Pocket offices: The latest trend in new homes


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One of the biggest trends in new residential design, according to the National Assn. of Home Builders, is the pocket office — a small space devoted to paying bills, budgeting and other household affairs.

Pocket offices generally are about half the size of a formal home office. They’re often set up in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen or a great room, where family members interact. In the Ojai home of Kurtis and Wanda Weller Sakai, Kurtis’ separate work room is complemented by an alcove pocket office that Wanda uses just off the living room, shown above.


Given the shrinking size of technology — from desktop computer to laptop and now to tablet — a large home office no longer makes sense for many households. That’s been particularly true in this real estate slump, which has forced families to make the most of limited space rather than trade up to a larger home. Another factor driving the trend: the growth of multigenerational living. Bedrooms that in years past would have been converted into home offices are increasingly being used as living quarters for extended family.

Tell us about your office setup. Do you have a work space cleverly carved out in some corner of your home? In a guest house? Send us your photos.


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-- Lisa Boone

Top photo: Wanda Weller Sakai and son Arley in a workspace set up in an alcove off the living room. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times