Ideas for How to Combine a Home Office and Guest Room

June 11, 2024

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Learn how to maximize your space with practical tips on how to combine a home office and guest room.


What This Space Looked Like Before

For several years now, I have claimed a small area of my youngest son’s old room as my own workspace. While, at the same time, my son continued to use this room as an overflow to his shared bedroom with his brother.

A spare bedroom painted tan with a hodge podge of stuff in it.

In addition to all of that, I crammed a full-size bed into the room (not shown above), so that we could have a dedicated space for overnight guests.

Needless to say, this spare room has felt more like a catch-all room than my ideal home office space.

Using this room more and more throughout my week, I wanted a home office I could call my own and be inspired by. But, with our growing family, I also recognized the need for a spare bedroom.

We needed a home office/guest room combo.

How to Combine a Home Office and Guest Room

Vision for My Home Office

Knowing that most of the time it would serve as my home office, I had a few criteria I wanted to be sure to meet:

  • the perfect spot for my office desk
  • somewhere to store all of my office supplies
  • a beautifully decorated and inspiring space
  • open space

Perfect Spot for My Office Desk

Staring at a wall all day is not inspiring to me. I need natural light and a view. Therefore, I knew from the beginning, I wanted my desk to sit in front of the big double windows of the room.
Another option I considered was, placing my desk in the middle of the room. Making it more of a focal point was appealing to me.

However, the more I thought through this option, I realized the impracticality of it. My biggest dilemma of this was, where to hide all of the cords.

For example, the desk lamp cord and my laptop cord. Short of running electrical outlets to the middle of the room, there was no way around this predicament. So, I quickly threw out that option.

It was back to my number one choice: placing my desk in front of the window.

Desk area in a home office/guest room for combine a home office and guest room post.

Somewhere to Store All of My Office Supplies

Before making the decision to combine a home office and guest room, I was very much lacking in the department of storage. All of my folders, notebooks, etc were “neatly” stored in a hodge-podge of storage bins. Far from fancy. :)

For my home office combo space, built-in shelves were a necessity. I knew I wanted a combination of open shelving along with cabinets I could close.

Open shelving where I could display beautiful pieces of decor. And closed cabinets where I could hide all of the not-so-pretty paraphernalia.

This wall of built-in shelves was the perfect solution!

Murphy bed in upright position.

Beautifully Decorated and Inspiring Space

The mood I wanted to set for my home office and guest room was one word: inviting!

This needed to be a space I looked forward to walking into every morning. While at the same time, when having guests over, they needed to feel welcomed and comfortable.

I love the cozy feeling I get when spending time in our home theater room. Therefore, I decided to go with a similar design. Dark and moody.

The wall color I chose was Laurel Woods by Sherwin Williams. However, I was not satisfied with painting this dark green color on only the walls. I felt it needed more. Deciding to paint the ceiling this stunning color was exactly what it needed. Wow!

Painting a ceiling the same color as the walls is a game-changer. It completely changes the entire mood of the room. It’s quite amazing!

Home office/Guest room.

Open Space – Combine a Home Office and Guest Room

The last thing I wanted was a room that felt crowded. I didn’t want anything to feel like an afterthought. Therefore, it was imperative to have open floor space.

I wanted to ensure that I could freely move my chair in and out while at my desk. This was not such an easy task in my former makeshift office space. And while it may seem like a small thing, it was kind of annoying. :(

With the Murphy bed, I now have SO MUCH open space. It makes the room feel so much bigger and more organized.

Beautiful rug in a guest room for combine a home office and guest room post.

Vision for The Guest Room

When it came to guest room ideas, I had a few things I felt were non-negotiables:

  • a super-comfy, large bed
  • additional storage
  • enough room to move around
  • making the space cozy

Choosing The Right Bed

More than anything, I wanted this to be a welcoming space for our guests. Therefore, choosing the right bed was important.

A few of the options I considered were:

  • a sofa bed
  • a twin bed, I could make look like a cozy spot to sit during the day
  • a trundle bed

The problem with all of these was they did not meet all of my must-have criteria. A sofa bed is rarely ever comfortable.

Neither a twin bed nor a trundle bed would be big enough to sleep two people in one bed.

So, in the end, I decided on a Murphy bed. I will admit this was a tough choice.

I knew having someone build me one was going to be more than I wanted to spend. And building one on my own seemed like a bigger task than what I wanted to take on.

Then I stumbled on Create-A-Bed Murphy beds and I was sold! (You can read more about how I built my own Murphy bed, in this post.) 

Murphy bed frame with compartment for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

Plenty of Storage Space

With an entire wall of built-in shelves, there is plenty of space for not only office supplies but also all the things needed for the guest room.

I have plenty of room to store pillows, blankets, and extra sheets in the cabinets right next to the Murphy bed. This makes it so convenient when it comes time to make the bed. Who doesn’t love convenience? I love having everything I need right there, ready to grab.

This is a great way to ensure that the space stays neat and tidy.

Hardware for built-ins for combine a home office and guest room post.


Enough Space to Move Around

As I mentioned before, I didn’t want anything to feel like an afterthought. I wanted to be sure to remember even the small details.

That included taking into consideration how much space the room would have when the Murphy bed was down. Was there still enough room to move about the room freely?

Keeping the furniture in the room to a minimum has allowed me to achieve this goal.

Aside from a decorative pot with an olive tree in it, the only furniture in the room is my desk and chair. I love that it makes the space feel larger and more open. Plenty of space to move around.

Murphy bed bedding.

All of this to say, there is one more piece of furniture I would like to add–a console table.

I plan to hang a frame TV or a large abstract painting in this space between these 2 wall sconces. A console table will be the perfect addition: not taking up too much room, while at the same time grounding the space.

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Olive tree in a large pot against a millwork accent wall for Murphy Bed Benefits post.

​Making The Space Cozy – Combine a Home Office and Guest Room

In addition to not skimping on the size of the bed, I also didn’t cut any corners in making sure the mattress was comfortable. I’m happy to say, my guests are sleeping on the most comfortable bed in the house. Here’s the mattress I chose for our guest room. 

​After waking up from their restful sleep, our guests first step out of bed is onto a soft comfy area rug. This rug is the perfect addition to the room.

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How to Balance Work and Hospitality

How do you stick to your work commitments while hosting guests in your home office space? This is something I had to think through and consider when creating this multipurpose space.

For me, the most important thing is that my guests feel welcome. The last thing I want them to feel is like they’re intruding on my workspace.

I want to be respectful of their privacy, but I also will probably need to get some work done while they’re visiting. For this reason, I relocate my workspace to my living room or dining room temporarily.

If I need to focus a little more, I find that my best option is to set up shop at Panera or my local coffee house for a few hours.

Home office with an olive tree and a desk for combine a home office and guest room post.

I hope this post has given you some great ideas on creating a guest room office combo in your home.

If you want to learn more about how to combine these multi-purpose spaces, be sure to check out these posts:

Murphy Bed Benefits: Combining a Home Office and Guest Room

Home Office Guest Room Reveal: Dark & Moody Design Project

7 Ideas to Create a Stylish and Functional Home Office

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

Until next week,

Happy Designing, Friend!!

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