Space-Saving Laptop Stations

Try a Laptop Station from Ikea Over the years, you've jettisoned your giant computer monitors and clunky hard drives, opting for sleeker, flatter screens or downsized into compact laptops or netbooks. Still, despite these upgrades, you have the same over-sized desk from your childhood bedroom with built-in file cabinets and a swivel chair.

But, now, with many retailers offering petite laptop stations -- some with adjustable surfaces and heights, it's easy to streamline your old desk into a new flexible, convertible piece of furniture.

Learn where to find the kind of stations that perch up against your couch like side tables or those that can be pulled up in front of your favorite chair.

Ikea's laptop station has an 18 by 22 inch hull that pulls apart into a larger, expandable top. The mini-desk design also includes a compartment in the back that stores chargers or headphones, hides cables, and charges your laptop when the hull is closed. When you're finished using your laptop computer, flip down its screen and close the hull.

In orange, yellow, black or white, Unica Home introduces a more colorful, spirited vibe to the otherwise functional laptop station. Made by Vitra, the piece coined the name "nestable" to capture its ability to adjust the height of the top. The table's surface, made out of polyurethane, is tilted slightly forward to mitigate any slouching or stretching when you're working from a chair or couch.

Or, if you want the utilitarian piece to blend with your other decor, Room and Board's laptop station looks like an everyday side table. The steel-base-and-glass-top of this c-shaped table are parallel in depth, and can be positioned right beside a chair. As a stylish, mod and lightweight piece of furniture, it can easily be rearranged in any type of room.

If you don't want the clutter of an extra piece of furniture, another clever option is an eNook, a compact hanging shelf that's only 7 inches deep. On layers of shelving, it holds small electronic pieces and organizes their cords into the outlet. When it's open, a 15-inch desktop pulls out.

Even if you still have your stone-age computer and giant hard drive, this z-frame station, which is going for practical over pretty, has three shelves that can house at least a laptop and a printer. If you're not a fan of the look of the cart, it's on casters so you can roll it out of the room when guests arrive.

Once you've decided on your laptop station, consider converting a spare walk-in or an unused closet (remove the door and inside shelving) into a new office nook. Now, all that's left to do is picking out some new desk accessories and contemplating what to do with all that new space.

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