Three home-office centers carve space from other rooms

As computers become the norm for doing homework, many parents want to supervise their children as they surf the Web ― some even miss helping kids with assignments. The home-office setups on these two pages address this change in different ways, ranging from retrofitting a hall closet to designing multifunctional workstations in or adjoining the kitchen.

All tuck into rooms that get plenty of traffic. In addition, each uses durable, easy-to-clean work surfaces that coordinate with surrounding rooms. The stations also double as message centers for notes, to-do lists, or a calendar.

Blend the workspace with its surroundings and keep it free of clutter.

Consider enclosing a home office in an armoire or closet, adding a phone jack and outlets.

Use file cabinets designed as furniture.

Buy decorative containers or shelves for extra storage that looks stylish.

Provide good task lighting, such as under shelves, or consider a lamp that doesn’t look too officey.

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