Locating your workspace in a separate room, like Mike Brady’s den office in The Brady Bunch, has certain advantages over a basement office. In some newer model homes, the area that once would have automatically been designated as the dining room is now being outfitted as an office as well. Either option offers some advantages over the basement office. First of all, you don’t have to walk up or down any stairs to get there. Second, you may not have to deal with temperature, humidity, and cell reception issues. Third, assuming that most basements are at least partially below ground level, a den with a window would provide natural light. Depending on the layout of the house, the den can be separated from the flow of traffic, yet be near enough so that amenities (food, coffee, rest room) are within easy reach. The downside is that it may not be separate enough and may be too close to living quarters. So you might be pressed into service to resolve a family crisis or find out who broke Mom’s favorite vase (yes, we are overly preoccupied with 1960s/1970s TV sitcoms). Anyway, a family room, parlor, or sitting room may be easily converted into an office.
Advantages: Potentially separate and quiet, yet close to rest of living quarters. Cell and wireless network reception can be better than in a basement. Availability of natural lighting.
Disadvantages: May not be far enough from loud, distracting living quarters. May be aesthetically unappealing, especially if the rest of the house was decorated with a consistent look or style.
In the next couple of posts, we’ll look at some second-tier options.