Double Duty Rooms – The Home Office and Guest Room Can Easily Share a Space

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 23, 2012

We don’t all live in 4000 square foot mansions, in fact, very few of us do. And yet, we expect our homes to accommodate the same number of inhabitants and serve all of the same purposes. In most homes, there are rooms or areas that have to serve multiple purposes. The tricky part is striking the right balance between them without completely overwhelming the space.

One of the most common room duos is the home office and guest room set-up. If you work from home full time, I would highly recommend that you carve out a space that is used only as your office. However, if you simply need a space where you can take care of home finances, use the desktop computer or study for a few hours per week, it makes complete sense to share this space with an occasional guest.

Finding the Space
Chances are, your main floor is being used for all of your daily living. Finding the extra space for a home office, guest room, study or hobby room can be tricky. Basement remodeling can add the extra square footage that you’re looking for without taking away from your current space. In fact, one huge benefit of basement finishing is that you can do it one room at a time if you don’t have the desire or the budget to complete the entire basement at once.

Double-Duty Furnishings
If you think that having a big cozy bed in the office might distract you from getting your work done, you could use a daybed, tucked up against the wall and have it serve as a chaise lounge when it isn’t being used as a bed. An alternative to the daybed, if floor space is limited, would be to use a murphy bed that folds up against the wall and looks like furniture when not in use.

Instead of using metal filing cabinets and really work-a-day office furniture, choose items made of wood to coordinate with the bed and dresser. You could even use the filing cabinets as bedside tables, if they are the right height.

Some of the features that inspire productivity in the office will also be inviting to guests. For example, live plants, inspiring art or photography and a small fountain all have soothing qualities that will help relax your guests.

The Office Is Closed
By selecting shelves and storage units with doors, you can easily close the doors on your work when you have guests spending the night. You can also use roll-away carts to store smaller items and roll the carts into the corner of the closet when not in use. Finally, in a room that is used more as a bedroom than as an office, you might want to invest in a customized built-in desk with doors that close to cover the entire work area and hide it away.

Find the home improvement tricks that work for you and the way in which you use the room the most. Don’t let one use overwhelm the other by using up all the space or making the room look too utilitarian or too homey.

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