Dwell On This: Streamline Your Multipurpose Room

Dwell On This: Streamline Your Multipurpose Room

Is that office setup on your dining room table really working?
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At a Glance


  • With a bit of thought and research, anyone can spruce up a space.


  • The right furniture can transform a room—and it doesn't have to break the bank.


  • Give your room a makeover in a weekend.
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Over the past year and a half, our homes have learned to multitask. Dining rooms have doubled as home offices, bedrooms as gyms, closets as quiet nooks for video conferencing while a partner takes another call and kids tear through the house—conversions that were all made out of sheer necessity. Now is the time to thoughtfully (re)create these spaces so you can efficiently switch from life to work and back. 

While there’s no shortage of multifunctional, transforming out there—coffee tables that run into desks, Murphy beds that drop down into tables, and other gimmicks. But rather than replacing the pieces that make your house a home, it’s better to invest in accessories that complement your existing furnishings and layout.

If you find yourself regularly parked at a dining table for work, consider adding a tiered utility cart or even a bar cart as a practical, affordable way to keep your work supplies within reach. After hours, simply slide it underneath the table and out of view. If everyday distractions are rattling your focus within an open space, try adding a folding screen divider to both define a room and act as a video backdrop.

The only instance where a splurge may be warranted is seating. Working from a dining chair for months on end is an invitation for chronic aches and pains, so find a chair that looks good—and feels even better. Pro tip: A conference chair is immensely more comfortable, but a magnitude less obviously meant for work than most office chairs.

Illustration by Mar Hernández