New Life For Your Old Office

There was a day and age where having a home office was a necessary household room. This was in the time of dial-up and ethernet cables which were not available in every room of the home. Desktop computers needed a permanent home with a sturdy desk and people needed filing cabinets for their documents. These days, however, internet access isn’t restricted to one room of the home. And laptops and tablets make permanent desks unnecessary. It’s much more convenient and comfortable to do work at the table with a bowl of cereal nearby or on the couch with a television show playing in the background. Thus, home offices are diminishing in popularity and in return on investment if your renovate them and keep them as an office.

However, home offices are often designed differently from actual bedrooms, so it’s not as though you can turn your old office into a guest room with ease. Offices often have more windows, less square footage, a smaller or nonexistent closet and are placed in more trafficked parts of them home away from the sleeping area. But if you’re willing to get creative, there can be other good uses for this outdated room.

The design section of the Cedar Valley Home & Garden Magazine suggested three ways you can convert your home office for other uses. Its first idea: make it a billiards room. “Find a small (7-foot) pool table to place in the center of the room,” it said. “If there’s a wood counter, retrofit the top with a waterproof material such as stone for an elegant bar. . . and [hang] a pendant lamp over the pool table.”

Another creative idea is to make it a deluxe closet dressing room. Just install shelving, hanging rods, and get some portable racks. Fit it with a full-length mirror and an ottoman in the center of the room. If you feel like getting really fancy, hang a chandelier from the middle of the ceiling and install a small vanity. Be sure to cover any windows with good blinds or thick curtains for privacy and to protect your clothes.

Pam Ginocchio, co-founder of the children’s design blog Project Nursery, suggested another option: make your office into a kid’s homework hub. Deck it out with little desks or tables, a chalkboard or whiteboard, an area to display artwork, floating shelves, and a bookshelf.

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