How to create a combined home office and guest room

If you’re not blessed with an abundance of space at home, it’s time to master the art of the dual-purpose room: Introducing the home office and guest room in one!

Combining your study with a guest bedroom is a great option.

It means you’ll still have a home office with an actual door – if you’ve tried working at the kitchen table you’ll understand the importance of this – but you can happily extend invitations for weekend visits to your nearest and dearest. (If you don’t get along with your in-laws, you can always ‘forget’ to mention the conversion).

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Here are a few tips to get you started on creating the ultimate home office slash guest room.

Interior stylist Chris Carroll’s home office and guest room in one.

Bed ideas

To save space and make good on the whole dual-purpose premise, invest in a decent fold-out sofa bed. (The one below is from Ikea, home of the nifty furniture solution.)

When you’re guest-free, the sofa is the perfect place for some quiet reading time – either for work or pleasure – and easily converts into a bed once guests arrive. A neutral colour will suit both office and bedroom vibes.

Invest in a decent fold-out sofa bed for optimum dual use. Picture: FRIHETEN sofa by IKEA

The bed’s clever positioning is one example of how to create a layout that suits the different purposes of the room.

By placing the desk behind the sofa bed, guests won’t be staring at your workspace when sleeping over; and when the sofa bed is not in use, your study will feel professional yet relaxed – as long as you resist the urge for a nap!

Choose a neutral colour for your sofa bed to suit both study and bedroom. Picture: FRIHETEN sofa by IKEA

Desk ideas

A streamlined desk with warm wooden tones is perfect for anyone who doesn’t need a lot of surface space, especially if your office supplies amount to a laptop and just a few tools of your trade.

For a sleek and chic option that also packs a punch when it comes to extra storage, this Chen Zhiyi Halo Desk (available from Life Interiors) with its curved corners and extra shelf, allows you to store papers underneath and style the surface with knick-knacks, indoor plants and magazines for your guests’ comfort.

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A streamlined desk with warm wooden tones is perfect for those who don’t need a lot of surface space. Picture: Chen Zhiyi Halo Desk, available from Life Interiors

Opt for a desk chair that can double as a comfortable seating (or clothes draping) for guests, but be sure to test it out for comfort if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in it: Officeworks has a wide range of options to suit different needs and budgets.

If you do need a specific office chair, disguise the home-office vibe for guests with a patterned throw or sheepskin on the seat.

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Storage ideas

Planning is key here. Try to integrate storage into as many elements of the furniture as possible – this Ikea coffee table also functions as a handy storage tub to pop bits and pieces in and can double as a bedside table for guests.

Mounting closed shelving units, like the two Eket units in this Ikea room will allow you to hide any work items like laptop, keyboard and desk accessories while also providing a surface to display plants, candles and picture frames, creating a beautiful space for your guests.

Closed shelving units can store office needs, while displaying beautiful objects on top. Picture: EKET cabinets from Ikea

Add a few stylish baskets or boxes for miscellanies like magazines, files and folders. Try Ikea for fantastic and affordable options.

Décor ideas

It’s all about personal taste, of course, but generally speaking, neutral tones will allow the room to transition seamlessly between work and play.

You can add pops of colour with pot plants, rugs, bed linen and artwork to liven the space up for guests (or yourself), and a mirror will be handy for guests, as well.

Pot plants and artwork to liven up a space. Picture: Life Interiors

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Try choosing lighting that is less ‘officey’ and more dual-purpose – a statement desk lamp will work for both uses of the room, and can be moved from your desk to the side table next to the sofa for guests.

Finally, small touches like hotel-sized toiletries and a spare set of keys will go a long way to making your guests feel at home. These can be stored on a lovely tray ready to be displayed whenever guests arrive.

Now, your only problem will be getting your guests to leave so you can get back to work!

Article repurposed from How to create a combined home office and the guest room by Nikki Wallman. Author at