0
Your shopping cart is empty.

Help in designing a study

lisaweir
February 10, 2019
last modified: February 10, 2019

We have recently connverted an unused living room into a study for me and my husband. I need some advice on how to arrange the desk and credenza. It is in flux now due to recently moved and have not culled through all the boxes. I have two desk a credenza and looking for advice on bookcases and better lighting.









Comments (54)

  • lynartist
    I love your armchairs; are they Decorative Crafts?
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • tartanmeup

    What a beautiful room. Seems almost a shame to turn it into a study. :) Will you be needing two desks? Would layout below make sense for you? (Hate that it would block the fireplace view.) Perhaps the credenza could go where the bench is in this picture?

    I like Deco's layout idea but the spaces flanking the fireplace seem small for a desk. Really depends on your needs.

    lisaweir thanked tartanmeup
  • lynartist
    I think we need information; what you will be keeping and what your needs will be. Do you need two separate desks? Are you keeping the large computer desk? How wide are the recessed areas next to the fireplace? Are you planing on bookshelves or are you doing furniture pieces? Hooker furniture makes very attractive lateral files that could go in those areas. Are you wanting upholstered seating in here also?
  • lisaweir

    Thanks for all the inspiration on the room. I will need to keep computer desk credenza and writing desk. The computer desk is my husbands and the writing desk matching credenza is mine. I do need more storage and I like the idea of something symmetrical flanking the fireplace like bookshelves and storage may be a great option or maybe putting it them on opposite side due to functional bookcases look messy with binders and other stuff that both of us use and need. I added the doors with frosted glass so that I may close when it is not straight. Thank you on the chair comment. The chairs are inherited and have special meaning. I helped my mother in law pick them out in Black Mountain many years ago.

  • curlycook
    Is the writing desk under the mirror? Does the top come off of hubby’s computer desk? I feel like something has to give here to create a room with some type of balance, along with storage. The credenza may have to find a new room, then you could have desks on the walls, storage next to the fireplace and chairs in front of the fireplace.
    lisaweir thanked curlycook
  • tartanmeup

    I didn't spot doors with frosted glass in your pics but think that's a great idea. Look into closed storage options. I think that will be your best bet in keeping it from looking messy. Books can be quite lovely on bookshelves but binders and miscellaneous office stuff, less so, imho. Good luck. Hope you keep up posted on your progress. It's one of the lovelier rooms I've seen posted here. :)

    lisaweir thanked tartanmeup
  • curlycook
    After looking at photos on this site, I found this possible configuration.
    https://www.houzz.com/photos/transitional-home-office-transitional-home-office-miami-phvw-vp~6218149
    lisaweir thanked curlycook
  • lisaweir

    Love this and possibly built ins are the way to go. We were hoping to stay away from this so that when we sell the house it can be used as music/living room that served a function for us and our early days of my now violinist.

  • tartanmeup

    You can get the look of built-ins with freestanding furniture if that's better for you, long term.

  • lisaweir

    Writing desk behind the folding table.and it is 56" It is a sligh and matches credenza Shelf does come off my husbands desk and it is 60' . Credenza is 60" . I could get another hutch to go on top of Credenza to balance. This is why I was thinking writing desk in center of room?


  • lisaweir

    I also forgot to mention that I have two weddings this year for all of you that have gone through this process and how the budget gets shifted;


  • Mrs Pete

    Stop, stop ... you have not yet addressed Question 1: What function do you need from this study?

    What type of work do you do in this study? I mean, a photographer who makes phone calls uses a laptop for Photoshop doesn't have the same needs as an architect who needs to print out big blueprints.

    Will you use this study for any other purposes? Crafts, gift wrapping, printing, recharging?

    Do you need storage for books, files, computer disks? Do you need secure, locking storage?

    What type of seating do you need? Just desk chairs, or a sofa too? Would either of you want to sit in a recliner with a laptop to work?

    Do you need any specialized lighting?

    Do you need electrical outlets (or specialized electronics of any type) beyond the typical?

    Do either of you need quiet for phone calls?

    If you don't map out what you want, you're not likely to end up with what you need!


    lisaweir thanked Mrs Pete
  • apple_pie_order

    Swap the credenza and computer desk with hutch. Put the etagere bookcase in the left alcove. Move your own desk chair over to your desk so you can sit and swivel in it. The two heirloom chairs can go on either side of the big computer desk.


    It will help to take all the decor off the walls while you are rearranging furniture. Once you like the arrangement, then decide what goes on the walls. There's no reason to use exactly the same wall decor, you may want to trade artwork around with things in other rooms. You may be ready to have the mirror over the fireplace, for example.

    lisaweir thanked apple_pie_order
  • PRO
    The Wiese Company

    What a lovely space for a study. I agree that the weight of your husband's desk with the hutch feels heavy especially between the windows. If can remove the hutch do so. I would suggest balancing the desks on opposite walls. Place your desk where the credenza is. Move the credenza to the diddle of the room facing the door and place your two accent chairs facing the fireplace so you can enjoy a fire if the fireplace works. Move the bookcase to the other side of the fireplace to balance the large mirror.


  • lisaweir

    The work done in the study are mostly done in home paperwork and correspondence. I am an adjunct professor at a local community college and do some preparation and storage of books and files from school. I am also officers in several clubs that I keep pertinent records. My husband has a computer hobby and many old versions of computers and hard drives, but uses it mostly to do personal financial work and some at home computer work for his job. We have two recliners that we do laptop computer stuff in our living room, so don't really need. Lighting is a problem, and I may need to get electrician to do some floor sockets that are accessible from basement underneath. Not any real special lighting necessary but only one spot light overhead above fireplace lends to dark room with out other bright lighting for my desk if used in center of room. We only need desk seating but I really like the painted chairs. I am able to shut the doors

    I like symmetry and a mix of traditional and modern decor.

  • anna_682

    Hi Lisa, beautiful room! I love your rug - is the color "natural"? Where did you purchase it? Thanks.

  • lisaweir

    It is natural. I think I purchased on overstocks? My kids and husband hated it and made me move out of den because they did not like the feel under their feet. LOL

  • anna_682

    Thanks. It looks great in your room. :)

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Beautiful room. Love that wall color. What is the color? Seems like you are trying to do too much furniture in this room. Could you post the room dimensions, width of fireplace and depth, where windows and door are located and width if french doors. You need a good scale floor plan. I can do one if you give me measurements. Also measure length and depth of furniture you must keep in this room. With 2 weddings i am sure new furniture is probably not in the cards but since you can install floor plugs a center lawyers type desk with credenzas or wall units could work. I will check back for measurements.
  • lisaweir

    Thanks Flo I also have a top for the Credenza in my sons room that I may use if I need to balance the desk. I moved some around and will send new pic and dimensions.

    The color was on it when I moved in 28 yrs ago and only thing of original house I have kept because I love it too.


    Room is 17' by 15'6"

    french swinging door opening is 6" and centered with 46" on either side

    Fireplace centered with 46" alcove on either side


    My desk is 56"

    Credenza is 60

    His desk is 60"

    Chair is 24"



  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Ok thanks. I have commitments this afternoon, but I will develop a first draft later today. Such beautiful items you have! Yum!
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • lisaweir


    working on some rearranging as suggested.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Lisa- here is possible layout to scale. I had to use pieces from my board that approximate the sizes you posted. They are close but not sure about depth of units. I put desks facing each other slightly toward french doors to accommodate the reading area in front of fireplace. I put a pair of lateral files either side of fireplace with art or mirrors above. (We might need to shop in your house for symmetrical look on fireplace wall.) I didn’t know how the French doors open but bookcases could fit on that wall and it would be hidden from immediate line of sight into the room. Of course assumes floor plugs can be installed in center of space. I want to also try this with credenzas in center and desks on side. Stay tuned! Gotta make dinner for hubby. Be back later.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Color on monitors is completely distorted but I looked for that color and came close with a SW color. I recommend you purchase a Color Muse and getting an app called LRV Color Guru. You can use these tools to get a reading of the color and I can color match it for you. ;) the top color comes very close on screen.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Option 2. Credenzas in center. I will try some other arrangements and see what I can come up with.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Option 3. This lines walls but allows for more open central space. And a better seating area if desired.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Option 4. Here is another option
    Somewhat similar to a photo posted earlier. The length of the credenzas are biggest challenge. Windows limit items on that wall. I also don’t like desk chairs backs facing entry.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Option 5- I think this is my favorite if you need both credenzas and desks etc. i think this could be made to look interesting.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • everdebz

    My job with 3 people,

    2 had facing desks and between them, for privacy an Ikea divider. Different heights and ours might've been 5 feet high. Still let sun in a bit, and kept out glare... some like to see out a window, and some don't care.

    Sorry! but is one of you a "messie" and needing to hide it away from a bit... you know these things, and we don't - yet ?

  • lynartist
    Flo,not sure if Lisa was needing to repaint or why you wanted the paint color. Of course it’s pretty impossible to tell from my phone!! Even the apps from the paint co are not a very good read so I went to my fan decks. As you can see here the actual paint chip from the deck reads differently than the color from the SW app! At any rate, this is the closest I came to the wall color; checked SW& BM.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Lynartist- just was curious and since she said she hadn’t redone in 28 years might need fresh coat at some point. I would get a color consultant to the home. Someone who has a Color Muse to capture exact color. I do love the room with this color.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • lynartist
    Got ya! I don’t think that’s quite the right color. The color on the wall is a tad bit cooler but it is a fairly clean color so the BM classic collection didn’t work at all! I looked at my Farrow & Ball but no go there either! This may have been from another co but looks like a classic colonial color to me.
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • lynartist
    Btw, I agree with your initial assessment; too much furniture in here.
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Haha. I looked at Historical colors too! I tried taking reading with my color muse on monitor. Weird I know. Just playing. I thought the color was a tad toward the green blue hue. So we are close but not quite there.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • lynartist
    These are a few of Hookers larger lateral files. 38” and40”. They would look lovely in the fireplace recesses and store a lot of paperwork while still maintaining a bit of decorum to this beautiful room. Art or mirrors hung over them would look wonderful. I know the credenzas are not wanting to go but if bookcases are added loosing that top of the desk would sure help!
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Yes. Lateral files would create a console cabinet look, be symmetrical and creates space for art. Then if possible, that mirror over the fireplace mantel. Then not sure but need chandelier in middle of ceiling. ;)
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • lynartist
    If there must be two desks with credenzas then I think this floor plan works best. But Flo! Can we not put a lovely round table in the center of the room with some flowers so when you look in from the other rooms it looks nice?!
  • lynartist
    A center table, they can stack books, pull up chairs, have a snack( glass of wine)!...
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Sure can. Just trying to use pieces they are trying to use. Depends on ultimate layout. But here is Option 6! Removed credenzas and added 48” round table between desks. This size is proportional but still leaves 3’ chair movement space between edge of desks and edge of table. With nice size lateral files beside fireplace (38-40” to leave room for baseboard and shoe molding) plus the bookshelf’s it would work. Waiting to see what Lisa’s feedback is to make further changes and adjustments. My only concern with the center table is how cluttered it could get. Without the credenzas, the chairs could slide over to sides for neater look when entertaining. Screen shot is dark. Late night isn’t best time for good photos! Sorry about that.
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • lynartist
    That looks nice Flo. The bookshelves on the back wall that can’t be seen looking in could hold a lot of clutter!
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • lynartist
    I like the use of the two decorative chairs too. Time to purge;)!
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • Hansen
    I would put the computer desk against the opposite wall and put the credenza and mirror between the windows. Surround fireplace with bookshelves. Put a seating arrangement facing the fireplace. Place the writing desk against the wall to the right as you enter the room. And I would look for a rug that compliments the furniture. The existing rug is okay, but perhaps to modern or casual for the room.
    lisaweir thanked Hansen
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    @hansen. Because of windows on wall to right as you come into the room, there is room only for one piece. Shelving either side of fireplace is ok but they need functional bookcase space so the book cases in the wall either side of the French Doors for binders and baskets or decorative containers to stow work materials would be less visually distracting. So that is my rationale based on what I think I know from Lisa. But Lisa, what say you?
    lisaweir thanked Flo Mangan
  • Cheryl Hannebauer

    following....

    lisaweir thanked Cheryl Hannebauer
  • lynartist
    Larger bookcases with storage underneath flanking the entrance would provide an area to hide clutter, give you each your own storage space and maybe be enough to do away with the credenzas. You may have to reimagine this space without some of your existing pieces to make it work well for your purposes.
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • lynartist
    I do realize that Lisa has a couple of weddings coming up and that will be her priority in the coming year! Some of these suggestions can be put off until the time is right! I would also check resale shops for things like bookcases; I have found beautiful ones in years past.once you know what you want your room to look like and how you need it to function you can be on the lookout for great deals! It may take a little longer but can be well worth it!
    lisaweir thanked lynartist
  • lisaweir

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been busy with wedding stuff for the past few days but was so excited to see the possibilities that have been mentioned. Wow! Flo I really like the first drawing and when I get my two boys home I will try these configurations out. I did find a matching etagere for $80 in Atlanta that I will pick up in March on way to shower for one of mine and now have two of those. I can use them at fireplace or on other side in back.


    My carpenter that has been working on the doors and I put on hold due to he was

    occupying the space recently and had to add recessed magnets to keep the doors approximating.

    I will put our desk in the center and try this. I will then try the credenza in the center. I have another hutch upstairs and two bookcases in my sons room that I will unload and try on the walls behind the door. The fireplace is not a real working fireplace. My husband had suggested that I take it out and put bookcases along the whole wall at some future date.

    My husband is messy and we need to get rid of quite a bit of his stuff that does not "spark any Joy" in my life.

  • lisaweir

    I only have the one credenza and it is not finished on the back so I can't use it i center as a singleton.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Great time to "purge" hubbies stuff. Get yourself some clear plastic file type bins. Organize his "stuff" and label the plastic boxes and store them on site or off site. I practically guarantee you, he won't need anything in those boxes! I say this from personal experience. It is so hard to get rid of this stuff. I always think I'm going to need something. There are only rare instances, when I need something I "saved" and then finding it in a timely manner is quite a "mission". Like Mission Impossible! lol In fact, as I am writing this, I have a plan to go through everything in my office since we moved in. I really purged before we moved, but I am aware that I have only used in the 5 months since we moved in here about 25% of the things in the closed storage in this room. So, more "purging" is needed. This will encourage me to get into those storage areas! I am sure we can make the room look great and function well for you. I would NOT remove the fireplace. It is the one thing that you see when looking into the room and it creates a great warm vibe.

  • tartanmeup

    Another vote to KEEP that fireplace!! :D Please. It makes the room.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).