The home office, once A luxury, is now an absolute necessity in an age of nomadic telecommuters, home-based entrepreneurs, online bill payers, instant messaging–obsessed kids, and closet creatives. In fact, many would argue that one office is not enough.

Some new homeowners in our study confessed to having converted their living rooms into computer workstations where kids could do homework and parents could pay bills without straying too far from the core of family activity. Others who tele-commuted part time, ran home-based businesses, or aspired to more artistic endeavors said they craved quiet space away from the chaos. Said one research participant: “I need to be able to have a business conversation without any background noise.”

The best solution for satisfying these conflicting wishes? The Reality House offers multiple dedicated work zones, including a quiet study off the beaten path and a small home office right in the thick of things.

“We envisioned the study as a rich, masculine space made for an attorney or investor,” says Michelle Reich, of The Interiors Group, “whereas the catchall home office next to the family room is for the stay-at-home mom. We pictured her as someone who's very involved in her kids' activities, school volunteering, and perhaps charitable work in the community. She likes to try new recipes and maybe does a little scrapbooking on the side.”

For artists, musicians, or woodworkers who want to get away from it all, a detached studio in the backyard provides the ultimate escape.

MEET THE REALITY HOME TEAM

INTERIOR DESIGNERS: The Interiors Group team, from left to right: Alex Matamoros, interior designer; Michelle Reich, president; Carmen Howe, interior designer; Julie Morgan, vice president. Not pictured: Jennifer Lebenson, interior designer.
INTERIOR DESIGNERS: The Interiors Group team, from left to right: Alex Matamoros, interior designer; Michelle Reich, president; Carmen Howe, interior designer; Julie Morgan, vice president. Not pictured: Jennifer Lebenson, interior designer.

ARCHITECTS: The Looney Ricks Kiss team, from left to right: Carson Looney, principal in charge of residential architecture; Preston Bussard, project architect; Chris Haley, project manager. Not pictured:



Mark Jones, associate principal.
ARCHITECTS: The Looney Ricks Kiss team, from left to right: Carson Looney, principal in charge of residential architecture; Preston Bussard, project architect; Chris Haley, project manager. Not pictured: Mark Jones, associate principal.

BUILDERS: The Issa Homes team, from left to right: Jeff Marchell, vice president; Leslie Carlton, project superintendent; Don Hempel, vice president. Not pictured: Francis Issa, president and founder.
BUILDERS: The Issa Homes team, from left to right: Jeff Marchell, vice president; Leslie Carlton, project superintendent; Don Hempel, vice president. Not pictured: Francis Issa, president and founder.

  

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.