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DESIGNER FAQs: Office Storage Furniture
How do I decide what office storage furniture to buy?
Start by matching the type of office storage furniture to the things you need to store or display:
- File cabinet(s) for papers and file folders
- Bookcases for books, binders, and journals
- Display shelves or glass-door display cabinets for awards, photos, and mementos
- Wood-door cabinets or base cabinets with drawers for office supplies and odds and ends (the top of a base cabinet or file cabinet can also make a perfect spot for a printer)
Then, take a look at how much space you need for the items you want to store. If your current file cabinets aren’t large enough, then buy file cabinets to both replace what you already have and add extra storage space. If you’re storing binders and photos in cardboard boxes in the corner, then plan for enough shelf space to bring those items out of boxes and onto your bookcases or into your cabinets.
What types of file cabinets can I buy from Ethan Allen?
At Ethan Allen, we sell standalone file cabinets, along with file cabinets that double as base cabinets within our office storage systems. File drawers may span the lower width of a bookcase or glass-door cabinet, or we may offer a base cabinet with one or two smaller storage drawers on top and one file drawer beneath.
Regardless of whether they’re standalone cabinets or part of an office storage system, all our file cabinets accommodate letter-size filing systems. Some accommodate legal-size files; check the Product Details and Additional Details sections of each file cabinet’s product page, for more information. If you still have questions, click our Designer Chat button anytime, or call or email your local Design Center to get more information.
What about placement? Where should my office storage cabinets go in relation to my desk and desk chair?
Store the things that you use most often closest to your desk, and place those infrequently used but necessary file cabinets further away.
Also, consider traffic flow and clearance as you plan out your office storage space.
- Make sure traffic paths through your office space allow about 18" from side to side for walking around.
- Make sure you leave plenty of clearance space around your storage furniture. For a file cabinet, make sure you leave a space equal to the depth of the cabinet—plus some room for you!—so you can pull out the file drawers with ease.
- Leave about 18" of space in front of bookshelves and display cabinets.
- If you place your storage units behind your desk, leave clearance PLUS enough room to push back and turn your desk chair freely. We suggest a minimum of 3' of separation.
We recommend using our 3D Room Planner, where you can enter your home office space’s measurements and then drop in 3D renderings of storage pieces and more. You can save your home office 3D room plan to shop from, or you can email it to one of our designers if you want to collaborate with a professional (the service is complimentary).
You can also download our EA inHome® app to see renderings of our office furniture in your space, using your mobile device’s camera. The measurements won’t be exact to the millimeter, but they’ll give you a good idea of whether something will fit and how the scale of the piece will compare to your existing furniture. If you have questions, you can email an Ethan Allen interior designer in your area; it only takes a few taps, right from the app.
I don’t have a separate home office; I have a desk in a corner of my living room, and I’m hoping to add office storage furniture around it. Do you have any tips for an area like that?
The same comments about traffic flow and clearance (see the previous question) will apply no matter where your office storage furniture lives. As you measure and plan the space, keep in mind not only the depth of the furniture but also the clearance and traffic flow space you’ll need to leave around it.
If your home office is sharing another room, then from a design perspective, we recommend avoiding cheap laminate pieces or particle board storage pieces you’d get from an office supply store or furniture warehouse. Choose high-quality pieces that will coordinate with the finishes, colors, and materials that you already have within the space, so that the home office looks like part of the existing room.
Also, you may like placing an open bookcase or display shelf on one or more sides of your office space. These office storage pieces can double as room dividers that will make your home office feel like its own separate nook, even if it’s in a corner of your living room, dining room, or bedroom.
Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!