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Ideas for Designing Office Cabinets

Custom Computer Desk

Photo from http://cheyennemillwork.com

There are several ideas that I have about designing your home or business office cabinets. Designs should always have a well-thought-out plan for the computer equipment and file storage.

  • How many file drawers do you need?
  • Where will you hide all of the computer equipment wires?
  • Do you need locks on your drawers? If so, how many?
  • Do you want to have hidden magnet locks on the drawers?
  • Where will you attach the power strip?


A well-thought-out office plan is a must when you are designing the cupboards and counter-top layout.
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Make a List

Take time to make a list of all of the things that you use in your home or business office prior to designing the cupboards. When you are meeting with your cabinet manufacturer, go over the list as you are determining the layout of things. This will benefit you greatly in the end. The last thing you want is to not have a place to store the fire safe-safe, a case of copy paper or boxes of extra file folders.

Your Countertop
Really, the only thing I have to say about the countertop design is make sure that you strategically plan for where the hole sockets will be installed for your electrical cords to drop through. You should have enough gourmets installed to accommodate computer wires, calculators, speaker cables, televisions (if you watch TV in the office) and the holes must be in-line with your electrical outlets.

These plastic inserts are available in many different sizes, shapes and colors. Determine what style it is that you want, prior to having the countertops built. Some cutouts are easier to do while the tops are being manufactured rather than on the job when the desk area is being installed.

Don’t wait until later to install these hole grommets when everything in your new home is clean because it’s a dusty job to install them.

Power Strips
Consider having an area inside of your base cabinets to house the power strips that you will need to plug all of your computer equipment into. The less wires and plugs that are seen, the better things will look in your home or business office. Holes can be drilled through the sides of cabinets (up high) for wires to run through certain areas so that they will not be hidden.

Locks on File Drawers
Designing office cabinets to have locks installed on  some of the file drawers  is a must when having custom cupboards built. Even if you don’t think you will use them, get them installed anyway while the cabinets are being built. It will cost less now than it will at a later date to have them put in.

If you are purchasing your desk  ready made (assembling cabinets from a box) and they are not equipped with locks already, installing locks in cabinet drawers is not a difficult task. If you are not handy or don’t have the proper tools, hire a cupboard installer to handle the project.

Child Proof Cabinet Locks
This is a great time to decide if you will need to keep the little ones out of the cabinets with magnet locks for cabinet  doors. The sooner you decide what type of child-proof locks will be installed, the better off you will be. This way you can discuss your choice of with your cupboard manufacture to make sure your selection will work with their box designs.

File Drawer Rail Storage System
What kind of rails for hanging files will you be using? Will you need letter or legal sized file drawers?

Design the Office With Plenty of Drawers
Drawers are more desirable in base cabinets than adjustable shelves are in most office designs.  Actually,  in kitchens and bathroom vanities they are more desirable than doors with adjustable shelves as well.

A word of caution though, if you are working on a tight budget, having a lot of drawers may not fit into your financial plans for the office.

One of the top  priorities I have, when designing business office layouts or a working cupboard plan for the home, is working out the details for how all of the wiring will be hidden.  It takes extra time and money when assembling a final plan that houses the wires nicely. In my opinion, it’s worth spending a little extra to have things look nicer around the office or house.

These ideas come from over thirty years of custom manufacturing cabinets and counters for residential homes and commercial businesses. Designing office desks and cabinets can be challenging at times, but by following our ideas,  you will have a much better chance at getting everything you need included in your office design.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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