SO many hydrangeas this year! Love!!

Oh, and a few of you have asked but we did contact two realtor friends before moving ahead with this reno project. I was concerned that getting rid of the office would hurt the value of our home but both said the bigger family room far outweighed that. (It would be different if it was a bedroom though.)

Do you have a dedicated office space? Do you need to be able to shut the door or could you handle having it out in the open? Any creative solutions you’ve used to make your own work space?

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  1. Love it! I just got rid of my big desk too- I'll have to check that one out:) I would love to get rid of my office and have a bigger family room- but we have no basement which equals no where to put all of my junk!:(

  2. i love the table. the only thing is i would put it next to the chair and get a new table for the sofa.

  3. That's a great idea and it looks pretty to boot.

  4. It's a beautiful corner & I agree with Angela to put the table by the side when you are not using it. Perfect spot for a cup of tea, plate of snacks and your notebook. Or get a second one since it looks like the type of table that you can use while sitting on a sofa.

    In my kitchen, I had a very large sturdy table (Parson style). I moved it into my quilting room and it's worked great there with no shaking of the table while sewing. I moved a smaller mission-style library table into the kitchen Since the corner looked so bare, I put a big comfy chair with a small lamp. This setup works well for morning reading, web surfing, going through mail etc. I do have a dedicated office that was a spare bedroom and that works well for the accounting work with the printer and filing space.


    1. Thank you Liz! I did try the table over there but it was too bulky in front of the window. It doesn't tuck in next to the chair due to the arms not being long enough. I'm hoping sometime I'll have a little spot like yours in our kitchen!

  5. Love your office corner, Sarah! Seems like an eminently sensible arrangement to me. I have a built-in desk in the corner of my breakfast area/keeping room, and I usually end up just working at the kitchen counter! Laptops have changed our lives, haven't they?

  6. I LOVE the changes! Such a bright and beautiful space! And I didn't even notice the speaker until you pointed it out, ha ha. Yup, you totally pick your battles. ;)

  7. What a pretty little space! I bet you breathe easier just sitting next to those pretty and bright windows. Really now that we live in the time of laptops, I feel like the bigger desks can be unnecessary unless you really need to spread out lots of papers. (By the way, I did a little happy dance at your mentioning of drum corps. I worked with Carolina Crown's colorguard for a couple years. Yay! Band nerd love!)

  8. Great corner and looks like a comfy place to work to me. I love being in the center of the action, so I would want to be there too.

  9. I love your little working space! I also changed a big desk I had in my office for a tiny one. Most of the time I'm working on my laptop all around the house, wherever my kids are, and so far so good.

  10. That nook looks cozy and inspiring with all the light!

  11. My son and a bunch of marching band friends drove up for DCI over the weekend. Such talent! We'll be up at a Lucas Oil for BOA Super Regional in October, and hopefully for state finals in November!

    Your hydrangeas are lovely, btw. We have only had one flower bloom all summer. So strange.

  12. Firstly, yay for drum corps!! I'm a marching band geek from way back. ;-)

    Secondly, I looooove this space. While I have an office space that my husband and I share, the huge bulk of my blogging and internety fun from a comfy living room armchair. Now I don't feel so weird, seeing how lovely your space is! :-)

  13. We have an office/library/schoolroom with double doors and I certainly need those doors closed most of the time when company arrives. Too many papers, things to read, etc.

  14. LOVE IT!!! what a spectacular space to work in!! I love the dual function of the table. Very clever. And that table is absolutely adorable! I just love the texture. Great job in carving out a niche in a pretty space to work.

    I saw that sub woofer and thought. 'that must drive her crazy' ... lol. Glad to see you let the man have some input ;).

    Overall, I would put that space at a 95/100. only because I prefer i taller ottoman. (but that's me) Otherwise, the ottoman works well. Happy Decorating!

  15. When my kids were still home I stayed in the middle of all the activity too - but now that they have blessed me with an empty nest, my DH and I share an office with big desks that we can share with our printer, inboxes etc. it's just off our bedroom in our master suite. I suppose it's just a hideaway I could never have before - having had 15 kids and all the business that entailed over the 30 year span of raising kids. I DO love your new space and have enjoyed watching the transformation.

  16. Absolutely gorgeous space! Love everything especially those table, wishbone chairs and sofa! Well done,
    compact Desk Design

  17. such a nice little nook! I think it's a great solution. I built my office into a closet in our guest room closet so it's tucked away and it's worked out great so far :)

  18. Very very nice and so gorgeous. Love those drapes and the light with matching shade altho I noticed light not above the chair anymore. So smart to have a nice quiet but convenient place to do your blogging. Love that very versatile table, can see why you love texture on table. Such a snazzy swanky office spot. Enjoy since you have certainly worked hard enuf for it. Happy week

  19. I love the space and am totally stealing your table idea. So smart. I also adore your ottoman - May I ask where you bought it?

  20. I love your space it looks so pretty and i agree that it is nice to be able to put everything away when you're done working. I prefer to be out in the open so that i can see my kids and what they're getting into. My back is to the room with my current setup which is not to my liking but it's all i have available right now.

  21. Your house is beautiful specially the interior. Love the wall between your room and office where interior reflects natural light.

    Service for Property Buyer in UK

  22. Love this space! Can you please tell me where you got your chair?

    1. Thank you! It was from HomeGoods but it was years back.


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