a pc view
a designer-writer offers solutions for where
to place a computer

By: Thomas M. Ciesla
Originally published in Houston House & Home Magazine; October, 2002. Article has been reformatted for online publishing

More than half of all American households now own one or more personal computers (PC's). This is an impressive statistic considering that we just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the IBM 5150 PC on August 12, 2001. For the past 20 years, designers and homeowners have struggled to aesthetically blend the PC's beige clunkiness into the home environment.

Most American homes are still not designed with the PC in mind and homeowners are hard pressed to find resources that provide simple, creative tips and tricks for locating a PC in areas that are both functional and non-disruptive. For example, a quick survey of twelve randomly chosen home magazines underscored the plight of homeowners looking for some design guidance. In the roughly 2000 pages represented by these magazines, only three photos's featured a PC in the scene, and two of these were photos for advertisements.

Apparently home PC's are a dirty little secret from a decorating perspective; no one even wants to show them in photographs. It's true that PC's aren't as exciting as a big screen television or a sexy as megawatt audio/video entertainment centers, yet there are over 100 million homes with PC's in them. Where are people putting these things?

Lacking the benefit of a home office, many homeowners initially set up the PC's in the dining room. As the number of families who sit down together for dinner continues to dwindle, this room with its spacious table seems a natural place to set up the PC and spread out papers. Just drive through your neighborhood one evening around dusk, when everyone has the lights on and the drapes haven't been drawn yet; you'll be surprised how many dinning room windows are filled with the cool flickering blue light of a monitor. Most homeowners, however, quickly discover that the dinning room is not the ideal place for a PC and begin searching for a more permanent location. So where should you set up your PC?

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The Hooker Furniture computer station blends with traditional interiors

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