This week I want to describe all the functions this room has in my home. My house is small, only 700 sq. ft., so each room has to have a clearly defined purpose and no hassle functionality.
Not only must the decor please me, the transition from one use to another within the space must be easy to accomplish.
I achieved these goals very successfully in the new office makeover. I now have a space that performs the functions of 5 rooms.
Keep reading to find out how to fit 5 functions in one small multipurpose room.
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The main function of this space is an office/library. I have my laptop computer set up on the fold-down library table and do the daily crossword, email and other correspondence, online research and shopping, bill paying, and make business calls here.
A wheeled filing cabinet is stored under the table for easy access to current files and office supplies.
I keep records and information pamphlets in labelled binders in an IKEA hacked builtin buffet. It is also used to store printer paper, writing paper, etc. while the printer rests on top. The open shelving has my decorating books and dictionary handy for convenient reference.
I love to sit in the old oak rocker (which came from my grandmother’s home) when I’m talking on the phone or reading a magazine. There is a small refurbished table handy to hold my tea or coffee cup.
Wall sconces above the table provide excellent work lights.
Because I try to keep the surfaces relatively clear of clutter, I can transform the den into a dining room with minimal effort. The laptop fits on top of the filing cabinet which stays under the table. Then, all I need is a pretty tablecloth or place mats to set the table for lunch. Small side chairs are at hand.
If I am having people over for dinner, I remove the rocking chair from the room, add another leaf to the table, bring in more side chairs, and place the office chair at the end. The top of the buffet makes an excellent serving space.
I love the fact that the room is separate from the rest of the house. This allows me to set up in advance. When guests arrive, they can relax in the living room with an appetizer and be seated at the table when I am ready to serve the meal. I find that, as the hostess, this arrangement makes me less flustered when entertaining because I feel very organized. No worries about last minute table setting or where to put guests as they arrive.
I can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people for a sit down dinner a cozy and intimate arrangement that happens a few times a year.
About once annually, I have a tea party to which I invite many friends and their children. It is a casual and fun event and I set up the “den” as a buffet. Then we clear all the surfaces and add two leaves to the table, extending it along the wall under the mirror. Chairs are removed as necessary. The table and buffet top are arranged with cups, tea, scones and dainties for my guests to help themselves.
The most complicated transformation occurs when I have an overnight guest. There is a Murphy bed built into the wall. In order for it to be pulled out, the table must be folded into its library size and pushed against the side wall. This is made easier by brass casters on the legs.
The filing cabinet nicely still fits underneath. The rocking chair and desk chair need to be removed and some of the pictures on the ‘Murphy’ wall taken down. Then the bed can be lowered.
The bed linen is conveniently stored in the cupboards above the agate wall art. It is a very crowded space when the bed is open but the bed is comfortable.
Roll down curtain blinds at the window and door provide privacy.
The guest usually closes the bed during the day to allow more freedom of movement…and you can barely tell there’s a bed in this wall.
By expanding the table with one or two leaves, I can have a perfect cutting surface for sewing.
The sewing supplies are handy in plastic containers in the wall unit storage ensemble and my sewing machine is easy to set up on the table. Because the room does not impact the rest of the house, I like the convenience of being able to leave the project out until it is completed. Again the sconce lighting makes it easier to see detailed work.
Although the room only measures 8’ x 9’, it is certainly in no way wasted real estate! The space is used extremely efficiently. The fact that most of the functions are hidden is a big bonus. If you were to drop by, it looks like a very pleasant, comfortable library a place where one would love to be.