Sometimes rooms need to do double duty, serving two purposes or more. One of the most common is the guest bedroom/home office combination. While a home office can get daily use, a guest bedroom will be used less frequently; combining the two into one room makes sense and maximizes space. The trick is to make sure neither of the two takes over. When you’re working, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a bedroom, and when your guests arrive, you don’t want to make them feel like they’re sleeping inside an office.
Instead, create a calming atmosphere that gives each purpose its due. Here are six rules for creating a guest bedroom/home office with style.
- Skip the office super store. The room will look like a cubicle if your desk and filing cabinets are metal. Instead, choose pieces that complement your home décor. You can easily find filing cabinets in a wood finish, and a small desk in the same design style as the rest of the bedroom furniture can help the area feel like one fluid space.
- Include enough drawer space. Your guests don’t need to stumble over your tax documents when they’re finding a place to store their pajamas. Lock away private documents in a filing cabinet drawer. And make sure to have a dresser with one or two empty drawers for guests to use.
- Pay attention to the size of the bed. It’s usually the largest object in a room. A king or queen size bed will easily take over. Consider getting a daybed that sits against the wall and looks doubles as a sitting area. One with a trundle will accommodate two people. And if you host more people, an air mattress can easily be stored in the closet for just such an occasion.
- Divide the closet storage. You can easily tuck away filing cabinets, office supplies and your wireless printer inside the closet to minimize the office feel of the room. Make sure you save some of the closet space for guests who may want to hang clothes.
- Make it a ritual to clean up. While a home office can become a catchall for mail and stray items, tame the clutter and keep a feeling of calm by creating a daily tidying routine. File away papers, remove items that don’t belong, and take any dishes to the kitchen. You can also choose a desk that folds up when you’re done working.
- Create a temporary home office. When guests are expected, remove the items you might need so you can give them some privacy and make them feel welcome, and not like an intrusion. You can create a temporary home office in a kitchen drawer, so you can take care of what ever comes up while you’re entertaining friends.