More and more people are working from home, which is increasing the need for a home office. When one room needs to serve multiple functions, that is when things get tricky. Such is the plight of the home office guest bedroom combo.
While it can seem overwhelming to cram two uses into one room, it can be done! You can design a multipurpose space that functions as both a home office and guest bedroom. First, let me first tell you about my situation. Then I’ll get into guest bedroom home office ideas that you can apply to your room design to maximize how it functions.
Our Home Office
Why We Need A Home Office
I have been working from home for many years. My current space is a home office, laundry room, and craft room combo located in the basement. I have my space and it doesn’t encroach on the rest of the house. However, Greg and I are planning a move to Florida. We’d be there already, but pandemics can throw off even the best-laid plans.
We are learning that the problem with Florida is that there are no basements (except in Ernest Hemingway’s house). That might not be a big deal for people from the south, like Florida, Texas, and Arizona, where basements just aren’t a thing. But to us northerners, basements are definitely a thing!
No basement means = No home office or craft room in the basement
Where will I go?
Our Home Office Dilemma
Our home in Florida has a home office. Which is great! However, since we both work and Greg will start working from home too, he and I will definitely be fighting for it. Where my craft room will go is another dilemma for another day.
The home office is also a guest bedroom, with double doors off the foyer. There are hardwood floors, a small built-in desk, and a Murphy bed. In the beginning, we had an extra dining room chair set at the desk, just so the room did not look so empty.
Our problem was when the Murphy bed was folded up, it just looked like an empty room. When it was folded down, the room was full.
If you are unfamiliar with Murphy beds, they are beds that fold up against the wall when you are not using them. They are a great space saver and allow you to have more flexibility in a room.
The built-in desk was small and you couldn’t get very much work done on it. At the foot of the bed, there was room to walk around, but not enough for a larger desk or table.
I racked my brain and I hopped on the internet to look for a solution. I must have looked at hundreds of folding tables. Then…Eureka! I found it!
The Solution to Our Home Office Dilemma
A table that can be used as a desk!
It’s a table where both sides go down. It can be used as a larger table, like a dining room, or folded down as a console table. It was PERFECT! I ran into the office, with my tape measure in hand, and started measuring.
When folded, the table fits between the wall and foot of the bed, leaving just enough room to walk through. I think I just found the perfect home office desk!
Did I say EUREKA!?
I ordered it and a couple of days later it arrived. It has a gray distressed top with white metal legs. Neutral, a little beachy, clean lines, and fully functional! We added an alligator nutcracker that belonged to Greg’s parents and a lamp that was already in the room. Now, you can sit right down with your computer and get to work. This room works like a home office should!
We have some storage and the printer on the little desk. It keeps the big table clean, so it can easily be folded and moved. Problem solved!
This is what the table looks like folded together:
The thing we love most about the table is that we can move it! If we are having a party, we can use it as a serving buffet, or as an extra dining table. It can be moved from one room to the next, with ease! When it is folded up at the foot of the bed, there is still enough room to still go by and our guests can put things on top of it. The table really does double-duty for us too and is not just confined to the home office.
Here are two sources for the table:
Easy To Store Chairs Felt Like A Good Fit
We bought a couple of better folding chairs so if we have a dinner party of more than six, we don’t have to pull plastic chairs to our dining table. When not in use, they are in the office and they are pretty comfortable. Luckily, they make the perfect home office chairs because they fold. So if we have someone staying and the home office needs to convert to a guest bedroom, we fold them. There is just enough room between the wall and the side of the Murphy bed to tuck in the chairs. Another problem solved!
I found three sources for the chairs. Check to see who has it in stock and where you can get a better deal! When we ordered ours, they were out of stock for quite a while.
Did I mention, they sell in sets of two?
They are so easy to store. This is what it looks like folded:
Home Office & Guest Bedroom Design and Function: 4 Important Things To Consider
Let’s talk a little bit more about the design and functional aspects of the room. It has to do double-duty as an office and a guest bedroom. Therefore, the two main things it needs is a workspace and a place to sleep, but decor and organization are also keys to making it a functional room.
There are several different options available for desks. I like to have a wide-open workspace, therefore the table I found works out really well for us. Here are a few compact desks that still add style and function to your space:
You know I’m all for doing DIYs and furniture makeovers! If you can stop something from ending up in a landfill and you can work it into your home office design, then I say do it! I did a Desk Makeover that just might give you some inspiration.
2. Sleep Space
Murphy Bed Options
Our Murphy bed was in place when we purchased the home. I have done some research on Murphy beds. There are so many styles and one should definitely fit your needs. You have the option to have it just look like a piece of furniture or they have built-in couches, desks, and even additional storage! You can find a huge selection at Wayfair Murphy Beds.
Here are just a few that I thought were interesting:
Don’t worry, if a Murphy bed does not work for you, there are other options. Depending on the size of your room, a traditional fold-out sofa bed might be a good choice. The nice thing about them is they also allow for comfortable seating. You have an extra spot to relax, or watch tv and the room might be able to do triple duty as a tv room. The major con about traditional sleeper sofas is the uncomfortable bar that runs right along your back, while you are trying to sleep. At around 2 a.m. they start to feel like a medieval torture device. If nothing else, it will ensure your guests won’t stay too long!
An alternative is a convertible sofa like these:
They fold down and are a much more comfortable alternative. Did you notice the one even has storage underneath? You can keep bedding and pillows right there!
Fold Out Chair Options
For a space-saving option, you can go with chairs that fold out into a bed:
Additional Sleeping Alernatives
Two other sleeping options are daybeds and air mattresses.
Daybeds can be a great solution and can offer a cozy place for a midday nap! Just keep in mind, if you have a daybed in the room, it will always have a bedroom vibe.
We still have an air mattress on hand, in case of a guest emergency and we can take it to a hurricane shelter if needed.
I have two suggestions when it comes to air mattresses:
1. Make sure it has a built-in pump
2. Raised air mattresses make for a better sleeping experience.
The decor in your office should make you feel good and it should not be distracting. You want to stay productive. I would stay with a neutral wall color, a light gray, or taupe. You can add pops of color with artwork and rugs. The rug in our office is blue, which is a nice pop of color in an otherwise neutral space. The blue and the geometric design offers a nice clean look that is not overly feminine for Greg’s sake. If it were just me, I might have gone for a slightly more feminine rug, but marriage is all about compromise!
Here are some other nice rugs:
Organization is key when you have a space doing double-duty. The computer age has certainly helped keep paper to a minimum, but it has not completely eliminated it either. Did you notice the convertible couch that had the storage underneath? You can use it to store the bedding for the couch, or you can use it for office supplies, like extra paper.
In a home office, shelving is a great storage option, but even better is closed storage. Closed storage allows you to hide away all that little stuff that gets in the way. If you do use shelving, take advantage of cubes or baskets for hidden storage. When you find a piece of furniture that seems like it would work for you, don’t worry about if it was intended for a dining room, bathroom, or laundry room. If it works, use it!
Here are a few pieces that might offer you the storage you need:
Let me answer two FAQs:
What accessories should I use to decorate my guest bedroom home office?
Accessories help make a room cozy. However, in a multipurpose room, you will want to keep your accessories to a minimum. You don’t want to have to move around too much stuff when you go from one use to the other. Pick a few items and make them count. This is a great time to find something in your house and give it a makeover!
I did a Chair Makeover that would be a great accent chair or even a desk chair. If you can use a small accent table that can double as a nightstand, I did a Resin Table Makeover that is sure to knock your socks off! Since I am the Queen of Coasters, I would be remiss if I did not suggest a colorful coaster for your desk! How about a Shark Coaster, or an easy Alcohol Ink Coaster? You want to protect your desk after all!
How can I decorate my home office with no windows?
There are three factors that you have to take into consideration that will make a big difference.
Stay with a lighter, fresher color. If you go too dark or too bold, you risk feeling boxed in.
Make sure you have adequate lighting. Use LED bulbs and multiple lamps to make sure you chase the cave-like feel out of your space.
Mirrors reflect light and give the illusion of space. You don’t need a wall of mirrors. The ’80s are over! Depending on your space, you can use a large hanging wall mirror, multiple smaller mirrors, or have a large floor mirror.
If mirrors aren’t your thing, I did a huge Sea Turtle Wall Art project that is a statement piece and can be done with any design!
I hope you all are having great luck working at home and you are productive as ever! Make your home office space work for you because you will spend a lot of time there!
If you have any tips that make your home office function better, please share them in the comments below!
Remember: Life’s too short not to shimmer, so grab your glue gun and your glitter!™ Stay safe!