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Should you craft a functional home office that meets your every business need, or should you allow the comforts of prospective guests dictate the room’s design?

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to make both spaces work together, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem, and most people choose to focus on one over the other, making either an office that feels like someone else’s bedroom or a guest room that feels like an oversized work cubicle.

It doesn’t have to be that way – in fact, it’s easy to have a fashionable and functioning office that simultaneously provides your guests with all the comforts of home.

Double-Duty Furniture

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To begin with, it’s important to remember that no matter how big (or small) your room is, space is limited. Dual-purpose furniture for any home office/guest room is mandatory, so forgo the queen-size bed in favor of a daybed or sleeper sofa. Likewise, select a small desk that can double as a table to prevent guests from feeling like they’re slumbering in an office building.

daybed

Versatile Pieces

Every piece of furniture that isn’t dual-functioning should be versatile. For example, use stylish lateral filing cabinets instead of vertical metal ones so your excess business documents won’t disturb the room’s feng shui for your guests. You’re also not stuck with standard office chairs. Any seat that’s comfortable and fits in with the room’s aesthetic design will work – just make sure it’s the right height for your desk.

desk

Use Creative Storage Solutions

No matter how versatile your furniture, there’s still going to be signs of the room’s dual purpose. That’s where creative storage solutions come in. Place your tabletop desk against the wall and hide wire racks underneath to hold all your excess office clutter – cords, note and legal pads, pens and pencils, etc. Use bookcases to house both your Wi-Fi router and guest-ready reading materials. Telltale devices such as printer/fax combos (and their paper reams), along with linens (and those fluffy pillows from your mother-in-law), can be stashed on closet shelves and in dresser drawers. Sure, it’s a little more trouble to retrieve your documents from the closet than a printer stand next to your desk, but your guests will appreciate the concession.

closet

Designing a Space for Work and Overnight Stays

The room may be designed (partially) for guests, but it’s ultimately your space, no matter how often you have people over, so decorate it like you would any other room of your home. If you like bold, bright colors and patterns, go for it. If your tone is more neutral and conservative, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you remember to bring out those fluffy pillows when your significant other’s mom comes to town.

How do you make your home office double as an attractive place to house your guests? Share your experience with us below.