A Designer’s Thoughts for Hybrid Spaces

By Tara Kirkpatrick

If the last 18 months of managing the COVID-19 pandemic have offered one lesson, it’s the importance of a functional and desirable home office.

“When working from home versus the office, it is important to include the functional amenities that inspire productivity while considering the sanctity of your home,” said designer Lori Carroll, who for decades has been creating award-winning spaces. “Contemplate a space that won’t impede the normal traffic flow of your home or current lifestyle.  Limit yourself to one central area to contain work-related material.”

“Without a dedicated room for a home office, with some creativity and space planning you can fit a desk and storage options just about anywhere,” she said. The following is Carroll’s playbook on designing this hybrid workspace.

How to select an area for a home office:

Bedrooms are typically more secluded, away from the distractions of more active family spaces.  While a bedroom office has drawbacks, the biggest plus is you are mere steps from work in the      morning.       

Family Rooms can be the perfect space for a home office with the addition of some practical furnishings that blend with the aesthetic of your home.  A simple room divider can add additional privacy when working from a more family-oriented area. 

Living or Dining Rooms can become a practical place to set up a home office either in a convenient corner, behind existing furnishings or in a dining room cabinet where paperwork can be easily stowed.    

Kitchens are already equipped with a table, countertops and vertical surfaces that are convenient for setting up work spaces; the drawback being having to move work-related materials for food preparation and eating.  Designate a less used section of the kitchen, then invest in a comfortable, movable chair. 

Laundry Rooms can be converted into a home office by utilizing or adding a surface that can be used as a desk or folding station.  Most laundry rooms already have built-in storage and a door.   

Closets can become a smaller scale home office, offering a little separation from the work space and the rest of the room.  By removing the doors and adding a desk and shelves inside the alcove, a closet can be an ideal place to work.

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