Not every house has a room that can be set aside for work alone, but the beauty of the home office is that it can be integrated into almost any room. The trick is making the dual purposes play nicely with each other without (come on, it just has to be said) their dueling. Here are some tips to make the best of one room with two motives.
1. Spare bedroom. A spare bedroom and office combo is one of the most common setups. It makes a lot of sense. Unless you’re constantly playing host to out-of-towners, an uninhabited bedroom can be a great workspace.
Built-in cabinetry will make the most of your room. Keep a few drawers empty for guests; dedicate the rest to files and supplies. Desks with pullout features provide more space when needed and keep delicate equipment safe when visitors wielding oversize luggage come over.
To squeeze every inch out of your bedroom office, use a sleeper sofa. Here a built-in bookcase frames an elegant sofa that can accommodate business meetings during the day and guests overnight.
2. Living room. When integrating an office into the living room, make sure the space has a welcoming, sophisticated air, just as you’d expect from any other well-designed living room. That way guests won’t feel like they’re encroaching on your private workspace — or worse, sitting in an untidy office.
In this room the emphasis is on warm, community-oriented features: the fireplace, bookshelves and a variety of seating options. The desk, while spacious and functional, recedes into the background and complements, not competes with, the atmosphere.
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