The need to work remotely has forced many of us to get creative with our home office space. It’s rare to have space available for both an office and a guest room, but if you need both, you’re in luck. Combining the a shared office and guest room space is a lot easier than you might expect!

Multi-purpose spaces – especially an office/guest room combo – are tricky because you have two distinct aesthetics. One needs to be calming and warm for sleeping. The other is a space that keeps you energized and focused for office work. With these design tips, you’ll have a functional office while still creating a bedroom your guests will love.

My standard disclaimer: Please note, some of these items may be offered through affiliate links which means I could get a small commission if you order. That will never influence what I find lovely and want to share with you. I always offer suggestions I would buy for my home or recommend to a client. Also, rest assured it won’t affect the price you would otherwise pay.

Maximize the space

When you’re dealing with smaller rooms, opt for furniture that pulls double duty. Multi-purpose rooms shouldn’t feel like two competing design concepts; the items you select should flow seamlessly between room identities. Remember, you want a place you can work and relax in.

Pick the perfect desk

Consider using a computer desk instead of a nightstand. If you’re working with a smaller room, a writing desk works well, too. Whatever the size, it can comfortably play double-duty. This writing desk by Arhaus is adorably chic and perfectly functional as a nightstand as well.

For bigger rooms, this Peruvian oak desk is professional and stately while the warm chestnut undertones are comforting and inviting.

If you have the space for both, consider using a desk with a large mirror on it for your writing desk. This allows it to work as a vanity as well. You can also install a mirror on the wall above the desk, which works the same and gives you more space to work.

With a larger space and desk, you have more options for storing work-related items when the room is occupied by guests. Desk drawers make for convenient storage of office items when they’re not in use. You can even separate upper drawers for office items and lower drawers for guest room pieces.

Consider a day bed

Day beds are nice for hosting a guest or for relaxing during a mid-morning nap. Consider one that doubles as a sofa; this adds a touch of comfort and style to your office. It’s a nice place to relax with coffee or tea while you get ready for the rest of the day.

The Avalon Twin daybed by Williams-Sonoma is as beautiful as a couch as it is comforting as a twin bed.

If you have more space, opting for a queen day bed is never a bad choice.

Finally, a trundle day bed provides the homey comfort of a day bed with additional sleeping space that slides underneath. The result is more sleeping space that can be tucked away when not in use.

Opt for a loft

If the visitors you host are younger, lofted beds are a wonderful choice. Kids love these bunk-style beds and you’ll love the extra space they offer underneath.

Storage and organization

One of the key features of going from office to guest room is being able to neatly stow away aspects of the room’s other purpose. Proper organization and storage mean a more aesthetically pleasing room, but also better utilization of the space you have.

Open shelving

Open shelving is another way to keep things looking tidy and functional. With open shelving, it’s easy to quickly shift the room’s feel from office to guest room and back again. Anything that might normally be out on the desk while working can easily be tucked away into a basket when guests arrive.

Along those lines, do be mindful of the storage containers you’re using. You don’t want guests feeling like the room is a storage locker. Go with visually-appealing containers and baskets, and always leave open space on your shelves.

Baskets like this woven piece by Williams-Sonoma are perfectly soft yet functional, keeping your office organized yet peaceful.

Hamper style baskets like these can be used both for linens or to store, well, anything. They look beautiful while helping you keep your office space/guest room combo free from clutter.

Office/guest room decor

When you’re decorating your office/guest room combo, you want to walk a line between comfortable and professional. If it’s too professional, it won’t be a pleasant place to unwind and relax. However, if it’s too comfortable, it won’t feel like a place to get work done.

Once you strike the optimal balance between work energy and relaxed comfort, everything will come together.

Framed artwork

Getting some art up on the walls very quickly makes a space feel more relaxed. Check your local art fairs for pieces that speak to you to brighten up your space.

Professional art prints are a gorgeous method of creating energy in a space. Minted is a great place to find incredible prints for all manner of aesthetic styles.

Matching your color scheme and other decor is extremely easy when you have access to beautiful artwork already framed and ready to hang.

Throw pillows

Throw pillows are a fantastic way to add color and style without being overly relaxed. Not only are they comfortable, they’re another way to tie your room together.

Available in a variety of sizes, patterns, and colors, you’re sure to find the perfect match for your office/guest room.

It’s a nice bonus that they’re utterly wonderful to lounge on while taking a break or an afternoon powernap.


Whether you’ve got a green thumb or not, potted plants bring life and vitality to any space. If you’re not so great with live plants, faux greenery is just as wonderful. These pieces of decor liven up a room and bring a needed vitality without being overwhelming or gaudy.

Large pieces like this faux Variegated Rubber Leaf Plant stand tall and work beautifully to flank a doorway or add a splash of life to a corner.

Smaller plants like this Faux Mixed Peony by Pottery Barn look amazing on your office desk, whether you’re working or not.

The classic nandina tree looks good in bigger rooms with its bright green fronds. Perfect for sprucing up a corner or next to your desk.


Getting the lighting correct in your office/guest room can be tricky. You want a good amount of light for work, but you want to avoid harsh, artificial lights as well. Bright office lights make resting and relaxing a difficult task for your guests. Here are a few options for calmer, more functional light.

Blackout curtains

This shading choice allows you to keep natural light in when it make sense to and at bay when you’re trying to sleep. Adjustable and stylish, these curtains will help make the nights in your guest room restful and the days in your office productive.

These cordless bamboo blackout curtains are better for the environment and come in a variety of sizes and colors, perfect for any room.

Adjustable lighting

A hallmark of most offices is the harsh, fluorescent lighting, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Adjustable light bulbs are a great way to keep the light exactly at the brightness you need all the time.

These LED under-cabinet puck lights illuminate your work without flooding the room with additional, unnecessary light.

You can also get smart bulbs that connect to your phone through an app for remote dimming and brightening at your convenience.


Bookshelves in particular allow you to store and display decor and office-relevant items. Keep your work-related items tucked away on higher shelves, and your prized decor at eye-level. This gives a pleasing ambience to your room for your guests while keeping your needed work items close-at-hand.

This ladder-style bookshelf is open and fun, with a broad bottom for storing away office supplies. The tapered shelving at the higher levels can display photos and decor.


A closet office is another really great way to make the most of your space! If your closet is big enough, a desk is ideal, but you can also install a work surface with brackets. Laminate countertop or butcher block is a great choice here!

The closet office, or cloffice as some term it, allows you to almost wholly separate the office aspect of your guest room combo from the sleeping component. All of this without losing the functionality of the office, and that’s a good option to have. Though you’re “losing” the closet space, it can be made up with dressers.

Cloffice design

While the office part of the cloffice is somewhat hidden, you’ll want to balance the space with accessories and decor. Consider peel-and-stick wallpaper. It makes for a simple DIY project that is easy to install and can make your workspace more enjoyable.

It comes in a variety of patterns and styles, all very easy to place and completely removable. If you don’t like it, it’s not a hassle to remove and replace.

Few things are as calming as a familiar, pleasant scent. Reed diffusers are a handsome way to make your room smell great while working within your decor.

Get more out of your storage

If you have space under the bed in your cloffice/guest room, make sure you’re utilizing it. Thin, wide totes are a great way to store linens or towels for your guests to access easily.

You can, of course, store absolutely anything in the space below your bed, just as long as you don’t let that area go to waste.

Consider a reading nook

A reading nook or a day bed (or both!) is a great way to break away from your work. It makes the space more homey and comfortable while giving you an excuse to unwind with a book and a cup of tea.

If you’ve got the space, nothing feels better than sinking into a gorgeous, comfy arm chair.

For a more modern style, this ivory boucle chair is comfy while still retaining that chic decor, befitting an at-home office.

Functionality can be comfortable

You can create a space that’s as inviting as it is productive. An office/guest room combo can be a homey, warm place for your guests to sleep as well as a retreat from your workday. Likewise, it can energize and invigorate you to produce your best work.

With optimized storage and using your space correctly, you can quickly flip between home office and comfy bedroom. Utilize open shelving to keep things carefree yet orderly, and utilize the space under your bed for easy access to linens and towels for your guests.

A cloffice is a great way to ensure you have office space when there’s not much room to go around. Cloffice or not, consider faux greenery and framed art to brighten the space. For a fun, easy DIY project, grab some peel-and-stick wallpaper.

A reading nook is a phenomenal way to make a room warmer while giving you a place to sit and relax when work gets to be too much. There is enough common design space between a home office and a guest room that you can make both work well together. Simplicity, storage, and softness go a long way in creating an environment that allows for productivity and warmth.

My standard disclaimer: Please note, some of these items may be offered through affiliate links which means I could get a small commission if you order. That will never influence what I find lovely and want to share with you. I always offer suggestions I would buy for my home or recommend to a client. Also, rest assured it won’t affect the price you would otherwise pay.