Thanks to the coronavirus millions of people are now working from home and many of them, if not most, have no plans to return to the office any time soon. Many have also discovered that working from home can be challenging when you lack the right space for it. Not everyone has a large home office ready for every member of the family who works remotely now. A large office has traditionally been a luxury, especially for people in apartments or otherwise tight quarters. And while working in a common space can be nice, distractions and unwelcome noises interrupting your Zoom meetings are an unnecessary bother. There are some quick (relatively) solutions that can add much-needed working space to your home, no magic required.
If your home already has a room that could be repurposed for an office but you worry about losing storage space or sleeping capacity, you can make a few adjustments that will make your new office as efficient as possible. For sleeping space, try using either a wall-mounted Murphy bed or a sleeper sofa. Add storage space in unexpected places with build-in shelves or bench.
Instead of buying a large desk or table, if you are pressed for space, you can try adding a triangular corner table or floating shelf. Get creative with the lighting too. Just because there is no space to add a lamp exactly where you want it doesn’t mean you can’t get enough light onto your workspace. A floor lamp or sconce with a long reaching arm can solve this problem.
If you don’t have an extra room to convert into office space or if you are looking for a creative way to add extra space and privacy to an existing work area, partitions can be the perfect solution.
Most people are familiar with the simple folding partition, but a larger version of the same thing can basically serve like an entire wall and is much easier to install. This partition matches the floor for an imposing effect and it can conveniently be half folded to create a little work niche. Some larger partitions like this might require small wheels on the bottom to ensure smooth operation. But overall this project shouldn’t require too much effort.
Another option is to build the partition into the room entirely. This partition is larger than most residential rooms would allow for, but it’s design, with central frame and bi-fold doors, can make a bold statement at any scale. It only works as a partial divider for the room, potentially useful in a wide-open or square shaped room. When opened the partition takes on a sculptural flair.
Once you decide to install a permanent partition you can also think about expanding your range of materials. For example, this partition made of mirrors is sophisticated and surprising. It makes the space feel larger and lighter. More than just a partition, it can become the focal point of the space.
You can also try incorporating an indoor cobogó, a kind of lace-like screen that was first designed in Brazil in the 1930s. Cobogós can be made from a variety of materials like terra cotta, concrete, brick or ceramic, and can be made in many different patterns and colors. With an adjacent light source they cast shadows that can add a dynamic touch to the space. This transparent partition would fit well as an extension of a wall near the kitchen, where it adds just an increment of privacy, useful for keeping family just out of reach of the video call. This partition would also be great for small spaces because it separates the space without blocking too much light.
You might not think of it, but a glass partition can give you the best of transparency sound and style, if not convenience. Either sliding panels or swinging doors can work for the partition and a simple curtain lets you toggle easily between wall and window. This could be a fantastic option for you if you have a bit of extra bedroom space that you would turn into an office where you can finish up some evening emails without disturbing a sleeping partner. You can also use the glass to partition the entryway for a dramatic effect.
However you end up dividing your work from your play, remember to get creative with it. Try taking a look at your home through a fresh pair of eyes. If you suspect a certain nook or cranny might be a good place for you to take your next conference call, picture it with a sleek partition. The peace and comfort of an elegant home office is well within reach.