Home offices are growing increasingly more popular these days, as more and more people are choosing to work from home. Perhaps you have also decided to work from home. If you have, then it’s best to have a designated office space, rather than working from the dining room table.

A room that has its own entity, with walls and a door, will provide the space and privacy that is necessary for higher production. I have tried working from areas other than my office, and while it’s possible, it’s just not practical for long term. Too many distractions and not the proper setup can make for a very long day, with little to show in the end.

However, if you have a guest room that isn’t used too frequently, then it’s possible to convert it into a dual-purpose room. An office by day …and a guest room by night. Or, in most cases, an occasional weekend when overnight guests might stay.

So, read on to learn how you can have a wonderful home office and a guest room, all in the same room, without it looking like it.

Home Office

1. Clear it Out

To get an accurate vision on what you are able to do, clear the entire room out. You will need to do this anyway, so it might as well be the first thing you do. Once the room is a blank slate, start drawing up some plans…and make as many as you want.

There are online sites that will allow you to design a room with accurate measurements. This will give you an actual visual of the space you will have once basic pieces are added to the room. This is good, because you will discover measurements that you should adhere to for permanent items, such as the desk.

2. Dual Function Pieces vs. Portable Pieces

When creating a room built for two purposes, you will need furniture and items for both purposes as well. However, you only have so much space to work with, right? So, develop the room for the primary use. In this case, it’s the office, with enough space left to accommodate the secondary purpose…a place for the guest to sleep.

A corner desk often takes up less space in the room than a standard desk, and can remain as a permanent piece to be used solely for your work. Create customized shelves to get things up off the floor such as files and books. This will eliminate the need for a credenza and filing cabinet.

You might want to consider a corner for reading that could be used by you while doing research, and your guest when they are spending the night. To save space, look at wall hugger recliners and a tall torch light, rather than an end table and lamp.

Of course, there are items your guest will need, but can be temporary or portable, such as the following ideas:

  •     An air bed that can be packed away when not in use
  •     Futon, can be used as the bed and the reading area
  •     Portable tray for nightstand
  •     Basket of books and magazines
  •     Partition to block off your desk, computer, and phone

As you can see, there’s a little bit of yours, theirs, and ‘ours’ in the mix when planning a dual-purpose room. And again, keep in mind what the room will be used for primarily and work around it. The idea is to not disrupt your office, but also to make them feel as though they are not staying in an office to begin with by separating off the technical pieces with a partition.

3. Choose the Décor

Most often décor for an office is thought to be motivational in nature. And, it doesn’t have to be that different, just because the room will be ‘shared’, if different at all. If having time to spend on vacations motivates you, then take…or find photos of destinations you hope to visit, frame them, and hang on the wall. Beautiful photos, or photos of family traveling, would also make for nice wall art for a guest room.

Even some of the great motivational posters that are available have beautiful scenery in the background with simple phrases written at the bottom. The only way that you might have a concern with décor for a dual room would be if you have some words, photos, or posters that seem to be ‘shouting’ encouragement. That might not be the most relaxing tone to the room for your guest. If that’s the case, simply replace them with basic wall art that you can easily interchange.

Even though the room would not be completely dedicated as your office, it certainly can feel like it when you are working, and that is what matters. There is no need for an addition to the house, if your guest room isn’t frequently used.

Kathy Barber knows the importance of having a home office when working from home. As a freelance writer, she writes on many topics including her latest series on designing a home office, inspired after reading some reviews on http://www.reclinerchairreviews.com. Other topics she has tackled are home brewing, entertaining, online business, and health. Residing in Michigan, she and her husband are parents of a young son. Kathy enjoys camping, music, cooking, and sporting events.

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