Top tips for creating a hard-working, multi-functional space
So many of us are still working from home, and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future (sigh/ hooray/ not sure how to feel about it – delete as appropriate!). And whether you’re living solo, in a couple, a house share or as part of a family, all this time at home means whatever space we have needs to work smarter and harder than ever.
So, leafing through a back issue of Red Magazine we came across Kate Waston-Smyth’s column Mad About the House in which a reader asked the question: Now that my guest bedroom needs to double up as a home office, how do I create and furnish a multifunctional room? So, we’re sharing her sage insight in case you’re looking for inspiration! She says:
You might be thinking about how to make your spare room guest-ready again for the future, while also keeping it as a space where you can work, as who knows when you’ll get back to the office? So how do you furnish a room that has to be all things to all people all of the time?
• First off is a sofa bed – a double if you have the space. This is good for guests, but also handy for a post-lunch sleep on a working day. Studies have found that a 20 or 30 minute nap each day boosts your creativity.
• Next, you need to find a table that works as both desk and dressing table. In a small room, where space is tight, look for a console table that is wide enough for a laptop. Ideally buy one with drawers so you can sweep the pens and notebooks in with one hand while grabbing a mirror and a couple of ornaments with the other.
• Lighting is key, and wall-mounted designs on either side of the sofa bed will create ambient lighting, as well as doubling up as bedside lights. If the desk/ dressing table is small, consider lengthening the cable on the overhead pendant and, with the aid of a cup hook, draping it across the ceiling to hang down over the desk to create task lighting in that area.
• When it comes to guest storage, there’s no need for bulky chest of drawers as no one uses them, and any wardrobe is likely to be filled with your own overflow. Instead, fix some pretty hooks to the wall and invest in a few decorative hangers.
• Finally, you know all those samples you find in the glossy magazines that you never get around to using. Arrange them in a pretty bowl on the dressing table to create a luxury hotel feel. Also, they’re small, which is perfect as, after all, guests are like fish – after more than three days they can start to go off!
Futon Company says: Some pragmatic yet practical advice here, which applies just as well to studio living as guest bedrooms! We’re big fans of multifunctional furniture, and also like the idea of including a sofa bed in the space – perfect for tea breaks, meetings and creative time!