According to the National Association of Home Builders, one of the biggest trends in new residential design is the “pocket office”. The pocket office is a compact area with a desk space that is dedicated to managing the home through bill paying, scheduling, etc. But is this really a new trend?
I remember my mother had a built-in desk in the kitchen that served as the family command center. It housed the family master calendar, the telephone and the now archaic answering machine. It was the location where any scheduling, bill paying, or communication took place. My mother’s built-in desk would qualify as a “pocket office,” and she was clearly very ahead of her time : )
But what the NAHB is saying is not that pocket offices are a new trend but that home owners are moving away from the idea of dedicated home offices as a separate room in the house. Instead home owners are more inclined to incorporate the home office into another room.
As technology has simplified tasks, made us less reliant on paper, and maybe even made us more organized, the space requirements for home offices have arguably decreased. Aside from needing a smaller space, I very much connect with the idea of incorporating the home office into the kitchen or family area. I find it much more appealing to pay bills or read boring documents when there are people or other forms of entertainment nearby. Some may disagree with me because they prefer more solitude for such tasks. But the pocket office can definitely be an efficient use of space. Here are some examples that I find attractive and functional: