I’ve spent a good chunk of the last year helping people figure out where to put a home office when they don’t have a spare room to dedicate to one. Often the most available and effective spot to do it is right in your own bedroom. Why? Bedrooms are quiet, with doors that close for privacy, and most have space for at least a small laptop desk. That said, working where you sleep isn’t great for your work/life balance; having a computer too close can easily make work bleed into your off-hours. The extra blue light can even disrupt your sleep cycle. Bedroom offices also come up a little short when everyone in the home needs one – or even more than one per room. So how do you fit a family worth of home offices into a house that didn’t need any a year ago?
Working Where You Sleep
If you’re going to put a home office in your bedroom, make sure you do it thoughtfully. The first step is, never work in bed (which hopefully you don’t need me telling you!). After that, consider what you do while you’re on the clock. A phone-heavy job will benefit from a soundproof setup (see below). If you need a large screen and a powerful computer, you’ll want a heftier desk than if you’re only occasionally plugging in a laptop. Do a lot of paperwork? Make sure to choose a desk that makes filing easy, so you can keep the desk clear. The important part is that your bedroom doesn’t feel too much like an office. Splurge on furniture quality desks, attractive chairs, and nice accessories. If you have the space, put your desk somewhere you won’t be looking at it all the time – especially while you’re in bed.
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Sacrifice Closet Space for Office Space
I’m a big fan of closet conversions, specifically the closet office, or “cloffice.” It’s certainly a big ask to sacrifice all or part of a closet in favor of a work space, especially in a master bedroom. But if your work involves taking phone calls (especially at unusual hours), an en suite closet office can actually make doing this kind of work at home a little less stressful. You’ll need a closet that’s big enough to fit a desk and close yourself in without getting claustrophobic. But if you have it to spare, it can be the perfect spot to slip away to take evening calls without waking your spouse. Add a little sound proofing on the inner walls of the closet, and you’ll have more privacy than you’d get in just about any other home office, in just a fraction of the space.
Take A Vacation From Your Problems
Putting a lot of different furniture in your master bedroom – including an office desk – can have its drawbacks. Too many pieces can make your bedroom feel like a hotel suite, and not in a good way. That said, if your family is feeling the cabin fever, it’s not a terrible idea to take a page from the book of hotel rooms. Specifically, having a little bit of everything you need – a place to work, a place to sit and relax, a TV, phone, mini fridge, and coffee maker – is a good way to help ensure you can get a little quiet wind down time. If your big, open greatroom has made for a little too much together time? Your own private suite might be just the getaway you need.
Bunk Beds And Loft Desks To Double Space In Your Kids’ Room
I’ll admit: lofting a bed over a desk is a signature of college dorm chic; it’s probably not a breakout new addition to your master bedroom. But if you have kids of any age doing remote learning and not a whole lot of space to dedicate to a home classroom, a lofted bed can instantly open up a small bedroom. Especially if you have more than one child sharing a room – and each in need of their own computer space – a good lofted system can save your kids from feeling like sardines 24/7. Pre-made lofted sets aren’t hard to come by, but custom builds will give you a little more room to create an age-appropriate, equitable layout that can age up with your kids, and be fun to use even once they’re back in the classroom.
Combine Your Home Office And Guest Bedroom (Without Skimping On Either)
If you do have a spare room, chances are it’s seen a whole lot of use in the last year. And whatever the room’s original intended function, it probably isn’t optimized for how you’re currently using it. The good news is, combination guest bedroom/offices are a more natural pair than they might seem. Even rooms that are too small to use as conventional bedrooms can be dual-purposed if you play your cards right. The trick? Skip the queen bed and splurge on a quality futon or daybed. Modern sleeper sofas are much more comfortable than those of yester-year, and scale in quality with the price of the mattress. Of course, you should be mindful of the needs of your regular guests; but a good multi-function sofa will comfortably sleep two while leaving you plenty of room for an inviting workspace.
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Duplicate Functionality To Keep Peace In A Full House
Larger spare rooms can incorporate more functionality. But as you’ve probably discovered on your own, trying to do too many things in a single room can breed discord in the family. Setting up a desk in a playroom or family room is very different than a low-traffic guest room. That said, if your whole family is still spending a lot more time than usual at home, especially in an open greatroom? Duplicating functionality in different areas can keep you from stepping on each other’s toes. Having an extra desk (and even another futon) near a spare TV or home theater, a play room, craft room, or game room can make it easier to shuffle spaces. That means more options for individual and family activities, which can help ease congestion in an open floorplan.
Home offices have rocketed from luxury to necessity in the last year. This change has been particularly hard on families that didn’t previously spend much time on the computer. But whether you need a single quiet, reliable office space from 9-5 or a laptop desk for everyone in your family, you have options. Even with everyone home 24/7, not all parts of your home can be in use all the time. A little smart planning will put your office somewhere that’s quiet during your work hours; choosing attractive office furniture will keep those spaces looking and feeling like home, and usable when you’re done for the day.