While I’ve been at home during quarantine, like many other Trekkies, I’ve been rewatching Star Trek. Perhaps it is this extended time at home that caused me to pay closer attention to the homes of Star Trek captains. (It could also be that I recently watched three full seasons of Property Brothers too — it’s been a long few months.)
I started to think about what qualities would make for the best living space aboard a starship. Three things stood out to me as the most important: the flow of the room, the amenities present, and the comfort of the space in space! Within each of these categories I thought about what elements I thought were essential and adjusted my rating based on their presence or absence. I’ve ranked each room out of ten in each of the three main categories and then added these to give an overall score out of thirty.
Captain Kirk’s Quarters - USS Enterprise (NCC - 1701)
While small, the flow of Kirk’s room is better than your average college dorm room. There are two distinct spaces in the room (office area and sleeping area) which are made clear by the furniture and the small dividing wall. It is this partial wall that makes this space more like a small apartment and less like a dorm room. The entrance into the room is in the office area which lends additional privacy to the sleeping area. While a sliding door between the two rooms would have provided more privacy the room flows well for its size.
Kirk’s quarters have most of what a Starfleet officer needs. There is a computer, communication system, desk, chairs, built in drawers, and a closet/bathroom. The main drawback for me was the lack of access to food in the quarters. If I was Captain of a starship I know I would want to be able to have a midnight snack without leaving my room.
The comfort of Captain Kirk’s quarters gets a low rating for a few reasons. The first is the complete lack of windows — even tiny college dorm rooms have one window! The second is the bed. Kirk’s bed appears to be only marginally more comfortable than the beds in sickbay — at least in sickbay you get a blanket. And what is with that weird rectangular pillow? Also, orange is not the calming color you would expect in your bedroom. What keeps this room from getting an even lower score for comfort is the presence of personal items including a potted plant.
Overall Score: 15/30
Captain Picard’s Quarters - USS Enterprise (NCC - 1701 - D)
The first thing that stands out about Captain Picard’s quarters is the size. This space is comparable to that of a loft apartment rather than a dorm room. The main living space is open concept with sight-lines between the seating, eating, and working areas. Furniture and accessories define what each space is used for without cutting it off from the rest of the room. A full wall with a sliding door gives the bedroom more privacy. The bedroom itself is spacious (maybe even the size of Kirk’s whole quarters). My only critique is the placement of the desk - personally I find it awkward to not be able to see who is entering my room while I’m sitting at my desk. I would have placed the replicator and bookshelves on that wall and moved the desk to the same wall as the door to the bedroom.
Picard’s quarters do not seem to be lacking anything Starfleet officers might need. He has a computer, desk, dining table, seating area, bathroom, bookshelf, and most excitingly a food replicator. As captain I could very easily pass my time in this room before the next adventure came.
Windows! Not only are there windows but there is a whole wall of windows in the main living area and in the bedroom. All in all the furniture in this space also appears to be comfortable. Having both a couch and armchairs also makes it more possible to have guests come and feel welcome in the space. Moving on to the bed the first thing that stands out is the size, no more college dorm sized bed for the captain. Second, the bed actually has blankets and, depending on the season, no weird rectangular pillow. The only drawback comfort wise for me are the carpets. The carpet itself is not a problem (I’m sure carpets on the Enterprise D are kept very clean) but the color. The beige tone that was chosen is very dull and is the only reason keeping these quarters from a perfect score.
Overall Score: 28/30
Captain Sisko’s Quarters - Deep Space Nine
Much like Picard’s quarters Sisko’s quarters are also an open floor plan. In fact, because of the more industrial look of Deep Space Nine these quarters are slightly reminiscent of old mills that have been converted into lofts. Personally, I like the industrial look of the quarters on Deep Space Nine. The main living area has three distinct spaces: a desk for doing work, a seating area with a couch and two chairs, and a dining area. While the room appears to be slightly narrower than Captain Picard's, the arrangement of furniture makes the space feel open. Additionally, a smaller work area leaves more room for the dining and sitting areas. Having the bedrooms come off of different sides of the room gives both Captain Sisko and Jake privacy. I know if I had to get up early to run a space station, I wouldn’t want my teenage son to keep me awake.
Despite being a reclaimed Cardassian space station, Sisko’s quarters are not lacking in any of the basic needs of a Starfleet officer. One of my favorite things is that Sisko was able to get quarters that had room for his son. The fact that Jake has his own space gives this room major points. Other than the additional room for Jake there is a desk, seating area, dining area, and food replicator. I also appreciated that while he could replicate food there is the space in the quarters for Sisko to cook his own food.
There were a few reasons that Captain Sisko’s quarters received a lower rating for comfort. While there are windows in this space they are considerably smaller than those on the Enterprise-D. Furthermore, only one of the two bedrooms has a window. The low light level in the space also affected the comfort rating. I can imagine that while Sisko was preparing food he might have appreciated better lighting — especially when chopping vegetables. While the darkness is due to this being a former Cardassian station I think it would have been possible to replicate some accent lamps (perhaps even a salt lamp or two). In the pilot of Deep Space Nine, Jake points out that their newly assigned quarters have no bed. O’Brien assures the two of them that they can get “a real bunk off the Enterprise''. This assertion leads me to believe the beds in the room would be similar quality to that on the Enterprise-D, and not the uncomfortable Cardassian beds we hear so much about on the show.
Overall Score: 27/30
Captain Janeway’s Quarters - USS Voyager (NCC - 74656)
The flow of Janeway’s quarters is very similar to those on the Enterprise-D. This makes sense considering the two ships were constructed in a similar time period. The set up of the main living area allows for Janeway to do work from her desk while also having space to have crew over for dinner or just to talk. The main flaw I see in this space is the fact that there are two entry ways. I’m sure there is a practical reason to have two of them and I would simply eliminate one. I think it makes the most sense to keep the one that is closer to the bedroom area. Also, considering Janeway has a rather large office off of the bridge I would also consider shrinking down the work area. Sisko has a very small desk in his quarters and I think something like that would fit better on Voyager.
Amenities are of utmost importance on Voyager considering how much time the crew spends onboard the ship. Janeway’s quarters have a work area, eating area, sitting area, bedroom, bathroom, and replicator. Even though Neelix is always cooking, we all know the crew is thankful to have replicators in their rooms. Plus, how else would Janeway get her morning coffee?
The absolute best part of Janeway’s quarters is the presence of a huge bathtub! What better way to relax when thrown into a distant galaxy than in a giant bubble bath. Her bedroom also receives high points because of the huge windows along with blankets and real pillows on the bed. However, the comfort in the living area furniture does not quite match up with that of the bedroom and bathroom. While it makes practical sense to build furniture like the couch into the wall it could have been more comfortable if padding were added to the arms. Having large windows in the main living space is a positive feature of the space. The grey carpet, while still slightly bland, is better than the beige carpet on the Enterprise.
Overall Score: 28/30
Captain Archer’s Quarters - Enterprise (NX - 01)
Out of all the captain’s quarters, Archer's is most similar to a dorm room. (My own dorm room was probably only slightly smaller.) There is a smallish entryway that is set apart from the rest of the room but this is the only real division in the space. There is no separation between the working and sleeping areas. Additionally, there are only two spare chairs in the room making it very awkward for any guests to come and visit. I do appreciate that the bed is placed out of sight of the door, this does give the space some privacy. The only reason that this room does not get a lower flow rating is that there is room for Porthos to have a dog bed, even if he does spend a lot of time on Archer’s bed.
The amenities in this room cover the basics, but there is nothing very exciting. There is a desk, computer station, two chairs, bed, and bathroom. Like the Enterprise-1701 there is no way for the captain of the NX-01 to make food in his quarters. Archer does have a decent amount of storage space (at least enough room for food for Porthos) in the entryway to his room, which does help the small space seem a little more useful.
Archer’s quarters also receive a low rating on comfort. One of the main reasons is the size of the bed. Even at 5’ 2’’ I prefer to sleep in a full sized bed. (Clearly a nice bed is an important factor for me.) Overall, the room is also very grey. While I was not a big fan of the orange accents on the Enterprise NCC-1701 at least there was an attempt at a pop of color in the design of that room.
Overall Score: 13/30
Captain Lorca’s Quarters - USS Discovery (NCC - 1031)
Like the rooms on the Enterprise NX-01 and NCC-1701 the captain’s quarters on Discovery are a single room. Out of the three Lorca’s quarters have the biggest floor plan, there is much more space to move around this room. The main spaces in the room appear to be a seating area and sleeping area. While I like the size of the sleeping area I do wish there was more separation between it and the rest of the room. There are two small walls but they don’t really create any privacy in the space.
Not much show time is spent in Lorca’s quarters so it is hard to tell what amenities are present in this room. There appears to be a seating area, bed, and bathroom. Based on the fact that the show takes place before The Original Series I would guess that there are no food replicators in the quarters. This drops the amenity points. A plus for this space is the seating area, if Lorca was more social he could have had visitors come to this space.
Like the other early ships there are no windows in this space and this brings the comfort rating down. However, unlike the Enterprise NX-01 and NCC-1701 these quarters have a bed that actually looks comfortable. This fact raises the comfort score a little bit.
Overall Score: 18/30
So how do all the captain’s quarters stack up? It turns out that the newer a ship was, the higher overall ratings I gave it. As one may have expected from the start, newer ships tended to have more space for quarters and better amenities within the quarters which helped them get higher scores. The older ships tended to be smaller and were lacking basics like windows and food replicators. If I had to choose a ship to live on I would choose Deep Space Nine or Voyager. What about you?
1st - Tie between Janeway’s quarters on Voyager and Picard’s on the Enterprise - D with overall scores of 28 out of 30.
2nd - Sisko’s quarters on Deep Space Nine with an overall score of 27 out of 30.
3rd - Lorca’s quarters on Discovery with an overall score of 18.
4th - Kirk’s quarters on the Enterprise NCC-1701 with an overall score of 15.
Last - Archer’s quarters on the Enterprise NX-01 with a score of 13.
Zoe (she/her) is a kindergarten teacher from Western MA. She was introduced to Star Trek through her dad’s VHS tapes of TOS (the ones in the grey box with two episodes on them) and has since watched every episode of Trek. You can follow her on Twitter @zoeneeley.