There seems to be a problem in many homes: one room short! Many families are trying to accommodate a guest room, TV room, and a home office all in one space.
A large percentage of families are spread out as jobs and opportunities send them out to the four corners of the earth. And when the extended family comes to visit, well, they need a place to sleep!
So, there goes the office!
If this scenario happens once in a while, perhaps it can be tolerated. An extended house guest, such as a returning child who needs to regroup, can take over the space for months on end!
When you have a room assigned for ‘double duty’ you need to, take a reality check before this totally disrupts your life.
Questions to consider:
- Who (any and all possibilities) would you invite/accommodate as an overnight guest should the need be?
- Then, what are the odds of that happening?
- In addition: What time frame would be appropriate? Set limits for the visit.
- How difficult is it to convert your office to a guest room? (ie: set up bed, make bed, clean the room, put away your projects, hide private papers and still leave room for a guest’s suitcase and toiletries to come into the space?
In my case, we downsized considerably from a large 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom house in Vancouver after our boys moved away. The dilemma was how to utilize the extra room: Who gets the spare room for the office, guest room, storage and more. Also: Where do we put the spin bike?
Since I work out of the house, it made sense for me to take the extra room, but I declined. The odds of family and friends coming for a weekend could be accommodated, but if one of the boys decided to bunk in with us for a summer or a chunk of time, it would be total disruption for me!
I relinquished the ‘spare room’ to my husband as a part time office, long term storage and work out room for 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, we get the odd house guest. If we need a house sitter they can stay in the ‘spare room’. No disruption for me!
So, where do I work? Lucky for us, there is a sizable alcove off the master bedroom. I’ve commandeered this as my own space and no one will arrive to disrupt my papers, projects and train of thought. This is very important to me to have a special, office space carved out for me. Yep, if I didn’t have a room divider, extra plants and my things hanging up in my space it could be part of the master. But I’ve managed to make it work. (Some days, it is hard to resist joining the cat on the bed for a nap!)
If you need help coordinating the function of your ‘spare room’, I have many more ideas. Take the time to do an assessment of the space, and you can make a solid decision about what is best for you and your family.
Kathryn of Kathryn Wilking Designs is a Professional Member of the IFSG (International Feng Shui Guild) Author, Teacher and Feng Shui Consultant. http://www.kathrynwilking.com
Kathryn is available for innovative talks for workshops and Lunch ‘n Learn programs. Contact her to discuss a topic for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org
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