A home office placed in a family room

Creating a Home Office in a Public Family Space

If you want to create a home office, but don't have an extra, private room to use, don’t lose hope. There are still plenty of ways you can transform a public area of your home into an office without disrupting the flow of the original room. Keep in mind that you will not have as much privacy if you use a popular space, such as your living room, but you can still make it functional and comfortable enough to accomplish your necessary tasks.

Make it Match

A corner home office is a popular design for when you want to establish your office in the living room, breakfast room, or bedroom. If you are going to be working when no one else is using this room, it can be just as good as a private office. A corner office can even add to the aesthetics of a room if you pick furniture and decorations similar to the current ones. It does not have to look exactly alike, but try to stick to the same color palette and style. For example, if you already have modern, edgy sofas and lamps in your living room, don’t buy a vintage oak desk to put in the corner.

Find the Right Desk

You will probably have to sacrifice when it comes to size in your public home office. Chances are, there is already quite a bit of other furniture in the room, so you need to pick a desk that will fit and not look overbearing. Corner desks are great because most of them are vertically oriented, as to not take up a lot of room. This way, you can keep your computer on the bottom level, printer on an upper level, and all of your supplies in the drawers. Add some simple decorations to your desk that match the rest of the room to create unity between all of the furniture.

Be Smart with Your Schedule

The one major issue with a public office is inherent - it’s public. You can easily become distracted by your spouse or children who may want to use that room while you are trying to work. Plan your hours around the main hours that you think the room will be used. If it’s the living room, work during the morning and afternoon instead of the evening when other family members may want to watch television. If it’s the breakfast room, work in the afternoon and evening instead of the morning when everyone is eating breakfast. If distractions become a real issue, you can always invest in a set of noise-canceling headphones so you can concentrate in silence or listen to your favorite tunes.