How to Create an Efficient Home Office when You Lack Space: Dinosaur Space – Overlooked and Underused Rooms as your Home Office

Part 2 of 3 part mini-series.

Part 1 of this series discussed where NOT to put your home office.

An inspiring home office in a former dining room

An inspiring home office in a former dining room

Business empires have been started at a kitchen table or in a garage.

It is so easy to let labels determine how we use things. A guest room is only a guest room; a dining room is only a dining room; and a living room is only a living room. Your life and life style has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. How you set up a room years ago may not meet your needs today.

It is not unusual for me to work with a client who has a make-do home office, while her guest room is used two weeks a year, maybe.  One client had the office for her busy business in an upstairs hallway/balcony, while an underused guest room was mere feet away. And, it was where she stored her work at the end of the day. When I suggested she use the guest room as a dedicated home office, with a daybed or fold-out sofa for her occasional guests she said “Why didn’t I think of that?” Her delighted daughter got the guest room four-poster bed for her own room and my client had a 50 out of 52 weeks a year dedicated room that supported her work as a professional.

I have had several clients whose family life and entertaining occurred solely in their family room while the formal living room was the forgotten. They set up their home office and made great use of the former living room for an expansive space with great natural light and views.

How often do you use your formal dining room?  Perhaps, once or twice a year, while the rest of the time it sits there empty and unused. If you need privacy for your home office and are lacking space consider using your formal dining room. Take the leaves out of the table and move it against the wall. Do the same with some of the dining chairs and store the remainder in the basement or the attic.  Bring in a real desk chair for good ergonomics You can rearrange the furniture as a dining room for the twice a year big family dinner or blow-out buffet.

What rooms could you/have you converted to a home office? How did it work for you? Any special tricks you want to share? Please add a comment below.

Next week’s blog will be about how to claim space for work in a multipurpose room, such as a family room.

To learn more, read the “Dinosaur Space: Break Loose from Room Labels” chapter of my book The Smarter Home Office:8 simple steps to increase your income, inspiration and comfort. available on

photo by Garden2Office