Home Office Decorating Ideas
Some homes simply do not have an extra room that can be devoted entirely to use as an office, so a multifunctional work space must be created. For some families, the work that is done at home is limited to writing occasional letters or recording the family finances.
Very little space and equipment is required for such tasks, so a room set aside purely for work is unnecessary. A desk with storage facilities can easily be positioned within a multi-functional environment.
Most houses have rooms or areas that are not constantly in use. The dining room is often used only in the evenings and at weekends, and could prove to be the perfect location for a work area. An infrequently used spare bedroom may also be put to use as a home office, by giving careful consideration to furniture and layout, it is possible to create a comfortable working environment that is easily disguised when guests visit. A desk that provides storage and filing facilities for work can be transformed into a dressing table with the use of a decorative cloth and a removable minor, for example.
If your children have stalled school, the kitchen is another possible location. The hallway of many properties may also provide the ideal place for a desk. The area below the staircase is, in some cases, large enough for a small desk and perhaps additional storage or shelving. A generous landing can easily be treated as an additional room and there is no reason why this, too, cannot be used as a work space.
Furniture and storage
In a multi-functional workroom, it is important that the office furnishings you choose are sympathetic to the decorative style of the room. You may find that furniture with a stronger domestic identity than typical office furniture is more suitable. An antique pine desk will blend in well in a cottage living room, for example. The interior of an upholstered ottoman can be customised to contain pre-divided sections for storing files and paperwork in a traditional living room setting.
A contemporary dining room could become the perfect host for a stylish oak-topped and chrome-legged table, offering ample desk space as well as a suitable area from which to serve a buffet or display striking decorative pieces when the dining room is in use.
There is a wide range of home office furniture now available that offers extensive storage options but with a less utilitarian appearance. You may find that custom-built furniture for housing office equipment is the best option. A large cupboard can be manufactured to your specifications, allowing room for a computer and printer, and decorated in a style that complements the room in which it is to be housed. There are many independent furniture makers who will be more than happy to produce an individual unit to your specifications.
Your approach to lighting a multifunctional room should not differ greatly from your approach to lighting a room with a single function. A living room that has a small area in which to work, for example, should have the same basic lighting as a normal living room. The only additional consideration is the provision of adequate task lighting to allow you to work comfortably.
Before you decide on a color scheme for a multi-functional room, you must first be clear in your mind about what the room’s main function is. For example, if your spare bedroom will be used primarily for working but rarely for guests, the color scheme should favour the requirements of the person working there. If the spare bedroom is only used occasionally for study, however, the decorative scheme should be driven by its main function as a warm and welcoming space in which guests can sleep.