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Home Office Buying Guide: How to Get the Perfect Desk [2022]

Whether you want to create a professional space for a small business or simply need your own area to pay the bills, an office can be an easy addition to any home. As you determine how you’ll set up your office, however, it’s important to remember that the furnishings have a serious impact on whether or not you use it – and how much you get done. Your desk is the center of the home office, so it’s important to understand everything that goes into choosing the right one. Here, we’ll explain a few things to keep in mind as you select a new desk to create a home office that inspires your best work.

Measuring Your Home Office

Many people begin the process by collecting plenty of ideas for your home office, from color schemes to a Pinterest board of decorating inspiration. This is a great place to start, but you’ll also need to know the size of the space to choose furniture and create a layout.

To get started, grab graph paper and a tape measure. Measure each side of the room and note the dimensions. After you determine how many squares on the graph paper will equal one foot, you can sketch out your home office. Don’t forget to account for windows, doorways and other features that affect furniture placement. In general, you should allow up to 3-1/2 feet behind your desk so you can push out your chair without colliding with walls and furnishings.

You can now begin adding furniture to the layout grid. Check the dimensions of the desks you’re interested in to make sure they’re the right size for the space and won’t block any entrances, closets or heat vents.

A layout on graph paper that gives an idea of how a person can design their home office on paper before shopping for furniture.
Using graph paper can help you create a room layout for your home office that will ensure everything will fit.

How to Choose a Desk that Fits You

Now that you know the desk size that will work best for your space, you can focus how your desk will fit you.

Just as you won’t sit in an uncomfortable chair, you probably won’t use a desk that causes you discomfort. To create a home office you’ll want to spend time in, use these guidelines.

  • A desktop that sits about 30 inches from the floor is about the average height for most people. However, if you’re taller than average, additional clearance will be more comfortable. A standing desk, like the one pictured at the start of this blog, has a smooth operating motor and programmable presets for the ideal amount of leg room, no matter what height you are.
  • When seated, your eyes should fall about two inches from the top of your monitor’s frame to prevent neck pain and straining.
  • The height of your desk should allow your hands to sit flat on the keyboard. At the same time, your elbows should bend at a 90 degree angle and rest close to the body.
  • Your desk should be large enough for a monitor or laptop screen to sit at least 20 inches from your face.
A split screen photo showing a woman at a standing desk with call outs the basics of Adjustable height desk proper posture.
Whether sitting at a desk or standing, many of the same guidelines apply, including the level and distance the monitor should be from your eyes and the angle of your arm and wrist.

Getting the Workspace and Storage You Need

Two other size concerns will affect your work on a daily basis: how much room you’ll have to work in and how much storage your desk will provide.

When it comes to surface area, it’s all about how you’ll use it. If you rely on a laptop for work and rarely use documents, a smaller surface provides ample room. For those who spread out paperwork and/or use a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse, more surface area is needed. To avoid feeling crowded, choose a slightly larger desktop than you think you need. Remember, you will also want space for accessories that hold supplies, photos, file trays, and the like.

A tall white bookcase with storage areas of different sizes, some with wood tone back panels.
A bright bookcase offers style and storage for books, décor, and extra office supplies.

If you’re working with a small home office space, you can rely on alternative storage solutions to keep your desktop clear and minimize the amount of room needed. Consider a compact filing cabinet for your paperwork or store supplies, a printer, and decorative accents in bookcases. An accent cabinet makes a great printer stand with storage inside for all your office essentials.

Standing Desks for the Home Office

Many people struggle to stay active, and that’s doubly true during the workday. What can you do when there’s no time for a walk? Standing desks, like the one pictured above, can help you reduce time spent sitting and get the blood flowing. They’re also a good alternative for people who find it hard to sit for long periods of time. If standing all day sounds uncomfortable, don’t worry – most standing desks offer an adjustable design that lets you quickly transition from seated to standing positions. That way, you can take a seat when needed and stand up whenever convenient. Also, getting an anti-fatigue Wellness Mat® to go with your adjustable height desk will make it feel like you’re standing on a cloud when you are on your feet.

A top view of a standing desk with an anti-fatigue standing mat underneath and a laptop open on the desktop, as well as a cup of coffee and a notepad.
A premium anti-fatigue mat is a great way to make standing at your new desk an easy transition.

Home Office Style: A Modern or Traditional Desk?

Now that you understand how to choose a comfortable desk in the right size, it’s time for the fun part: the look of your home office. If you’re using a multipurpose space, like a guest bedroom or family room, it’s best to match the look of the existing décor for a sense of harmony. When you have a full room to work with, however, you have much more flexibility.

For a functional, contemporary look, the Twin Star Home® Standing Desk with Charging Station offers a great choice. Clean lines and bright white finish are right at home in a modern studio, while the llumitouch™ seamless control panel appears when needed and fades after use to maintain for a sleek profile. While this desk is perfect for anyone trying to conserve space, its partitioned drawer keeps everything you need close by – even a small laptop.

If elegance is a top priority, you can’t go wrong with the Tedford Adjustable Glass Standing Desk. A boat-shape silhouette with a gleaming glass top and cherry stain on the sides offers a sophisticated look to set the tone for a productive day. Complementing the desk’s classic appearance, high-tech features include a timer that reminds you to stand, smooth motorized operation, and three USB ports that keep your go-to devices powered.

A home office with a striking blue wall and a standing desk with black glass top and cherry finished sides.
A sleek and sophisticated standing desk for a more elegant look.

Start Creating Your Home Office Now

With help from our buying guide, the only hard thing about choosing a home office desk is narrowing down your choices. Once you do, you’ll have a comfortable place to work that makes the office your favorite spot at home.

Looking for even more style inspiration for your home? Browse Twin Star Home by style to find the perfect look for your home.

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