13 Double-Duty Offices
Inspiring multiuse spaces.
Designer and homeowner Barbara Purdy maximized space in her basement by arranging furniture into distinct zones. A small desk adds a quiet work area without taking up too much floor space. A mix of sofas and chairs provides plenty of seating for movie nights.
Watch an Online TV tour of this basement.
To freshen up an office nook in a living room, add an upholstered corkboard behind the desk in the same fabric as throw cushions to ease flow from one area to the next.
Homeowners Lindsi Mandelbaum and Lorne Rose delineated a bright space near the patio doors for a small desk. A large contemporary painting above the desk makes the office area feel grounded. The living room in their narrow single-storey townhouse isn&#
A corner of the kitchen has been set aside as a work space: this grey tin side table makes a stylish desk and ties in to the dark grey linen fabric on the island chairs.
“Built-ins are great, but sometimes it’s fun just to throw it all together and see what happens,” says designer Wendy Williams Watt. In The Real Housewives of Vancouver star Mary Zilba’s weekend home, easy-to-move furnishings give her room to rearrange if needed. By leaving space for freestanding pieces like this desk, the focus can be on one beautiful lamp or vase.
See more of Mary Zilba’s home.
An old apothecary cabinet in designer Karen Cole’s guest bedroom opens up in several ways, including a drop-leaf desk. Antique twin beds loaded up with brightly patterned throw pillows offer an inviting spot to curl up and read, but can be made up as guest beds within minutes. Bold art and antique rugs contribute to a space that’s as cosy and useful for Karen as it is for her guests.
Watch an Online TV tour of Cole’s home.
Custom-made beds in this former schoolhouse-turned-cottage work as seating by day and as a sleeping area for guests at night. The worn desk and chair continue the schoolhouse theme.
A charcoal love seat, Moorish patterned rug and bright yellow painted desk give this small room a contemporary look. Striped wallpaper helps move the eye up and across the ceiling, making this tiny den appear larger. The sofa folds out into a bed for guests, but when not in use, homeowner Emily Walker uses the desk as a work space.
Stylist Sabrina Linn added pops of colour to her lofty bedroom with drapes, lampshades and throw pillows. Break up floor-to-ceiling windows with a long desk, which can be used for jewelry boxes, accessories or a laptop.
Tucked into the top floor of the 2009 Princess Margaret showhome, this small room is perfect for short-term guests. A low daybed was the right choice for this narrow space. A desk placed near the window is practical for guests who wish to unpack their luggage and can be used by family members as a home office when the room isn’t occupied.
For more guest bedrooms, browse our photo gallery.