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grey home office ideas with cream upholstered chair from pottery barn

How to Create a Stylish Workspace in your Living Room or Bedroom

Today I want to give you some multipurpose room ideas. Recently on the blog I told you why it was crucial for you to have a “me zone” in your home, and this post expands on that concept.

If you’re desperate to squeeze a home office in your living room, bedroom or kitchen (or any other pocket that looks ripe for converting), you’ve come to the right blog. I have some inspiration in this post courtesy of Pottery Barn that demonstrates just how easy it can be to make multipurpose rooms work.

And the best part: the office zone in the room doesn’t look at all out of place with the rest of the space!

grey office desk from pottery barn with linen table lamp

Avoid ‘Office’ Furniture

The furniture you choose for a multipurpose space is so important. You want to look for pieces that don’t scream “office”; avoid the traditional office desk, office chair and work lamp.

Instead, veer toward a hall table or similar with a deep profile. You can still sit at it and work away, but it’ll look great in the room too. Avoid a hall table with a depth less than 40cm or you’ll be too close to the screen.

Buy a comfortable dining chair rather than an office one. No wheels permitted here. Upholstery is always nice and I like the idea of some tufting or piping on the chair, just to give it a little detail.

When it comes to the lamp, choose one with a gorgeous shade and display it on the hall table. Office nooks can feel so hard and sterile, so a soft linen shade will work wonders in making the zone feel cosier.

Tip: Don’t think of the workspace as an office in your living room, but more as an extension of your current room’s design. Select everything with cohesion in mind.

home office in living room from pottery barn with cream upholstered office chair

Link the Zones through Colours & Finishes

The easiest way to tie your new workspace and living room together is to ensure both zones share the same colour story.

Also look at the materials your coffee and side tables are made from and get a desk in a similar finish. If you don’t have any glossy white pieces of furniture, then don’t go out and buy a white desk that’s going to stand out for the wrong reasons.

If you choose a chair in a similar tone to a nearby sofa, it’ll link the two areas together and make it feel like one cohesive space (rather than a living room with an office nook crammed in the corner).

It’s also nice to have matching accessories spread across the room. Perhaps a vase on your desk the same colour as a vase over on the TV unit. Pop the same trending flowers in the two vases and you can easily pull the two zones together.

white linen shade table lamp from pottery barn on grey office desk

Style the Area without Cliches

It’s important to decorate the new workspace area with decor that isn’t too office-focused either. By all means have stationery and storage, but think outside the box. Some wicket baskets to hold paper instead of an inbox tray. Have a stack of fabric boxes to keep must-have files and other paraphernalia in too.

You also need to have things on the desk and shelf that are purely for decoration. Stuff that might normally be found in a living area. Artworks can make a huge difference here. It’s often wise to avoid bringing in cork boards. It’s too cliched and will define the zone too strongly. Try a wire mesh board instead for something that feels more contemporary.

A small runner or rug under your chair is a nice way to make the zone feel unique and individual, and it’ll also prevent chair legs from leaving indents in your carpet or scraping your floorboards.

How do you do it?

What multipurpose room ideas have worked for you? Have you worked an office area into your living room or bedroom with great success? I’d love for you to share some of your tips in the comments below.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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One Response

  1. I do like the runner idea under the chair because my carpet indents very easily. Yes it’s cheap. Don’t ask. Guilty when it comes to the corkboard. Admittedly I do have dedicated office space & I stuck cork flooring to my wall above my desk. I have prettied it up so it doesn’t too naf.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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