In a small living room space, creating a floor plan with flow and functionality can be a challenge. Adding a piece of furniture that doesn’t typically go in a living room, such as a computer desk, magnifies the challenge. If the computer desk is too near the living room furniture, it may create the feeling of a cramped environment. Working at the desk in the midst of the living room area also may feel cramped. Forethought and proper placement can turn the one small space into two well utilized areas independent of one another.
Visibility: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The position of the computer desk in relation to the living room furniture is key to the general feeling you’ll have while using the living space. If the computer desk is highly noticeable when sitting on the couches or in the main sitting area, it stunts the relaxing living room vibe — in other words, don’t position the computer desk so those watching TV will see it in the same view as the TV. It would also be awkward while sitting at the computer desk if people are sitting in the living room looking in your general direction as you work. If you have no other viable space for a computer area other than where it is highly visible, use a desk or armoire with doors to hide the computer and work-related items when not in use.
Grouping the Living Room Furniture
Living room furniture layout is comfy and cozy when the chairs and sofas are arranged in a grouping conducive to conversation. A sofa set away from the main window, toward the center of the room with chairs along the walls facing inwards creates a conversational space while allowing ample room for the work desk in one of the unused corners near the front window, if there is one. This gives the work area ample light and a space of its own without feeling cramped, while those sitting in the living room area won’t notice the computer desk tucked away in a corner.
Freestanding Bookshelves or Wall Units
In an all-in-one room setting, such as an efficiency apartment, one way to create separate workspace and living areas is by using dividers. A freestanding bookshelf or wall unit used as a makeshift wall can create a separate room or nook for the computer desk. The bookshelf needn’t be tall; if it’s at least as tall as the desktop, it will create the illusion of separate space since the bookshelves will be visible from the living room, rather than part of the desk and all the associated computer cables.
Eclectic Living Room Workspace
If your living room area is a collection of fun and funky furniture and accessories tailored to your own unique style, the sky, or rather the ceiling, is the limit. Beaded curtains or homemade curtain dividers on bars hung through plant hooks on the ceiling create an artistic statement while giving the illusion of a separate workspace. The computer desk will be less visible from outside the curtained area, and while inside the workspace, you’ll still feel you have a space of your own. For a funky twist on the beaded curtain theme, make your own dividers with chains of old compact disks connected to one another with strands of fishing line. Drill a hole through the CDs at opposite edges and loop jump rings through them, tying the fishing line to the jump rings. Several strands make a curtain panel made to size for your living room.