- 1. Create a foldaway office
- 2. Choose a dual or multipurpose desk
- 3. Use convertible furniture
- 4. Pick furniture with built-in storage
- 5. Use lighting thoughtfully
- 6. Consider a neutral colour scheme
- 7. Have different seating options
- 8. Utilise a room divider
- 9. Add plants and greenery
- 10. Make the space feel cosy with personal touches
Whether you currently have a spare room that’s not being fully utilised or you have a room set up for guests that you’d like to be more multifunctional, office guest room ideas make a lot of sense.
However, while nailing guest bedroom ideas is one thing, blending them with a productive work zone is another entirely. ‘An office/guest room is the ideal solution for a spare room in your home, as it offers you the best of both professional and personal worlds,’ suggests James Mackie, Bestbuy Office Chairs’ office expert. ‘Not everyone has space for a designated office-only room either.’ So, combining the two will give you the best of both worlds.
However, ‘designing a room to function both as a home office and a guest bedroom necessitates thoughtful consideration and strategic planning,’ explains James Mellan-Matulewicz, Creative Director at Bobbi Beck.
To achieve a seamless blend of functionality and comfort for both purposes, you’ll want to consider the following ideas and tips.
Office guest room ideas
These office guest room ideas will not only give you some inspiration, if you’re in the process of combining a guest room and a home office, but the experts have also shared some top tips when it comes to layout, storage solutions and decor to tie the space together.
‘By combining practicality with comfort, you can craft a welcoming environment that serves as a productive workspace during the day and transforms into a cosy retreat for guests at night,’ outlines Glen Peskett, Owner of Saxton Blades.
1. Create a foldaway office
If the room is going to be primarily used as a guest bedroom, you may want to consider a foldaway office. ‘Foldaway desks are a great way to allow you to create a full-blown home office that you’re then able to tuck away at the end of the day, with some looking like stylish console tables when not in use,’ Farah Arshad, Head of Product at DUSK suggests.
Having a foldable office ‘can save space when not in use, providing a functional workspace that can be tucked away effortlessly,’ Glen agrees.
2. Choose a dual or multipurpose desk
Alternatively, you could ‘consider a desk that can easily convert into a bedside table or a vanity when guests are staying over,’ Glen suggests.
‘Investing in furniture that serves multiple purposes is key when looking at transforming a room into a multi-functional space,’ Farah explains.
James also suggests opting for a multipurpose desk. ‘Install a desk that can be used as either a dressing table or an office desk. This not only saves space, but allows you and your guests to choose how you can use the space, without feeling like you have to use it one way or another.’
3. Use convertible furniture
‘Guest rooms are often the most compact bedroom in the home,’ says Annah Kelly, Styling Expert for Bridgman. ‘For this reason, it’s important to utilise the space wisely.’ Glen suggests opting ‘for a sofa bed or a guest room daybed idea that can serve as a comfortable seating area during the day and transform into a bed for guests at night.’
‘Sofa beds are perfect for an office guest room,’ Sustainable Furniture’s interior expert, Margaret Larson, concurs. ‘They allow a comfortable space for guests to sleep while ensuring the bed doesn't completely take over the space. And a sofa can make the space feel more formal, which is ideal for an office environment as it contributes towards improved productivity.’
‘Murphy beds can also maximise space by tucking away into a wall when not in use, freeing up floor area for working and relaxing,’ Glen concludes.
While ‘simple adornments such as scatter cushions can transform the room entirely, injecting style and personality into the space,’ Annah explains.
4. Pick furniture with built-in storage
As well as convertible and ‘multipurpose furniture, you could also look to use furniture that provides you with extra storage solutions,’ Essential Living's Development Manager, Camilla Lesser affirms. Bedroom storage ideas are a must for any guest room, but in this style of room, you need to consider home office storage ideas too.
‘Maintaining a tidy and clutter-free environment is crucial when doubling up your guest bedroom into an office’.
‘Adding shelving to the guest bedroom will also help to keep your office supplies, books and other necessities organised for when you have guests staying,’ Camilla adds.
Farah recommends utilising vertical space with ‘shelves, well-mounted cabinets, or hanging organisers being used to maximise vertical storage will help keep floor space clear.’
5. Use lighting thoughtfully
‘Combining relaxed and working light is often difficult, as working light tends to need to be brighter, while relaxing light tends to be softer,’ James warns. ‘I recommend opting for a separate desk lamp and bedside lamp, both of which allow you to turn the individual lamps on so you can focus on relaxing or working at any given time.’
‘Remember that having a light that's too bright and white can actually have a negative impact on the amount of rest possible, and that softer lights are much nicer to relax in.’
Ideally, you’ll want a mixture of task lighting for working and natural or ambient lighting.
6. Consider a neutral colour scheme
‘When creating a multipurpose room such as a guest bedroom and office space, it’s important to consider the decor and colour scheme,’ Camilla says.
‘You want to pick something that will create a productive work environment as well as a warm and cosy guest bedroom. Sticking to a neutral colour scheme is the best thing to do here, creating a serene guest bedroom and productive office space.’
And ‘if your office space is on the smaller side, a white or a light grey will open up the space and make the room appear larger than it actually is,’ Stuart explains.
7. Have different seating options
When you think of an office space, you’ll most likely envision a traditional office chair. However, you’ll want to avoid making this the only seating option in your office guest room.
If you have the space, add an armchair or even an ottoman – which can also integrate built-in storage. If you do choose to include an ergonomic office chair look into where to buy an office chair that won't dwarf the space and will blend in with the bedroom decor.
8. Utilise a room divider
One way to separate the two different spaces is by utilising a room divider of some kind. Whether that’s a traditional room divider screen or a set of bookshelves or even a curtain, can break up the space.
‘If your room is on the larger side, I recommend installing a privacy screen that allows your guests to have separation between the sleeping and working zones,’ James remarks. ‘A privacy screen can help you get more in the working zone as it feels more like a separate space than a shared space.’
9. Add plants and greenery
Houseplant ideas are a great way to decorate an office guest room. ‘What better way to add life into a room than accessorising with some greenery?' says Stuart Deavall from TonerGiant. Certain office items, like printers and computer screens ‘can quickly become the epicentre of the room so bringing in some nature will create a contrast that will cool and soften this.'
‘Decorating plants around your workstation will not only provide splashes of colour, but research shows that it can reduce stress and increase productivity, which is key for an office-working space. A potted plant or a vase of flowers on a nearby shelf will work just the trick,’ Stuart adds.
10. Make the space feel cosy with personal touches
While this might be a working space, you need to make it feel like a welcoming guest room too. ‘Often offices may lack personal touches in order to reduce distractions, however, incorporating minor personal touches like framed photographs, artwork and ornaments go a long way in making a space feel homely,’ according to Margaret.
‘Incorporating small touches like a rug and soft furnishings will help create a comfortable space for guests,’ she concludes.
Stuart also recommends ‘adding wall art or decorations around the printer storage area to draw some of the attention away from the printer itself. You can also ‘hang framed artwork, photographs, decorative items or a corkboard to create a focal point in the room, diverting attention from the bulky storage space.’
How do I make it a space that works as both an office and a guest room?
You might want to consider how many days out of the year the space will be used as a guest room versus an office. If you will be mainly using it as a home office, prioritise making it as functional as it can be for working from home.
Alternatively, if the space will be used as a guest room more often than it is an office, making it feel comfortable and a room where someone can relax is particularly important. 'Getting the balance between comfort and concentration is key,' Margaret says.
How do I alternate between an office and a guest room?
Unless you have an especially large spare room, it's important to 'swap the spare bed for something more versatile,' Craig Rutter, Founder and Managing Director at Cocoon, says. Whether you choose a sofa bed, a wall or Murphy bed or a day bed, a traditional 'guest bed limits the opportunities for using your space effectively,' Craig concludes.
The bed will no doubt take up the most amount of available space in your guest room, so swapping out bulky chests of drawers or a traditional bed for convertible and multi-functional pieces of furniture is essential for making the room serve multiple purposes.
Remember in a multi-purpose room, clever and functional furniture is key. So invest in that sofa bed and desk that does double duty as a dressing table. We promise you won't go far wrong.
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Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.
Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.
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