One Room, Two Uses: How To Have a Home Office in a Guest Room


Should you craft a functional home office that meets your every business need, or should you allow the comforts of prospective guests dictate the room’s design?

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to make both spaces work together, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem, and most people choose to focus on one over the other, making either an office that feels like someone else’s bedroom or a guest room that feels like an oversized work cubicle.

It doesn’t have to be that way – in fact, it’s easy to have a fashionable and functioning office that simultaneously provides your guests with all the comforts of home.

Double-Duty Furniture


To begin with, it’s important to remember that no matter how big (or small) your room is, space is limited. Dual-purpose furniture for any home office/guest room is mandatory, so forgo the queen-size bed in favor of a daybed or sleeper sofa. Likewise, select a small desk that can double as a table to prevent guests from feeling like they’re slumbering in an office building.


Versatile Pieces

Every piece of furniture that isn’t dual-functioning should be versatile. For example, use stylish lateral filing cabinets instead of vertical metal ones so your excess business documents won’t disturb the room’s feng shui for your guests. You’re also not stuck with standard office chairs. Any seat that’s comfortable and fits in with the room’s aesthetic design will work – just make sure it’s the right height for your desk.


Use Creative Storage Solutions

No matter how versatile your furniture, there’s still going to be signs of the room’s dual purpose. That’s where creative storage solutions come in. Place your tabletop desk against the wall and hide wire racks underneath to hold all your excess office clutter – cords, note and legal pads, pens and pencils, etc. Use bookcases to house both your Wi-Fi router and guest-ready reading materials. Telltale devices such as printer/fax combos (and their paper reams), along with linens (and those fluffy pillows from your mother-in-law), can be stashed on closet shelves and in dresser drawers. Sure, it’s a little more trouble to retrieve your documents from the closet than a printer stand next to your desk, but your guests will appreciate the concession.


Designing a Space for Work and Overnight Stays

The room may be designed (partially) for guests, but it’s ultimately your space, no matter how often you have people over, so decorate it like you would any other room of your home. If you like bold, bright colors and patterns, go for it. If your tone is more neutral and conservative, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you remember to bring out those fluffy pillows when your significant other’s mom comes to town.

How do you make your home office double as an attractive place to house your guests? Share your experience with us below.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    May 29, 2021

    Hi! The photos in this article don’t seem to be loading properly. They’re all blank.

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      June 10, 2021

      Hi Ivy,
      Thank you for letting us know! We will work on getting this fixed.

  2. Reply


    August 30, 2019

    Hi! I love love the double duty chair, where can I find it?

  3. Reply


    June 19, 2016

    What fabric was used on the upholstered daybed? Love!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 20, 2016

      Unfortunately, that’s a fabric we no longer offer. We’re so sorry!

  4. Reply


    September 4, 2015

    I adore everything about this space! Definitely keeping the idea in mind. The rug is absolutely gorgeous!