When you’ve got a small house, some rooms may have to do double duty. Combining your home office and living room certainly isn’t an ideal setup, but there are ways to accommodate a desk. The key is working with your living room’s size and layout to determine the best way to work the desk into the space.
Use a Divider
Since the living room usually is used for entertaining, you may want to visually separate your desk and office area from the rest of the room. A room divider blocks the desk from view in the main seating area and gives you some privacy if you’re working at the desk. A folding screen is easy to move out of the way when you want to open the room. You also can hang curtains from a track on the ceiling to separate the desk from the main part of the room. Like a folding screen, they’re easy to move out of the way. Another option is to use a large furniture item such as a bookcase or cabinet as a room divider; place the desk on the wall behind the piece so it’s not visible from the main seating area.
Hide It Away
While a room divider effectively may conceal the desk in your living room, you may want to hide the desk entirely so you don’t have to worry about guests catching a glimpse of your paperwork. If your living room has a closet, use it to house your desk. Remove the rod and choose a desk that fits inside. Placing the desk in a closet actually allows you to create a fairly elaborate office for your living room because you can add shelves above the desk to hold books, office equipment and supplies – and hide all of it behind a closed door when you’re entertaining. Keep in mind that a desk chair may not fit inside a closed closet, so you should find a decorative option to leave in the living room when the door is closed.
Choose an L-shaped Desk
If you don’t have a large living room, you may be worried about a desk taking up valuable floor space. Using an L-shaped desk is an effective solution because you can tuck it away in an unused corner of the room. It’s also easier to use a folding screen or other room divider to hide the desk if it’s in a corner. L-shaped desks are available in a variety of styles and materials, but opt for a wooden model for your living room so it has a more formal look.
Go With a Roll Top
Depending on the size and layout of the living room, you may not be able to employ a room divider or closet installation to hide the desk. If you have to leave it out in the open, choose a decorative style that allows for a neat, tidy look. A roll-top desk is ideal for a living room because the desktop can be concealed by a slatted covering you pull down – which means guests will never catch a peek at messy paperwork or scattered office supplies. You can find roll-top desks that are large enough to fit computers.