One of life’s great quandaries, right behind “boxers or briefs?” is, “guest room or home office?”
And before you continue agonizing over whether you should turn that one, glorious, extra room you’ve always dreamed of having, into a guest suite or a sweet home office, we’re here to tell you that you can have it all.
So here are five surefire ways to combine a home office and guest room gracefully, without the room feeling crowded or haphazard.
Say Yes to Wall-Mounted Desks
A desk is the most critical piece of furniture in a home office. But it can also consume the most space. When you’re limited on room, a wall-mounted desk can be the perfect solution. They take up considerably less space than the average office desk, but can look great and be equally functional. Look for desk options that include beneficial features like storage space to prevent your worktop from getting cluttered, height-adjustable functionality to accommodate adults and kids, and smart cable management to avoid a tangled mess of computer and other cables.
Sleepers are Keepers
Like a desk to an office, a bed is the most critical piece of furniture in a bedroom. And the biggest space-killer. If only you could tuck it away when you’re not hosting guests and use it for extra seating in the meantime… oh, wait, you can. A sleeper sofa (also known as a convertible) serves as cushy seating by day and, by night, it transforms into a comfortable bed. Many models come with storage solutions to help keep the room clutter-free. Plus, since convertible sofas are typically manufactured to serve dual functions, they’re built extra-sturdy.
Making a Case for the Minimalist Bookcase
You don’t need a bulky full-sized bookcase for a place to put books, picture frames and other personal effects. The latest in bookcase designs offer slim, minimalist and lightweight options that take very littler floor place and/or fit behind a door. There’s everything from shelves that stack books vertically, to horizontally, to even stacking books at eye-catching angles. Some even incorporate baskets. Many modern bookshelves also offer a variety of customizable features, so you can configure them to your needs.
Good to Know: If your floor plan allows, a bookcase can be used as a room divider, separating your workspace from your guest area.
Draw Attention to a Focal Point
Your combined office and guest room can be organized in a dozen configurations. But you’d do well to create a focal point around which all of your furniture is organized. That way you’re putting emphasis on the most interesting/stunning/beautiful feature of the room (removing emphasis from any less-than-attractive features). If your office/guest room has a nice big window, arrange your furnishings around it to emphasize it. Or if you have an exposed brick wall, position your furniture pieces so they don’t block it, but rather accentuate it.
Maximize by Getting Organized
With limited space, getting organized is key to successfully creating and maintaining your multi-function space. For starters, maximize the closet space with shelves and containers to store office and bedroom supplies, and make space available for your guests to store their luggage and clothes. Get items off the floor by using vertical space whenever possible. De-clutter often. When you use the space as an office, it’s easy for papers, books, receipts and other items to start collecting in piles. Make it a point to go through them and discard what you don’t need at the end of every work session.
In other words, you can have your guest room and work in it too.