Most families could use a home office; even if no one works from home on a regular basis, a home office provides a great space to take care of household business and other tasks. Many times a home office is set up in a spare bedroom, but if there is no extra bedroom space available, you may think you don’t have the room for a home office. However, if you have the two-story home, the area at the top of your stairs could be a perfect location for a home office. This space is often wasted, but we’ll show you how to turn it into a functional and useful home office.

Why this Space works so Well

If you don’t have a spare room to use as a dedicated office, you may try squeezing a home office into another room, like a family room or your bedroom. However this is not always ideal: Distractions in spaces like family rooms from televisions, music and family interaction can make it difficult to get work done. Many feng shui experts advise against combining home office space with a bedroom because the influence of work, bills and deadlines will interfere with positive energy and your ability to rest. Conversely, the space at the top of the stairs is convenient, offers some privacy and doesn’t interfere with other needs or activities.

Areas at the top of stairways are often decorated with small items of furniture, such as console tables, loveseats or chairs. If there is a window, you may already have a window seat that makes the area bright and attractive. While a window seat or many other furniture arrangements may look nice, you may find that you really don’t use the space very much. Think about the space a little differently: If you already have room for a table or other furniture, you probably have room for a desk, and you are well on your way to creating a home office.

Designing the Home Office Space

Before you settle on a desk for space, measure the area and draw it to scale on a piece of graph paper. Be sure to include locations of window and doors and note if any areas include short walls or sloped ceilings. You will need a location that allows you sit or stand up without bumping your head and in many cases aligning the desk along the wall offers the greatest amount of headroom because your chair will be away from the wall; it also helps to keep the walkway open and clear. Desks that are not particularly deep are often good choices, or a corner desk may work best for your space. If there is enough room, you may prefer a computer armoire that hides your computer, your desk area and filing drawers all behind a handsome set of furniture doors.

In addition to finding the right desk with the right layout, you also need to give some forethought to lighting and wall outlets. If there are no outlets conveniently located, it’s wise to hire an electrician to install them for you. Instead of a desk lamp or floor lamp, you may also want to have the electrician hard wire a wall lamp. This will not only light your work area, but it will also free up desk or floor space. Don’t skimp and try to use extension cords because these could cause a tripping or fire hazard.