Working in a home office is the new way of life for most of us, and it seems this trend is not going anywhere. The whole idea of working from home caught us somewhat unprepared. As a result, most of us are still looking for the perfect, dedicated space at home to perform our tasks. If other family members work in the home office too, this could turn into a real challenge.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have an actual office space at home and have to repurpose a different area to accommodate office equipment. With the tips we gathered in this post, you will be able to turn even the smallest nook at home into a comfortable office. Keep reading to discover how to hide the office in a living room.

How to hide the office in a living room?

The real challenge is, that the space you use as an office during the day needs to be repurposed in the evening. Even worse, you may need to tuck it completely out of sight. This is why our office space needs an actual physical boundary – to help us distinguish between our personal and professional life.

If your office area is in plain sight, on the other hand, you may not be able to relax in the evening and give your brain a break.

Let us suggest some tricks on how to hide office in the living room:

Install doors to divide open-plan spaces

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It sounds like a no-brainer, but this is the most important tip we can give you. An open-plan layout certainly looks great, but it won’t give you the quiet necessary to work. You will need doors!

Instead of traditional doors, check sliding alternatives that take up less space and add a decorative note. They will be practical even when you are no longer working from the home office, as you just got yourself an extra room.

1-38-2 How to Hide the Office in a Living RoomImage source: Amoroso Design

You can also visually mark the office area by painting it in a darker and more dramatic shade so that everyone knows it has a different purpose. An even better method of distinction is to rearrange the furniture. For instance, you can use a bookshelf or a plant to enclose the working space.

Repurpose an unused nook

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How about the nook area along with the fireplace? We all have similar corners we never use, and a mini office would fit in just perfectly.  Get a small floating desk and a folding chair. If there is enough spare room, refresh the nook with a plant and a few casually arranged books. It will look adorable.

Repurpose an old closet

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Did it occur to you that a spare closet can become the perfect work space? You can use the built-in shelving as a desk, and arrange accessories on the upper shelves to make it more personal. Make sure that there is enough natural light inside, and keep the color setting airy and light.

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In the meantime, keep the closet doors closed, and hide your brand new and inviting office out of sight.

Use a foldable desk

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In a small home or a studio, there is hardly any floor space available for a home office. If this is your case, consider a folding desk and use multipurpose furniture. Your office will be practically invisible when you are not working. Better yet, there will be a visual barrier between your private and professional life.

Look for hideaway deks, such as roll tops or murphy. Their location will be permanent, but you can easily close them up and hide all work-related stuff.

Optimize and repurpose the shelving unit

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If space is an issue and you don’t have a separate room for a home office, give your compact shelving unit a look. There is enough space there to accommodate your laptop workstation, and you won’t even need to hide it after work.

Just pull up the chair and arrange your work items on the shelves. The space will look organized and stylish, even when you are not working.

If planning to buy a shelving unit for the existing room, check wall-mounted shelving units that don’t take up that much space. In some cases, you will be able to fold the shelf sections when you are not using them.

Use a tote box or a wheeled cart

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Now there are some items you never thought could be converted into a desk. There is even a bonus point – the office is portable, and you can put it away easily. Pack the supplies on the cart when done and roll it away. Your living room will be free again.

Another interesting option is to use a tote box. Check it out if you are working with minimal supplies. At the end of the day, you can stash all of them in a drawer and enjoy your evening!

Hide the office space behind a curtain

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Let’s discuss the ultimate on-budget room divider – the curtain. Going to the office will be as easy as pulling the curtain, and once you’re done, you can easily conceal the space. Use colors and patterns that blend with the rest of the room, and enjoy your private home office.

Transform the room permanently with a dividing wall

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We are all confident that the pandemic will be over soon, but we don’t know how long the home office concept will last. Studies prove many employees are more effective when not in the office, so you should start thinking of a fixed computer station.

1-41-2 How to Hide the Office in a Living RoomImage source: Dylan Barber Building Design

Divide the open-plan space with a wall and create a separate room to work in. The room will be slightly smaller, so invest in tall and narrow furniture that can accommodate all your office supplies.

If looking to save, repurpose a chair you have into a desk chair, and use shelves instead of storage cabinets.

Turn the coffee table into a desk

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Many wide coffee tables operate on hinges, which you can lower or raise according to your needs. They are also sturdy and can support more weight than a minimal side table. If looking to save floor space, get a table like this and assign it a double role. As soon as you stop working, turn the desk into a couch table, make some tea and relax.

Better yet, most of these tables come with a storage unit inside, and you can easily pack all office items when done.

Take your work life under the staircase

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With some makeover skills, you can turn the area beneath your staircase into a cute home office. You can opt for a subtle and contemporary approach and cut the niche part out. Alternatively, hide the desk behind the beautiful and intricate woodwork of the staircase.

Whatever you decide, remember to enable light access and equip the office with narrow and small items.

Make use of the dining room table

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Dining room tables are normally just as high as a desk, and spacious enough to accommodate multiple screens. You can work on them if the space doesn’t allow for an office, and even enclose part of the table for extra privacy.

Buy some built-in furniture

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Built-in furniture is more than welcome in every home. It is easily customizable and lets you make the most of your floor space. So why not use them for the home office?

If you are only working at home from time to time, create a multipurpose desk space. To give you an example, you can use the counter-height shelf in the spare pantry as your desk, and pull up a stool that normally belongs to the dining room set. You can do the same with the cabinetry section, console tables, or the dressing table.

Install a floating desk

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Another great way to save space is to install a floating desk on the living room wall. Keep the decoration minimal, and the desk will blend in easily. You won’t even notice it when you are not working.

Designate the working area with a new desk

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Sometimes, there is no way around buying extra furniture. The good news is, you can designate the office in the living room with a single statement item, and that is the desk.

Choose a smaller desk that matches the style of the living room, and ensure the colors blend in nicely. If you have more space, select additional furniture pieces to complete your new home office.

Adapt the living room alcove

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Living rooms alcoves can also be transformed into office items. Complete the look with an unobstructed chair and a wooden desk, and bring in only the most essential items. Make sure that the new items match the color scheme of the room.

Mask your desk with mirrored furniture

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Mirrors are not only elegant additions to the living room. They also add visual space and distribute light even in the smallest of rooms. Plus, there is always the ‘smoke and mirrors’ trick you can use to hide a desk in the living room.

If you resort to mirrored furniture, use it carefully and clean it regularly. You can use the same trick to designate a studying area for your kids.

Turn the guest room into a home office

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Why not use the guest room as a home office? You can enclose the working space behind sliding doors, and your guests won’t even know what is behind. In the ideal case, there will be enough room for a pullout sofa and a small closet for your guests.

Final thoughts

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Accommodating a home office into your living space is challenging. In most cases, you are forced to give up the living room table or stack a work area in the corner. In both cases, you have trouble distinguishing between work and home life. A constant visual reminder prevents you from relaxing.

But how to hide the office in a living room? We hope that our tricks helped you come up with a solution on how to repurpose or combine items.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to hide the office in a living room, you should check out these on how to decorate a living room with wood paneling, how to hide exercise equipment in the living room, or how to fill the empty space in the living room.

We have plenty of other living room-related articles, such as how to create a foyer in an open living room, how to hide a pillar in the living room, how to arrange plants in the living room, how to store blankets in the living room, and how to decorate living room shelves.

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