... the do's and don'ts
As an interior designer, I often get asked about whether or not it’s a good idea to have a desk in the bedroom. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, I can offer some insights and considerations to help you make the best decision for your space.
First, let’s start with the benefits of having a desk in your bedroom. For many people, having a designated workspace space in the bedroom can be convenient and practical. It allows you to work from home without having to take up valuable living space in other areas of the house. It can also be helpful for those who need a quiet and private space to focus and concentrate (and better than constantly asking everyone to be quiet!). Some of my clients have extra space in their bedroom and the addition of a desk is a great way to add a totally separate area without adding more bedroom furniture. After all, you can't have more than one bedside table per side or a bunch of dressers just to fill the space. The addition of a desk area in a spacious bedroom can work beautifully.
When it comes to the design aspect, a desk can be a great addition to the bedroom but only if done correctly. It can add a functional yet stylish element to your space, and can even serve as a statement piece depending on the design and materials used. A desk can also provide additional storage if it has drawers or shelves built in. That being said, you need to commit to doing a nightly clean up to put all work related items away in order to signal the end of work and the beginning of rest.
If done right, a desk can be a great addition to a bedroom. If you’re considering adding a desk to your bedroom, here are some of our tips to keep in mind:
Do You Have Enough Space?
Let's face it, if you have a small bedroom like I do, there just isn't the room to cram in a desk. A bedroom should be first and foremost relaxing, so adding pieces of furniture to a small space can only work if there is room for all of your other necessary items in the rest of the room. Don't shove a desk in next to the dresser if it creates a crowded look and feel. There are other creative places to add a desk (like an underused closet) and you want to be sure if you keep rest and relaxation top of mind. If you have really limited space you can always consider a portable desk or even a laptop desk which will allow you to get your work done and then put it away when it is time to wind down.
What Is The Intended Use?
Are you working from home full time and need a mini home office but don't have a designated office space? Do you have a large bedroom and need to fill a corner of the room but already have all of your necessary pieces in the room? Are you looking for somewhere to sit and journal in the mornings without distractions? Figuring out why you want a desk in your bedroom and how you are going to utilize your desk space will help you to create a meaningful area.
Think about the size and style of the desk. The size of the desk needs to work both for your bedroom and for the tasks at hand. Is this a true bedroom office where you will be conducting all of your work? Then you probably are going to need something with drawers and something large enough to accommodate your computer and any other work necessities. Just looking for a quiet place to write down your thoughts? Maybe a writing desk would fit the bill. Writing desks often have one singular drawer or none at all which keep the desk from feeling too clunky.
Match Your Style
Make sure it fits well in your space and complements the existing decor without matching it completely. You should treat the desk area like a smaller vignette within the space and give it a bit of its own character. Steer clear of actual office equipment. There is no need to bring in a traditional desk into your bedroom. Get creative. Consider materials such as wood, metal, or glass to add interest and texture. There are many types of desks on the market. For example, if the desk is going in a guest bedroom, a Murphy bed can be a great multifunctional solution. This will allow you to utilize the room as a work space but also accommodate guests when they arrive. Do a little research and see what fits in well with the look and feel of your room and don't forget it's not only about the desk. Choose a stylish desk chair or use a pretty dining chair for your space. Opt for pretty desk lamps in lieu of the traditional task lights. Remember, this is about the overall look and feel of the room just as much as it is about functionality.
Consider The Layout
One thing many people have a difficult time doing is reimagining the layout of a space. You see how the previous owner has their bedroom set up and you put your furniture in the exact same place. When making a space multi-functional you need to be creative about the floor plan. Creating zones in a multipurpose room can help each one to have its' own adequate space. Take measurements of your room and put them on grid paper or enter them in on an app. Don't forget to add in your windows, doors and closets, remembering to accommodate the closet door to open and close. Then, measure your furniture. Try moving things around to see if you can find a layout that feels like there is plenty of space for all of the furniture necessary. And, don't overdo it. If you are trying to have your bed, nightstands, long dresser, high dresser, desk and treadmill then you need to stop and evaluate your priorities. Keep the furniture that is necessary and remove anything that is not. And when in doubt, call for backup. Ask your partner to help, have a friend over to give their opinion, call us to get some expert help. Don't just keep adding things without intention. And, when in doubt, EDIT EDIT EDIT. Most people have a hard time editing and that is the one way to make your room feel fresh and new.
Be Intentional About Your Work Area
Create a dedicated workspace. This means keeping your desk clear of clutter and distractions. According to Feng Shui principles, having a desk in the bedroom can disrupt the flow of energy and create a space that is not conducive to restful sleep. It is recommended to keep the bedroom as a sanctuary for relaxation and intimacy, and to avoid bringing work-related items and electronics into the space. If a desk is necessary in the bedroom, it is advised to position it in a way that does not face the bed and to keep it clutter-free and organized. Do not let your bedroom desk get as messy and cluttered as you would an office desk. This room needs to bring a feeling of peace and relaxation so be sure to clear the decks after you finish your work and style the desk as you would any other piece of furniture in the room. After all, you don't want to open your eyes in the morning and have the first thing you see be work. Developing a morning routine can also help you to separate work time from much deserved 'me' time when you have one space performing double duty.
Utilize Storage Solutions
Use storage solutions wisely. If your desk doesn’t have built-in storage, consider adding shelves or using decorative boxes or baskets to keep your workspace organized. You do not want visual distractions such as a pile of papers staring at you when you are trying to rest. Remember, we are all looking to create a healthy work-life balance (or as I prefer to say a work-life harmony). To keep this desk as clutter free as possible, consider using nearby closet space to keep any additional work supplies. This desk should not house all of your office supplies. It should be an available space to spend your work time. So don't forget to use storage to keep easy access to your necessary items while making them look clutter-free.
Relaxation And Work Don't Mix
Keep work and relaxation separate, even if you are doing both in the same room. If possible, you may want to look into adding a room divider to the space. This can be a screen or a well-styled bookshelf. Your physical environment can have an effect on your mood so at the end of the day you want to be able to turn work off completely (which a lot of people have trouble doing without their desk in their bedroom!) It can be helpful to establish a routine that allows you to disconnect from work when it’s time to wind down and relax in your bedroom at the end of the workday.
When considering adding a desk to your bedroom remember that if you don't take into consideration these tips, there can be some drawbacks. So, make sure the desk does not take up valuable floor space, especially in smaller bedrooms. Style it properly so it does not make the space feel cluttered and busy. And of course, having a workspace in the bedroom can make it more difficult to separate work and relaxation time, which can lead to stress and burnout. So have yourself a healthy routine of clearing off any work related items and styling the desk for evening.
If you follow these tips, having a desk in your bedroom can be a great addition if done thoughtfully and with intention. With the right design and organization, a desk can add both function and style to your bedroom space. If you need help figuring out if having a desk in the bedroom is right for you, feel free to reach out to us!