Thousands of people made the sudden shift to remote work in 2020, and over 40% of them have decided to continue working from home on at least a part-time basis. If you’re one of them, you have probably been frustrated at the fact that your home’s interior design did not have remote work in mind.
Many people don’t have a spare bedroom or other small space to set up a real home office, and they have had to make do with what they had available. They find themselves moving from dining table to living room to bedroom, often working in uncomfortable and unproductive environments. Meanwhile, the supplies and equipment you have taken over your home, getting in everyone’s way.
If you are serious about continuing to embrace remote work or you are planning on striking out on your own, you should really consider redesigning your home’s interior with multifunctional home furniture that will make working from home more productive for you (and less stressful for everyone else in the household).
By choosing new home furniture that can pull double duty you can organize your workspace and supplies to be as little of an intrusion on the daily life of the household as possible. If you have an open concept hope it is even easier to use common household furniture in a disappearing office. Here are some ideas.
Choose the right dining table
Dining tables make great temporary workspaces, but most people don’t like using them long term. Still, if it is the only place you have to work on a broad, flat surface, just make sure it can stand up to the additional use and abuse.
You might also want to get the matching buffet or sideboard for the dining set. You can use it to house printers, extra monitors, and even your laptop computer. Create your disappearing office with the drawers and cabinets, with a decorative cloth to cover the bulky items.
If you will be having clients or colleagues in your home on occasion, look for a dining table that closely resembles an executive conference table. There are a lot of options, and beautifully polished wood dining tables don’t cost as much as you might think. Such a table also gives a more professional aesthetic to an open concept home.
Make use of console tables and accent cabinets
There are a large number of console tables and accent cabinets being used in today’s home design and furnishings. These are often great statement pieces, and they give you some additional ways to stash your disappearing home office. You can use their surfaces to provide food and drink for your guests. These work well in living rooms and open concept homes.
Bookcases with doors might be more helpful than you think
If you think that you don’t have enough books or supplies to warrant an entire bookshelf, you need to reconsider. When you don’t have the budget to replace much of your furniture, consider adding a bookshelf instead. A bookcase of the right design could be all you need for your part-time office space. You can find many affordable bookcases with doors online.
Hutches and bookcases with doors can be placed in any room without looking out of place while giving you a nice way to make your office disappear. The doors can hide bulky items like printers, while some decorative or professional baskets can be arranged on the shelf to organize smaller supplies. With a deep enough shelf at the right height could even be used as a small laptop table.
Additional home furniture to include in your open concept home office design
There are some additional needs to consider in an open concept home. If you want your home office to disappear when everyone comes home at the end of the day, using these items can help give you additional ways to organize while keeping everything out of sight.
Although not an item many people consider, it is always a good idea to have traditional TV trays around the house. Almost everyone eats the occasional meal away from the table, and you never know when a small pop-up surface could be handy. But in a home office, they are really important.
Take one of the tv trays and convert it into a portable desk by adding casters. Then get out and use the remaining trays when you need an additional workspace. It allows you to work literally anywhere in your home.
Storage benches and ottomans
Storage benches and ottomans can be used throughout your open concept home – at the dining table, as one side of your conversation area, or at the fireplace. The interior storage of these items is perfect for storing spare office supplies, tools of your trade, files you don’t need on a daily basis, books that can’t go on the shelf, etc.
Use a nightstand in your bedroom as a remote printing and charging station
Did you know that a lot of nightstands now offer charging stations? These nightstands also are used to design a remote printing station, allowing you to keep your printer out of sight while still keeping it easily accessible. (Most printers today offer WiFi capability.) A nightstand with drawers or doors can also hold additional spare office supplies.
Why is the nightstand the only piece of bedroom furniture listed in this article?
You really shouldn’t make your office area in your bedroom. Even though you are working from home, you still need to keep work and home separate. Part of that is being able to relax when it is time to go to sleep, and that is difficult to do when your “office” is staring at you across the room from your bed. If you still want to put your office area in the bedroom, you might also consider a media chest for organization and workspace.
Think outside the box
This is just the beginning of how you can make your furniture double as a workspace. Hop online and check out furniture stores with the hottest brands and browse with your home office needs in mind. Think outside the box, and try to envision how you can use the piece for the purpose.