When you work from home, you have the freedom to set your desk up however you like to maximize space and efficiency, especially when you do not have a lot of square footage to dedicate to a large home office. A popular open concept choice is to put an office desk in the middle of the room instead of against a wall. However, this method brings up one important question: how do you hide the cords when the desk is in the middle of the room?
You can hide your cords even with your desk in the middle of the room by taking advantage of or installing new power outlets on the floor. When complex electrical renovations are not possible, gather cords in bunches. Use clever out-of-sight cord paths and power supplies to conceal cords.
Cord management is one of the most important elements of a tidy home office desk. A mess of cables is not only an eyesore, but it can pose a dangerous trip hazard or a tempting threat for pets and babies. You might think that a middle-of-the-room office setup is too complicated, but that’s not true. With the right tools, you can hide unsightly cords no matter where your desk is set up.
What You’ll Need to Hide Office Cords
To hide office electrical cords when your desk is in the middle of the room, you will need the proper equipment. There are several useful cable management systems to choose from, all of which will make hiding power cables much easier. Consider purchasing the following desk cable management accessories:
- Cord tape
- Cable clips
- Cable ties
- Cord covers
- Cable box organizer
- Cable management tray
- Extension cords
- Power strips
Cord tape, clips, and zip ties work well to keep tangled cords from forming. One of the biggest challenges for a home office, regardless of where your desk is situated, is ugly cords hanging every which way. If you have multiple cords that you are trying to hide, attach them using cord tape, clips, or ties. You can use duct tape, but clips and ties are less messy and less likely to leave a residue.
Cord covers, cable boxes, and cable trays keep your cords out of sight on and under your desk, even if it is smack dab in the middle of your room. Using the cable wrap items above, it’s much easier to keep them contained in one of these organizers. Additionally, these types of cord storage give you more desk space.
Extension cords and power strips are essential for plugging in your electronics when your office is in the center of the room. You might have outlets on the floor near your desk, but that is not always the case for most people. A power strip allows you to plug in your essentials underneath your desk where your cords are unseen. An extension cable allows you to plug your power strip into a nearby outlet.
Now that you know what you need to hide your cords, you can get started on hiding them. If you are performing an office makeover and moving your desk to the center of the room for the first time, having a plan in place will make it infinitely easier. You don’t want to have all your items set up to realize you don’t know where to plug them in.
Identify the Outlet You Are Going to Use
A desk in the middle of the room gives an untethered feel to the entire space. Unfortunately, you still need to plug your monitor, desktop, printer, charging cables, and whatever other cords you’ll use daily into an outlet. This doesn’t have to change your open concept dynamic, though. Get creative with the outlets in the room and your cord management.
When your desk is in the middle of a room, plugging your cords into a power outlet becomes a bit trickier than when your desk is up against a wall. There are two main routes you can choose from when plugging your power cables into an outlet: use electrical outlets on the floor near your desk, or use the closest available wall outlet to your desk.
Electrical Outlets in the Floor
When you need to hide cords from a desk in the middle of the room, the best way is to use electrical outlets on the floor. The downside of this method is that most people do not have electrical outlets in the middle of their floors.
You can hire a professional electrician to install a floor outlet and outlet box in your floor, but that’s easier said than done. Unless you have a basement or crawl space underneath the room where your desk is located, wiring electricity to a new floor outlet will be a lot of work. There will be demolition and renovation involved, no matter how simple the project looks on its face.
In most cases, you probably won’t want to shell out the time and expense to install outlets in your home office floor. However, when this is an option, it is definitely the ideal choice.
Closest Available Electrical Outlet
For those without outlets on the floor next to our desk, you need only choose the nearest available outlet. Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean cords will drape half a mile across the floor. Even when plugging your cables into the wall, you can still hide them using the cord management options listed above.
Decide where you want your desk to sit. Locate the nearest available outlet. Ensure the outlet is in working order. Voila: you have your outlet chosen.
Determine Where Your Equipment Needs to be Placed
The location of your wall outlet might determine where your office equipment needs to be placed. For example, if your available electrical outlet is located in a strange, awkward corner of the room, it might be best to have your monitor and desktop on that side of your desk, so the cords do not have to stretch across the surface of your desk. That will just add more visible cords for you to have to hide.
However, if your power cord and/or extension cords are long enough, your outlet’s location might not make too much of a difference. Additionally, if your desk has a hole through which you can feed cords, you will not have to worry about cords taking up precious desk space. Some people prefer to use a table rather than a desk. In this case, cutting your own cord hole in the table is useful.
Determine the Ideal Cable Path from Desk to Outlet
Consider the best path from your office desk to the power outlet. Will a straight shot across the floor work best, or will you be running cords along the baseboards? You have choices!
If you want to keep a large rug in the office, you have the option of letting your power strip cable run down the desk leg and underneath the rug. You can use a power strip with a long cord, or you can attach your power strip to an extension cord. If you use a rolling chair, you will want to add a plastic mat between your chair and the rug for maximum mobility.
Cover your cord with a cord protector, so it does not become damaged or frayed underneath the rug. Keep in mind that this method will add a slight bump underneath your rug, so keep it out of the path of foot traffic to avoid tripping.
Gather Your Cords and Mount Everything
You have a few things to mount:
- Your cable box
- Your cable clips
- Your cable management tray
- Your cable raceway cover
- Your power strip
- Any decor or items designed to hide cords further
You might not be using all of these items, but you should be using most of them.
Set all your equipment up on your desk. Gather your cables together. Try to use as few cables as possible. You want to stick with the necessities. Bundle cables together using ties or tape. Additionally, if cords have extra length you don’t need, bundle the excess cord.
Mount your cable management box or tray underneath your desk. This will ensure your cables are going in the right direction without getting unruly. Use plenty of clips, ties, and tape to keep your cords attached to the underside of your desk where you cannot see them.
Mount your power strip to the underside of your desk and plug your essential cords into it. Run the power strip cable or the extension cord cable down the leg of the desk. You can use several zip ties or cable ties to achieve this.
If you are running your cords towards a baseboard, consider utilizing the cord raceway for optimum concealment. If you are running cords across the floor, you can use a cord protector and rug.
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