Reader SOS – Bedroom and Office Combo

I’m back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space”. My plan for #DIYPlaybookSOS is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer design tips and tricks on how to improve it.

Here are some of my favorite design solutions from this series…

How Do I Design a Room with Multiple Uses?

Today’s Reader SOS comes from Michelle, who was looking for help with a spare room in her house with the hope of turning it into an office/guest room/workout area. Multipurpose rooms are so common these days, especially with people working from home, so I figured this was the perfect topic to tackle. How do you make a space function well when it has multiple uses?

The Room Before

Here are a few words from Michelle…Empty multipurpose room before

We have a third room (size: 119″x119″) that we’d love to set up as a multi-purpose room: guest room/wellness room/office. We’re thinking we could put in a sofa bed and a desk and keep some floor space for a yoga mat. Multipurpose room beforeThe budget would ideally be around $2,000 including the sofa bed. We’d like to get rid of everything in the room. Dresser in a multi-purpose roomThe dresser currently holds my folded laundry but I’m looking for a narrower dresser that could fit inside my bedroom closet. Multi-purpose room ideasWe can put the workout gear in the closet or a nice storage piece in the room.

Michelle’s Style & Inspiration
Ideas for home and bedroom combo

Image via Pure Salt Interiors

I asked Michelle to send me an inspiration picture of the vibes she wants to create in the space and she sent me the gorgeous space above. Wow! So beachy and serene. This was a great jumping-off point as I started to think about what to do for the bedroom and office combo.

Tips to Create a Bedroom And Office Combo

A bedroom and office combo isn’t new, but it certainly is more common now that so many people are working from home, so I’m really excited to tackle this design dilemma. In fact, I’m no stranger to an office in a bedroom because that was my setup in our old condoThe good part about working as a full-time blogger

I kept my desk tucked away in the corner of our main bedroom and it worked out really well for us! I think the fact that this is Michelle’s guest room, as opposed to her main bedroom, makes it a tad easier. And because of that, I’m going to treat this as a home office first, a guest bedroom second, and a wellness area third.

The Layout

I stared at the room for far too long, trying to figure out the best layout for the space. The size of the room actually dictated the final layout because it’s a pretty small room. I wanted to give Michelle a sofa bed that incorporated at least a full sized mattress and really the only spot that will work is underneath the window. (P.S. I used the new-to-me website,, to create the rendering below. It works out really well if you’re in a pinch when working on a room layout).

Layout for office and bedroom combo

The above rendering has a 5×7 rug to ground the space, a 77″ sofa bed under the window, with a side table next to it and an ottoman in front of it. It also has a desk, a chair, and a floor lamp on the opposite wall. Oh, and I included a floor-length mirror tucked behind the door. I think this layout achieves everything Michelle needs…an office space, a guest room with the sofa bed, and open space in the middle to practice yoga or meditate.

The Guest Room Area

This was actually the first time I’ve ever searched for sleeper sofas and there are some really great ones out there! I think we will eventually add one to our basement, so I was excited to see so many stylish options. As I mentioned, there wasn’t enough room in Michelle’s space for a queen sofa bed (or larger), so we settled on a full, which can range from about 70-80″ in width, depending on the style. Sleeper sofa from Wayfair

I found this 72″ sleeper sofa from Wayfair and it’s such a stylish steal! It comes in a ton of fabrics and colors, but I really like the “Conversation Ivory” because it has those same beachy vibes from Michelle’s inspiration picture. The sofa is about $1,000, so that still leaves some room in the budget to buy other large pieces of furniture.sleeper sofa

Since this will act as a guest room, I think it’s important to keep bedding and blankets nearby. I’d probably stash the sheets, pillows, and comforter for the bed in the closet so they’re always ready for guests.

Bedroom decorating 101

I would also encourage Michelle to add curtains flanking the windows and since it’s a guest room, I’d opt for blackout curtains. In our old main bedroom, I DIY’ed these blackout curtains from IKEA and they turned out great. With a sleek black rod at the top and creamy white curtains below, the space would really look stellar.

I’d add a floor-length mirror on the left wall as you enter the room (behind the door). It’s always nice for guests to have a mirror when getting ready, plus it would come in handy for workouts! This wood one is pretty and comes in at an affordable price.

Home Office Desk & Storage IdeasGray blue desk from Wayfair for this office and bedroom combo space

Okay, on to the next important aspect of this space…the home office. So far, we’ve been sticking to lots of neutrals in this design and it is time to bring in a bit of color. This gray/blue desk adds a hint of color, while still staying true to that original inspiration picture. This desk can convert to a standing desk too, which I thought was pretty cool. Plus, it has storage, which is always a good idea. I would pair it with this leather desk chair to add some texture and warmth to that side of the room.

Instead of taking up precious real estate on the desk for a lamp, I’d tuck a floor lamp into the corner for those nights when you’re working late. This one is perfect, with the sleek metal base and wicker shade. It brings in a little black – every room needs black – that complements the black curtain rod on the other side of the room and it adds even more texture, with that wicker shade. How to build oak shelves

Photo & Tutorial via Honey Built Home

Above the desk, I’d opt for long white oak shelves. Michelle could easily DIY this project to save some money. I love this tutorial from Honey Built Home. These shelves would add interest to that wall and would be the perfect spot for books, office accessories, and plants.

Making a Zen Space

So I was very tempted to go with a natural fiber rug in this room because jute/seagrass/sisal all scream “coastal” to me. However, since Michelle wants to do yoga in here, those materials might be a little too scratchy when she is laying on the ground. Instead, I found this gorgeous rug from the Studio McGee line at Target. The colors go perfectly with the room and the material is low-pile and woven, so it will be soft to the touch. Not to mention it’s only $100 for a 5×7, which is the size that she needs for this room.

woven storage ottoman from target

This woven ottoman would work well in this room because it really goes with the serene coastal vibes, while adding some great texture. It could be placed in front of the sofa bed as a sort of coffee table and then pushed to the side for workouts. Inside it, you could easily stash a yoga mat, bands, and other workout gear.

Bedroom And Office Combo – Mood Boardbedroom and office combo mood board

Sleeper Sofa // Storage Ottoman // Wood Mirror // Curtains // Black Curtain Rod // Desk // 5×7 Rug // Desk Chair (similar)// Floor Lamp // Tassel Pillow (no longer sold) // Chambray Pillow (no longer sold) // Artificial Tree (similar)

Here’s a look at all of the pieces together. Can you envision it?! The combination of the main pieces kept the price tag within Michelle’s $2,000 budget, but the accessories  – pillows, lamp, tree, etc. –  pushed us a bit over. I think if she sold some of the pieces in the existing room, she would be able to use that revenue and make the bottom line right around $2,000. And this is giving me those serene and calming vibes that I know she really wanted for this bedroom and office combo. I hope Michelle will keep us updated on her progress of this room. I’d love to see how it all comes together someday.

If you want to check out past design dilemmas and solutions from the Reader SOS series, check out this page. I’m not currently taking on any new submissions, but you might find some ideas for your own space there!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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