You’re working diligently to finish your project by the deadline while your kids take a Zoom class in the other corner of the room—your partner walks in to bring them snacks while your dog follows the scent of food. You look around flustered, knowing that sharing the existing home office with your entire family just isn’t sustainable.
It’s okay—imagine this: the ample space in your living room gets redesigned for either you or the kids to work or study in peace. You can shift your furniture creatively, which allows for the inclusion of a workspace extension. Not only is it functional, but it also fits your overall aesthetic. Below, we share the top four tips for redesigning your living room as your workspace extension.
1. MAKE USE OF A CORNER
When the rest of your living room is already packed with furniture or you’re working with limited square footage in an apartment, make one corner your workspace extension—preferably by a window to invite natural light in while you work. By using a corner, you create an obvious separation between your living area and your working area.
When choosing the desk for this space, ensure it matches the rest of your living room décor to create a seamless design. To top it off, create a gallery wall just above your desk, using elements from the rest of your living room—for example, if you’ve opted for a chic appearance throughout, use black and white prints in gold or silver frames. If you’ve opted for a more bohemian and artsy vibe, create a gallery of your favorite art prints in funky frames.
2. USE AN OPEN WALL
If you can rearrange your couches or if you have the budget to replace them altogether, you can create a workspace along an open wall. Before you jump the gun and buy a new desk or couch, take out your measuring tape. The best couches are the ones that fit perfectly into your available space. When you’ve mapped out where your furniture is going to be placed, you can begin working with the open wall.
Using this redesign is ideal if you have multiple kiddos who need workspaces, as you can line the wall with a long desk and set up multiple workstations. Add floating shelves above each individual workspace to create a streamlined, balanced look and you’ll have a clearly divided, yet congruent appearance in your living room space. While you’re at it, make sure you’re incorporating mindful and comfortable touches that help to improve mood and keep energy levels up.
3. CREATE YOUR OWN CUBICLE
To create the feel of a separate office space in your living room, you can use makeshift walls that double as décor and storage space with the use of a tall cubby bookshelf. Open cubbies mean you can place books or other decorations facing either direction, which unites the two spaces, rather than appearing awkward and blocking off the natural flow of your living room.
With this approach, you can create an entirely new office, rather than just an extension, and can use an L-shaped desk to create an open square within which you work. Incorporate additional design elements to complement the living area, like house plants of varying shapes and sizes. You’ll add life to the room neutrally, and it’ll feel inviting, both for work and for lounge time with friends and family.
4. USE THE SPACE BEHIND YOUR COUCH
If you’re dreading the thought of giving up a precious part of your living room for a practical addition that seems to cut into the space you share with guests, don’t worry. Try a modular sofa in an outdoor-friendly fabric to accommodate all of your guests. Simply use the space behind your couch to set up your workstation. By layering your furniture like this, you create a simple workspace that doesn’t interrupt the rest of your hosting area. You can still enjoy football watch parties without feeling cramped.
Use a slender desk that tucks behind the back of the couch nicely, add an area rug to outline the workstation, and include a desk lamp for adequate lighting. Leave an open space for your laptop and layer additional décor on the other side of the desk, like a couple of books alongside an elegant orchid.
With the tips outlined above, you can have the best of both worlds—a workstation that gets you in the zone for ultimate productivity and a spacious living area that doesn’t feel crowded by the addition of a workspace extension. All it takes is a little imagination and creativity to envision a new design for your living room and once you’ve landed on just the right touches, you’ll be amazed by how great it all comes together. Tell us about your new vision for your living room! What tips do you plan to incorporate?
Guest Contributor: Kiley Morrow