Ask Design Mom: Making Computers Look Cool

May 23, 2007

Hi Gabrielle, I have a question. How do you make computers look attractive? My husband has two computers that we “have to keep” and they’re out in the open (not tucked in an office), so I just wonder how do you make computer stations look neat and clean and cool? Any ideas would be great. Thanks, Sarah

Design Mom Answer:
Work stations can be tricky, Sarah. Thanks for the question. I think part of your answer (neat and clean and cool) is actually in your question. Keeping the area around your computer neat and clean will have a huge impact about how you feel about the space.

As far as cool goes, you have a few options. High-tech hardware seems to look most at home in a very modern or industrial setting. If modern furniture appeals to you, take the computers as inspiration and consider making the entire room a Moma-looking-haven. Or maybe just make the computer area a bit more up-to-date with a clean white or silver desk. A fabulous desk chair with contemporary lines. A lamp with a modern shape.

If the computers really bug you, another option is to pretend for a moment that the computers aren’t there. Make the space lovely — just the way you want it — and then reintroduce the computers. If you love the rest of the room, the computers probably won’t bother you so much.

And if that still doesn’t work. Consider an Office in an Armoire like this one from an old issue of Living.

How do you solve this dilemma in your homes, Dear Readers?

image via west elm

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Huckaby Fam May 23, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Our eat-in kitchen holds our office, so I hear ya! Although we’ve not “solved” the problem, we have done a few things to make the area feel less out of place.

First thing: we got a desk. A real desk. It is sturdy with thick wood sides and drawers. Storage is underneath the desk, out of sight.

Second thing: We made the computer as “cute” as possible. We used family pictures done by a photographer friend of mine as the wallpaper and made a slide show for the screen saver. That way, it’s sort of like a virtual picture frame. Sort of.

Third: The space is extremely well-organized. Pens and loose papers have a place to contain them. Use a vintage lunch box, a cigar box, whatever fits your style.

If, of course, you have/want the option of closing the beloved computer away, you can always shop for furniture that can hide it. Might a really cool antique secretary work?


2 tarantula411 May 24, 2007 at 12:26 am

Thanks, Huckaby Fam blogger, for the wonderful tips! I will definitely take them to task and start sprucing up these darn computers! Thanks again. Appreciate the whole comment!


3 Kate May 25, 2007 at 1:43 pm

I frequent It’s a site DesignMom loves and I’m
hooked on it too. On it, the often suggest making slipcovers for the
monitors in our dwelllings. You choose the fabric, and you measure out
the dimensions of those pesky monitors. The slipcover goes over the
monitor the same way a fancy car is covered to protect it from the
elements while it sits in the driveway. I personall like patterns that
aren’t too feminine and aren’t too masculine. Tiny dotted fabrics look
good, as do small calicos and really abstract, splashy-slashy prints
with lots of color. I like tie-dye fabrics too.


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