How to Create a Home Office in a Home That Doesn’t Have One

What? Organizing and decorating tips on my blog? Definitely not my forte. When you need to know how to create a powerful space where you can work from home, I leave those tips to the experts. If you’ve been longing for a home office to call your own, read the guest post below by Courtney Davis of the design and styling firm Kelly + Olive. Courtney truly gets the lifestyle of a mompreneur who is juggling her roles as wife, mom, family manager and business owner.

It’s a classic story: You and your partner buy a house with plenty of space to grow into. At first, you’ve got a guest room, a dedicated office, and oodles of space in that unfinished basement. It seems that you’ll never run out of space. Then your first child is born. That guest room and office somehow combine, but the revolving door of guests (who are sleeping in your office) is beginning to keep you away from your work! And when the next baby comes along? Each baby gets their own room, and the basement becomes part guestroom, part playroom. Your office becomes the kitchen table, the floor of the playroom, your bed…or worse, it’s non-existent.

Now, you heard Lara: To run a successful business you MUST have a dedicated home office! It’s crucial. What she didn’t tell you is where the heck you’re going to put it. Here are some ideas you may not have thought of.

Next to the Bed

Decorators like us love to put a little writing desk in a bedroom in place of one of the nightstands. It performs the same functions (holding a lamp, a glass of water, and all your nighttime necessities) but keeps the matchy-matchy look of bedroom sets at bay. You can even tuck a simple filing cabinet underneath for extra storage. If you’re able to keep things from spreading out all over the room, this is a great option.

In a Closet

Giving up a closet may sound terrifying, but if you can pare down enough this makes an amazing workspace. In my home, we took the doors off and used one of them to create a desk by placing it on top of two simple shelving units from a big box store. The shelf above my head still stores my husband’s sweaters, but the rest of the space is all mine. And, when I’m done, I close a curtain and it’s like it was never there.

In your favorite Reading Chair

The most compact of micro-offices, this involves two important pieces of multitasking furniture. A file storage ottoman, and an end table with drawers big enough to stash a laptop. Double your filing space by using a stylish filing cabinet as the end table, and you, my friend, are in business.

Those are our top three tips for creating a stylish home office in an unconventional space. We hope this helps you create that little haven you need to run a successful business! For more decorating ideas, come visit us at Kelly + Olive!

 

So we’re curious…Where do you work at home? Do you have a designated workspace for your mombiz? Do you feel like a home office is necessary for you to get things done, or is working on the couch just fine with you? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 

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About Lara Galloway

As the Mom Biz Coach, I am a speaker, business coach and mentor to mom entrepreneurs and small business owners. My passion is helping entrepreneurs create and run businesses that honor their priorities and values. Together with Shelagh Cummins, I co-founded MomBiz.com to provide business planning, marketing, project planning and operations solutions to entrepreneurs who want to work less, make more, and love the work they do. I live with my husband and three kids in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

I am frequently interviewed for my expertise on work/life balance, starting and running a successful small business, marketing your business on Social Media, and creatively managing your time by media like Forbes, Crain’s Business, The Chicago Tribune, and More Magazine.

When I'm not working, I'm wrangling my three kids with my husband, drinking good wine or microbrewed beer, and baking something with lots of calories since food is my love language. I love living in Michigan, especially when it's 80 degrees and sunny.

Find me on Google+and on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Right now my office is in my dining room. I have a separate desk and storage area. If I need more space to spread out I use my dining table. These are great tips! 

  2. Hi Lara and Courtney, 

    Great post and very timely! By biz partner @JoFoster:disqus  has just got her first home office (no kiddies yet so she gets a room all to herself) and she is very excited about setting it up after months of working from all kinds of spaces while she moved around a lot. 

    I have one daughter and another due very soon and we like to live a simple kind of lifestyle (e.g no big mansion) so space at our house is at a premium.  My home office  is set up in an old school writing desk in a small living space that opens out onto our garden and I LOVE it. I only work when Isabella is away at daycare, so it’s always quiet when I need it to be. 

    I really value being able to have a clear finish time for my work day too, which is the beauty of the old writing desks – it has a lid and cupboards so I close it all up at the end of the day and all I can see is a beautiful piece of old furniture!

    The exception of course is my beautiful vision board, which sits on the wall above the desk and inspires me 24/7.

    Janine

  3. Oh, Janine…I’m weak with envy. That office space of yours sounds amazing! I love the aesthetics of old wooden furniture meeting the outdoors. While I’m great at envisioning goals, plans, things I want to accomplish, I suffer when it comes to interior (or exterior) design and decorating. I lack the gene that allows me to look at pictures and then turn them into my reality in a home space. Sigh. But I guess that’s why I put a lot of value in being highly mobile so I can choose my workspace everyday, every hour, and that’s what works for me. Have laptop and iPhone, will work. Thanks for the comment (and the vision :).
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  4. Great article! Although I have an office especially decorated/prepared for my business, I seldom find myself in it. As a mom to a 3 and 4 year old, the dining table, kitchen counter, or living room couch seem to be my office for now. No complaints because I get to be there for my children and finish my business work in between. :)

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