Like millions of employees around the globe, the pandemic has likely driven you straight to your living room to start your work day. And with an increasing number of businesses deciding to make the work-from-home lifestyle a more permanent arrangement, you might as well nestle into the idea and ditch the “temporary workstation” you’ve been perched at for the past year. To provide inspiration, Budget Direct Home Insurance teamed up with an interior designer to provide seven living room office setup options, all “working” with the same office and home furniture in the same sample room.
These working solutions address desk location, space options, storage solutions, and the need for adequate lighting and privacy while you work.
The Work-Free Zone
As far as sample living rooms go, this one is pretty ideal, free of the copious toys, pet beds, and almost-there design elements we’re all so familiar with, but I think we can still envision ourselves working here. Is that an adjacent sunroom? And the architecture. Wowza. Okay, down to business:
Configuration 1: Use Existing Display and Storage
Get in the zone, work and otherwise, by sectioning off a portion of the living space to designate a work area. You don’t need to haul in the room dividers, either. Simply arrange freestanding shelving or bookcases to frame in your space. This creates a separation from the lounging, eating, and recreational areas of the room to help keep you on task. Plus, placing your desk in the center of the room allows you to benefit from flowing light since the divider doesn’t block it out.
Configuration 2: Use Existing Display and Storage
Instead of struggling to find room for the desk and nearby organization, just move in front of an existing bookcase for instant storage. With your desk pressed up towards a wall bookcase, you’ll have room to keep supplies nearby without taking up coveted work space. Not only does this option dial up the supply management, but it also moves you away from any central activity in the room.
Configuration 3: A Low-Cost Divider
When looking at your living room, there’s typically a rather large obstacle that dominates the center: the sofa. If your couch is currently pressed against the wall, pull it into the room and use the back of it to designate a dividing line between the workspace and the after-work space.
Configuration 4: Got a Sunroom?
We can all only hope to have a “conservatory” attached to our living room. If you do, you’ve likely already considered the space as a climate-controlled and nature abundant place to type up reports. In case you haven’t, though, image being immersed in plants while enjoying the sun-capturing benefits of the space. You may even decide to extend your work hours.
Configuration 5: Take the Opening
Depending on the type of opening to your living room, you may find a previously overlooked option that you walk past several times a day. Try squeezing in a desk and needed supplies directly to the right or left of the doorway if you can – even if that means popping off the door to take advantage of the space behind it.
Configuration 6: Window Seat
When calculating the most pleasant location for a desk, the corner office is typically associated with the best views. Your own living room window may also offer a few good views, though, so don’t be afraid to scoot that desk right up to it. From a window-side perch you can take in natural sunlight and find inspiration, entertainment, or distraction from the activity outside. It also turns your back to the activity in the space. Add some noise-canceling headphones, and you might even forget you’re in the center of your house.
Configuration 7: The Naughty Corner
It doesn’t have to feel like you’re in trouble if you decide to clear out a corner for your desk. It’s popular real estate in the living room, of course, so you might have to pull furniture and bookcases down the wall a bit to make space. If your couch is using up the square footage, use the idea from configuration number three. Pull the couch out just far enough that you have room for your desk, and enjoy the buffer from the rest of the room.