The Office Becomes the Office/Guestroom

The changing of the room formerly known as guest room to nursery also necessitates the change of the room formerly known as the office to the office/guestroom.

Believe me when I tell you that this room, which could easily be mistaken for a hallway or closet, is NOT of adequate proportions to encompass both these functions.

But after all my whining about needing to start on the nursery, Jeff was raring to move the futon in from the guestroom to see how we could fit the behemoth into the teeny tiny floorplan.

Before I show you the results, here is how our office was laid out:

Desk at the far end of the room in front of the windows.

Opposite the desk was the bookshelf, to the left of the door when you walk in.

This configuration had the left and right walls empty, which is just as well because the room is incredibly narrow. We toyed briefly with the idea of purchasing some kind of computer armoire and seriously considered purchasing this one, particularly when it went on clearance for $390:

Computer Armoire from

But we soon realized that it was too wide to go where the bookshelf was, and obviously couldn’t go infront of the windows.. so we have to make do with the desk we have.

After a bit of rearranging, we came up with the only possible configuration that would allow the closet door to open, the futon to open and the filing cabinet door to open. It ain’t pretty, but given that we hardly ever have guests, it seems like its worth the sacrifice of our office to create a nicer larger nursery for our son.

New office set up

So the bookshelf got moved to the left wall, the futon to the right wall and the desk stays where it was. With all the excess furniture packed in here, the computer clutter (wires, powerstrips, modems and such) went from mild eyesore to serious issue. Every bit of our tiny space needs to be compact and organized and I’d also like to tie it all together better with some decorating (curtains anyone??)

The office already had a bit of a theme of pink (walls and bookshelf accessories) and red (rug accent and office chair) and dark wood (bookshelf and desk).

The filing cabinet is grey and fugly, so rather than try to match the wood of the desk, something brighter like this red filing cabinet from ikea should do the trick:

It looks from the picture anyway to be the same fire engine red as the Ikea Love office chair we have.

I thought I could maybe get away with using the black and white rococo print curtains from the former guestroom in here too. So I whipped up this little photoshop montage to test my theory:

With red ikea filing cabinet and black and white curtains from the old guestroom.

The right wall that is now dedicated to the futon is looking woefully bare and begging for some art:

Fortunately, Jeff is an artist, and we had two of his larger canvas works that we didn’t previously have a place for, so I photoshop auditioned them:

Kneeling Girl painting.


Girl on Picnic Blanket Painting.

I’m not sure either of them really match the room, but maybe with the right choice of frame.. (A big wooden frame painted pale pink??)

The biggest challenge is what to do with the left side of the desk where the modem, phone that is plugged into the modem, router and various other power strips and cords hang out. It’s a small space, but I keep thinking if we get a shallow piece of furniture we could at least tuck some of that stuff behind it.. maybe another one of the red ikea filing cabinets? Or a tall narrow bookshelf?

I would also like to tie the theme together better with some coordinating throw pillows and maybe a pink hanging lamp instead of the white one.

Opinions, ideas, suggestions on any or all of the above are greatly appreciated!

8 Responses to “The Office Becomes the Office/Guestroom”

  1. I really like it with the black & white curtains.

    Oh, we’re so not looking forward to having to do this ourselves (and we’re not even pregnant yet — just trying)!

    We’ll have to bid adieu to our den (or so-called man room, lol) to make room for baby.

  2. I like the layout and the curtains. If you move the red filing cabinet on the left side of the desk you could put a narrow bookcase on the right side, maybe fill some of the shelves with baskets and have it function as a little cupboard for guest toiletries as well. How about painting the window wall, maybe in the green colour in the carpet? I’ve done that with the window wall in my home office (you can see it on my blog) and find it really helps accentuate the view of the outdoors.

  3. I like Girl on Picnic Blanket for that space…

  4. Wanderluster, your office puts my ideas to shame. Its beautiful!! I love the colors and the ikea curtains work so well there.

    Interesting idea about swapping the filing cabinet and bookshelf, I think though that we don’t want our only filing cabinet on the left because it won’t open if the closet door is open. But, its defintely something to try when we get the filing cabinet home.

    Higher nest, its a small sacrifice in the scheme of things, (and the first of millions I suspsect) but a sacrifice none the less. Good thing we’re pretty sure the kid will be worth it :)

  5. Wanderluster, I may have to copy your curtains now that I think about it.. mine go well with the room colorwise, but may be too busy for such a small space? Hmmm. back to the photoshop drawing board!

    Oh, and the carpet color is actually a yellowy brown, not green, but a palish green might look pretty nonetheless.

  6. I love your curtains! I think they work great with the carpet and other furnishings :) Another thought, if you want to ‘lighten’ the look a bit you could paint the desk white. That plus the red file cabinet beside would look awesome.

  7. That’s a lovely transformation! Having the futon in there can make it a better work space too because sometimes you just need to step away from the computer and think for a bit and moving to another part of the room gives you new perspective on everything! I hope to do the same thing with our attic.

  8. Wanderluster I’ve been dying to get a white desk!! Jeff says though that it will look wierd with the bookshelf then, but I’m pretty sure it would look perfect. I’m not sure I’d bother painting it, it was a cheapo from target and I think I could get something similar for next to nothing. I think maybe I’ve met my quota of furniture painting!! ;) Ok, I was so inspired I mocked it up in photoshop – I love it!!

    Jennifer, I’m leaning towards that painting too.

    Kelli, I do agree that having the futon in there does have some perks.. its nice to have a seating area across from the bookshelf to read. I wish our attic were big enough to do something with! Or our basement for that matter.

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