Creating an outdoor office: Lights, desk, rugs and a bar cart to roll out file boxes while working al fresco

Creating an outdoor office: Lights, desk, rugs and a bar cart to roll out file boxes while working al fresco

The kids are out of school for summer and you’re stuck, working inside. Or maybe not. You can create an outdoor office. Here’s how:

Elise Nicpon with Room & Board Business Interiors, Trex Company deck experts and others offer tips to working al fresco.

Chair: Select a supportive, ergonomic outdoor dining chair with a higher, contoured back. A woven chair back and an open-air metal seat will help keep you cool when the weather is warm. Add a seat cushion. A foldaway seat cushion ($39) is easy to bring indoors or out.

To help maintain a healthy posture, experts suggest an office chair with lumbar (low back) support and that allows your knees to stay level with your hips. Armrests should be adjusted to let your shoulders stay relaxed.

  • 2 Modern has modern outdoor furniture, lighting and decor, including contemporary chairs, tables, lamps and accessories on sale
  • Home Depot has outdoor dining chairs including the Haymont rust-resistant steel framed, stationary wicker chair with a beige cushion ($449 for a set of two)

Work surface: Find a small outdoor dining table that’s the same height as your desk.

A counter-height rectangle dining table made of weather-resistant acacia wood comes with two chairs and cushions with UV-resistant, white fabric covers ($315) at Home Depot.

Switch up from sitting by using an outdoor bar top table as a standing desk. Walmart has a metal-framed rattan bar with cushioned chairs that’s a small version of hotel pool bars ($329.99, was $429.99).

Outdoor office

Ahlina Side Table with a metal base is at Wayfair.Wayfair

An outdoor-rated C-table ($57.99 for metal base, $222.99 for wicker) can be pulled up to serve as a laptop table.

More sources:

Outdoor office

Create an outdoor office with these tips from the Trex Company, which manufactures wood-alternative composite decking, railing, and other outdoor items made from recycled materialsTrex

Tech connection: Install a quality outdoor Wi-Fi router, range booster or a portable charging station to accommodate all your devices. For improved teleconferencing, consider Bluetooth, noise cancelling headphones to block out the sound of a dog barking or cars in the distance.

  • BBQGuys has SunBrite TVs that were engineered to withstand the harsh effects of rain, dirt, insects, extreme temperatures and UV rays.
  • Bose has outdoor speakers that offer balanced stereo sound over a large area.
  • Amplify music through an all-weather sound bar ($179.99) on the deck rather than inside the house.
Outdoor office

The Callum Bar Cart with an iron frame supporting two tempered glass shelves is at Wayfair.Wayfair

Organization: An outdoor bar cart can provide additional surface space for a printer, files or miscellaneous desk drawer items.

Wayfair offers discounts on outdoor bar tables as well as bar carts on wheels. The movable Callum Bar Cart with an iron frame supporting two tempered glass shelves is $175.99.

See more storage and organization solutions at The Container Store.

Shade: You’ll need protection from the sun and screen glare. A tilting umbrella can be repositioned as the sun moves throughout the day. Find the umbrella size that fits with this Home Depot chart.

Awnings can serve as weather-protection in a covered space. A glare guard added to your laptop screen can also reduce reflection from the sun.

Cover: Protect an expensive laptop or priceless handwritten notes from rain with a freestanding pergola or gazebo or a pop-up canopy. Protect furniture from all outside elements with a standard-size cover or a custom, Insulated rain cover.

Lighting: Covered patios can be outfitted with weatherproof chandeliers and metal pendant lights.

Accessories: Make a color and pattern statement with a rug, Sunbrella-fabric pillow and other decorative elements that are not permanent or pricey.

Outdoor office

A lemony scented citronella coil ($36–$38) shoos away mosquitos.Food 52

Bug repellant: Hang up a lemony scented citronella coil ($36–$38). Huckberry sells small citronella coils ($63 for a 5-pack).

Zoom backdrop: Landscaping lets you create an oasis backdrop for teleconferencing. Burpee has a garden guide to suggest seeds to get you started.

Plants: Bloomscape, a company founded by five generations of greenhouse growers, delivers healthy, ready-to-go plants with instructions and support to help the plants thrive. makes it easy to search for plants in pretty pots based on lifestyle (beginner, pet friendly), interest (Feng shui or air purifying), amount of light in the room and specific types such as succulents.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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