Perhaps you’ve downsized to a smaller home, or your job now allows you to work remotely. The trouble is, you need a permanent setup to get work done efficiently but don’t have the luxury of a dedicated room. Making a dual-purpose bedroom work isn’t impossible, you just need to get creative. The key is finding furniture and storage solutions that serve both needs, keeping the space organized, and making it feel cozy no matter what purpose it’s serving at a particular moment.
With some strategic planning and the right pieces in place, your dual-purpose bedroom can function perfectly as both your sleeping and working sanctuary. Here’s how.
Define and Divide the Space
Designate a corner of the room for your office, ideally at least 6-8 feet of wall space for a desk and chair. If possible, position your desk facing a window for natural light during the day. At night, use a desk lamp or overhead light focused just on your work area.
To keep your job from spilling into your sleeping space, keep work materials, files and electronics confined to your desk. Resist the temptation to spread things out. Instead, go vertical with a bookcase, shelving unit or cabinet to store the stuff you aren’t using.
Your desk, table, dresser or cabinet can physically separate the floorplan into two spaces. You can also install a divider, folding screen or bookshelves to create zones without closing the areas off completely. If space is tight, hang curtains on a tension rod or track across the room to cordon off one area. Even better, install double curtain rods and hang sheer curtains on the inner rod and blackout curtains on the outer rod.
Another tip: Avoid working from your bed. It will just make it harder to relax at night.
Make a Place for Everything
The more storage you have, the easier it’ll be to switch the room from one purpose to the other. Look for ways to keep each area clutter-free with storage solutions like a dresser for clothes, a closet organizer for linens and accessories, shelving for books and decor, drawer dividers in the desk, and baskets for odds and ends.
In general, think up and down versus outward. Install shelves on walls, under windows and even on the backs of doors to keep items up and off the floor. Floating shelves are ideal for small items; however, for larger items, consider floor-to-ceiling shelving units. Use bed risers to lift your bed a few inches higher, creating valuable storage space underneath for boxes, bins and baskets.
Invest in matching lidded boxes, baskets, bins and drawers to keep categories of items sorted and stashed away when not in use.
Don’t Skimp on Your Desk and Chair
A proper desk is essential for a productive work environment. Look for one with ample surface area and storage, like a computer desk. If there’s not enough room, consider a compact desk that can be tucked into a corner. When it’s time for sleep, a desk lamp and laptop can be easily shut off and put away.
For long hours of sitting, an ergonomic office chair with lumbar support, armrests, and the ability to adjust height is a must. Also make sure the chair can be pushed under the desk and out of the way when not in use.
Go With Multifunctional Furniture
Furniture that serves double duty is ideal for a dual-purpose room. For example, an ottoman or bench with a hinged lid provides both seating and hidden storage. Chests of drawers and trunks at the foot of the bed can be used for linens, clothing and extra blankets. A desk with lots of drawers can store office supplies and electronics. A daybed with lots of pillows is cozy for sleeping but can also work as a sofa for reading or lounging. Or get yourself a Murphy bed that folds up when not in use.
Add Task-Focused Lighting
The right type of lighting is as important for work as it is for relaxing before sleep. A desk lamp, floor lamp or table lamp will provide bright light for working during the day. Then for sleeping, this type of lighting can be turned off, leaving softer ambient lighting on like a bedside lamp. Install dimmer switches to control the level of light and set the right mood for the space’s current purpose. Still in the dark? Here are some tips you can use to brighten up a light-challenged space.
Choose Colors That Work for Both
A flexible color scheme automatically makes the space appear multifunctional. Calming hues of blue, gray and green work well for relaxation but are also office friendly. Add pops of color with throw pillows, rugs, blankets, and wall art that can be swapped out depending on your needs. Looking for some tips? Check out our blog on color cues.
Some Final Thoughts
With careful planning and a bit of ingenuity, you can have a dedicated workstation and a peaceful sleeping space in one. Just remember to mentally transition between the areas. When it’s time for work, sit at your desk. And when it’s time for rest, get away from your work area and unwind in your sleeping space.