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Modern bedroom with desk in corner

Office/Guest Room Combo Ideas: How to Make an Inviting, Usable Space

Plenty of our homes have an additional bedroom that we like to describe as an “office/guest room combo.” In reality, what many of us have is a glorified storage room. Sure, there’s a bed, and in a pinch, the clutter can get stacked against the wall to make space for an overnight guest. But this room deserves so much better.

Here are some tips that will turn this guest bedroom/home office into a truly functional space that you and your guests will love!

A Murphy Bed Makes the Room Easily Convertible

Murphy Bed Folded Down in a Home Office. Photo by Instagram user @themurphybeds

Photo via @themurphybeds

Convertibility is the key to making this room work. Because the bed will take up most of the space in this room, it’s best if you can tuck the bed away somewhere when you need to get work done. The video above from Prefab & Small Homes provides a nice demonstration of how much room a Murphy bed can save you when you’re short on floorspace.

Daybeds Also Help with Converting Space

Daybed in a Home Office. Photo by Instagram user @mibo_furniture

Photo via @mibo_furniture

If you don’t have the wallspace or the budget for a Murphy bed, a daybed will offer the same kind of convertibility. It can function as stylish seating when the room is in office mode and comfortable sleeping when the room is in guest room mode. You can use the area under the daybed as storage space as well.

A Small, Unobtrusive Desk Works Best

Home Office with a Cozy Desk off to the Side. Photo by Instagram user @lovingitpl

Photo via @lovingitpl

When guests do stay over, you want them to feel as if they have their own personal space in your home. If your guest room/home office is dominated by a large desk, however, it might make them feel like they’ve intruded on your personal space. A smaller desk will make the room more inviting for guests.

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Consider a Rolling Desk

A rolling desk will definitely keep the room convertible. When guests are coming over, you can simply roll your workspace into a corner, a closet, or another room (if possible).

Keep Your Workspace Simple So You Can Pack It Away Easily

A messy desk can make your guest room seem cramped and uninviting. By keeping your workstation clean and tidy, it’s easier to put everything away when guests come over, and you’ll make your guests feel more at home.

Open Shelving Makes Tidy Storage Look Great

Cozy Room with Open Shelving Holding Office Supplies and Decorations. Photo by Instagram user @msabbylawson

Photo via @msabbylawson

With open shelving, the room looks a little more convertible between office and guest room modes. Anything that normally goes on the desk can be tucked away into a basket and placed on the shelf for easy access once your guest departs.

Use Containers Liberally on Your Shelves

Too many storage containers on your shelves can make your guest room feel more like a storage room. Stick to visually-pleasing containers, and leave some open space on your shelves.

Bins Give Your Organization System a Softer Touch

Fabric storage bins downplay the office feel that the room might take on over time. When guests arrive and see this kind of organization, they will appreciate the cozy, uncluttered environment you have created.

Store Extra Towels & Bed Linens Under the Bed

If you have an extra set of towels and sheets under the bed, you can quickly get the room ready for guests without having to hurry and do a whole load of laundry.

Include a Reading Nook

Cozy Reading Chair and Standing Lamp in Corner of Home Office. Photo by Instagram user @arianna_belle

Photo via @arianna_belle

Everyone loves a cozy reading chair. If the room has space for one, a reading nook will get lots of use from you and anyone who stays over.

Keep the Design Light & Minimal

Home Office with Minimalist Design. Photo by Instagram user @citysage

Photo via @citysage

When you go into any modern cafe where freelancers spend their days working and sipping coffee, you’ll notice the design tends to be fairly uniform from one coffee shop to the next: Clean lines, white walls, minimalist, sturdy furniture, earth tones, etc. This aesthetic works so well for a guest room/home office combo for two reasons: It creates a distraction-free atmosphere where you can feel productive when you’re working, and it’s easy to clean and tidy up.

Don’t Put Too Much Furniture in the Room

This room doesn’t need much more than a bed, a desk, some storage space, and perhaps a chair. By taking a minimalist approach to designing, you create a space that can be shaped for a multiple purposes.

Soften the Room with Cushy Textures

Home Office with Soft Carpeting and Chair. Photo by Instagram user @simplyspaced

Photo via @simplyspaced

Rugs, pillows, throw blankets—all of these little touches will make a space feel more cozy. Your productivity and your guests will appreciate this detail.

Clean Minimalist Look Not For You? No Problem

Not everyone is a fan of stark minimalism, of course, and that’s totally fine. As Ohio interior designer Danielle Newman shows us, you can make a room feel textured and exciting while also creating an environment that will let you focus on your work when you need to and make your guests feel at home in this room.

The Key Is to Make the Room Simple Yet Cozy

Home Office with Simple, Open Design. Photo by Instagram user @geekvintique

Photo via @geekvintique

Although this room has to strike a balance between your needs as a workspace with your guests’ needs, there is definitely common ground here. Both you and your guests need a little serenity so you can concentrate and so they can get a good night’s sleep. Simplicity and coziness go a long way to creating that environment. Take a look at the room that interior designer Claire Botha restyled in her own home. It had been a spare room that now mostly serves as her husband’s office. But the little details—the record player, the painted hardwoods—that make this such an awesome office would also make this an excellent place to spend a few nights.

Still need space to stow away home office items while guests are in town? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facility locations throughout the nation, offering everything from small locker-sized storage units to large drive-up access units. Find a storage unit near you!

Guest Room Home Office Ideas

Modern bedroom with desk in corner
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