I just got finished laying engineering hardwood in the foyer and living room and there’s only one room left –my office/dining room/library. The front room of my house is having an identity crisis and frankly, it’s stressing me out.

As a mom who works at home part of the time, I need to have my office in the middle of the madness. This means I can hear everything when I need to hear it – especially at night when little boys have bad dreams while mom’s working. I like to be on the ground floor of our two-story house so that I can monitor the dogs, the kitchen and the doors. This preference rules out any rooms upstairs including a spare room that is being used as my husband’s office for now and soon a guest room when he moves into the “man cave” to be closer to his aquarium.

I only have a few spots to pick from downstairs that can handle my two monitors, my laptop stand and my writer sprawl and be appropriate. I picked what seemed like the best – the dining room. After all, we never actually ate in here. I sold the dining room furniture, which was in mint condition since it was never used, and set up a cheap six foot folding table to hold the computer, monitors and laptop until I could come up with a better solution.

That moment is finally upon me. Only, I’m having second thoughts about what I want to do.

My original plan was to put in two stock kitchen cabinets and two shorter bathroom stack-of-drawers as the base for a built-in desk and bookshelf system. My desk would be on the lower section, flanked by three drawers on either side. Against the wall on either side of those would be big three foot cabinets that would become the base for very large bookshelves (that I’ll build next summer) to hold my massive teacher book collection and all my supplies and files.

I have no doubt that I could do this well enough to be nicely presentable, but my concern now is that a large built in office in the dining room might be something I regret later since I can’t take it with me and the next owners (in twenty years) might want a grand dining room rather than a library/dining room combo unit. I have to decide soon because the cabinets need to be installed before the flooring goes in.

Writers at home, especially those with young children who need to be all ears all the time, where do you work? Am I crazy for building an awesome library and office in my dining room? Help!

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Rebecca is a full-time everything. She teaches English and reading to her much loved, if challenging, high school students during the day and is a freelance education writer in the evenings. With almost ten years in the classroom and advanced degrees in business and information science, Rebecca specializes in materials that inform, educate and entertain. Rebecca indulges herself by pretending to have spare time and writing about the ups and downs of being a freelancing mama whenever she gets a chance.