If one of your goals for this year is to spend more time working from home and less on your energy-sapping commute, you’re not alone.
Figures reveal that over 1.5 million of us now work from the comfort of our own nests.
But while avoiding all the office politics may sound like a dream come true, without a dedicated home workspace you may find it hard to concentrate on the job at hand.
Forget trying to work at a kitchen table still overflowing with the morning’s breakfast dishes, and take a fresh look at your spare room instead. With a few new ideas and some clever storage solutions, you can transform this unused area of your home into your dream work space – without losing your guest bedroom.
We asked three interior bloggers to reveal their tips, tricks and spare room ideas, to make this space work as hard as you do.
Short on storage?
Helen Canning of Coco Mama Style lives with her fiancé and two daughters in a South London Victorian terrace. Space is tight, so every room needs to be multi-functional and every corner counts.
“My partner and I are self-employed with much of our time working from home, so a permanent office space is essential. A working desk area was the key function of the spare room until our daughters arrived! Now, the purpose and priorities of the rest of this small room have changed.”
Top tip: Swap your permanent guest bed for a sofa bed. It’ll take up less room, but you’ll still be able to put up visitors comfortably. A sofa bed is also handy if you want to turn a guest bedroom into an office, as it gives you a place other than your desk to sit and brainstorm ideas.
Need a home office and a guest bedroom?
Polly Rowan spends much of her time writing at pollyrowan.com, so building a space for creative work was essential for her.
“When we moved into our apartment, we knew we wanted a second bedroom to have family and friends come to stay. I made it as comfortable and welcoming as possible with a scented candle, mood lighting and relaxed linen sheets.”
“Plus, the colour-pop stool doubles as both a bedside table and an extra seat when we have lots of guests for dinner!”
“For the working part of the room, I wanted a little sanctuary where I can escape to work on creative projects. By making a desk space in my favourite Scandinavian design style, the look is minimalist enough to stop it from taking over the whole room.”
Top tip: A clean space leads to a clear mind. Create an office area without distractions and make sure you have a large, clear desk space to work from.
What if room is tight?
When Natasha Denness from Candy Pop left her job to go freelance, she needed to create a work space at home. Square footage was limited, so a dual purpose spare room was her answer.
“After trying a few ideas, I decided to turn my second bedroom into a home office. I’ve kept it fairly minimal, so it’s easy to adapt when we have guests. The white walls are uplifting and the sheer blind means I can soften the sunlight when I need to work.”
Top tip: Use cushions and a throw to transform a sofa bed into a seating area in your work space, then when guests arrive, replace with sheets and blankets. Hey presto – the office is a welcoming bedroom.
When space is tight, it’s time to get smart with spare room storage. Sofa beds with built in draws are ideal, or try a slim bookcase. You could even create your own storage boxes – perfect for stashing everything out of sight after you’ve finished for the day.
No dual purpose space is complete without a hardworking sofa bed – find yours here.