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Home Work.

Home office cabinetry offers built-in solutions.

IN THE OPENING SCENE OF "THE FLINTstones" cartoon, Fred Flintstone hears the whistle blow, slides off his dinosaur, jumps in his car, and races homee from a hard day's work. Once work is over, it's over.

This is how many of us would like to end our workday. However, that scenario is as archaic as Fred himself. In today's work-world, quittin' time is often well past five o'clock, and many workers leave their offices only to find themselves still working when they get home.

According to a survey by the International Data Corp., more than 36 million people work from home at least part time. Each year, this number grows by about 6 percent. With more companies adopting "work at home" policies, the numbers are expected to increase.

Interestingly enough, of those who work from home, many do not have separate work areas. A recent study by the Kiemle Co., a market research firm, showed that 44 percent of people working from home either part time or full time do not have designated home office spaces. A good portion of people come home to work at their kitchen tables or couches, thus opening themselves up to distractions like kids and TV.

SPACE-SAVING SOLUTIONS

Regardless of the type of office, consumers have options but may not be aware of them. Ready-to-assemble furniture sold in local home centers and office supply stores is an easy solution. Simply purchase, assemble, and you're ready to work.

However, some cabinet companies offer built-in, space-saving solutions specifically created for home offices. Manufacturers are designing cabinetry that houses computers, keyboards, monitors, files, and books. This allows the homeowner to customize and match the office space to the rest of the house.

A part-time office can be built into the family room or kitchen, providing a space for paying bills, searching the Internet, or doing homework. As open floor plan designs become more popular in new homes, a sense of continuity and cohesion in the interior is important because multiple rooms are visible at once. According to Kim Craig, PR manager at KraftMaid Cabinetry "Having cabinets in your office allows you to match the finish or door style in the kitchen or the entertainment center."

Typically those who dedicate a whole room for working at home are telecommuters or business owners. They convert bedrooms, dens, or basements for greater privacy within the home environment. Craig adds, "Cabinets offer that built-in look. You have more flexibility with the space itself, as well as versatility in finishes, colors, door styles, and wood types." A full-timer is going to spend a large portion of his or her time in this office, so customization may be a priority.

BUILDERS AND BUYERS

The popularity of home offices is still growing, and many first-time buyers may not realize the benefits of having space for filing cabinets and computers. But once they see it, they want it. "Customers always want the built-in home office that's available in the model," says Bob Halso, Midwest group president for Puke Homes. Pulte has teamed up with Merilat to offer home office cabinetry in some of Pulte's new homes.

Mark Conde, product manager for Yorktowne Cabinets, says, "Second-time buyers are realizing the need for designated work spaces." They've already purchased houses without home offices and have seen their importance. So the second time around, they demand additional workspaces.

In addition, many consumers are moving less often, so investing in a few amenities up front, like a home office, makes more sense over the long run. The buyer doesn't have to pay a lump sum for a home office's cabinetry or amenities. He or she can roll it into the mortgage. This eases the blow on the buyer's finances and helps increase the builder's profits.

SPACE STATION: The Amera computer office tower is a stand-alone workstation. It includes adjustable shelves, pocket doors, a file drawer in the bottom section, spaces for the monitor and printer, and a space for a tower-type CPU. The system also includes a natural maple pull-out keyboard platform. Merillat. 800-575-8763. www.merillat.com. Circle no. 108.

KEY ELEMENT: Designed to match or complement all of the company's Signature, Classic, and Premier door styles, the 36-inch wide keyboard drawer unit features a drop-down drawer front that protects and stores the keyboard. The 1/2-inch thick plywood pull-out tray slides out on a side-mounted glide system. The tray can be trimmed to 30-inches wide. Yorktowne. 800-777-0065. www.yorktowneinc.com. Circle no. 109.

REGAL ELEGANCE: These solid hickory raised-panel doors are shown in the company's sunset finish. Storage cabinets with glass doors and glass shelves flank the center bookcase. The combination crown and wide dentil molding, along with fluted columns and dentil strips, adds an elegant flair. KraftMaid. 888-562-7744. www.kraftmaid.com. Circle no. 110.
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Title Annotation:cabinetry for home offices, office furniture
Author:MILANO, SCOTT
Publication:Builder
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Words:802
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