Dual-Purpose Pieces for Your (Temporary) Home Office

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on April 3, 2020

Many of us are doing double duty in the time of COVID-19. As we work from home, we’re both project manager and mom during business hours. The kitchen table is both a dining surface and hastily put together office space. Living rooms are becoming meeting rooms for the daily Zoom check-in. But, let’s face it, balancing your laptop on your coffee table (or lap) isn’t ideal day after day. You deserve an office you enjoy working in, no matter how long (or short) you commute may be.   

Hesitant about investing in your temporary home office? Havenly’s lead designer Heather Goerzen created a list of pieces that work double time. They’ll be perfect for your home office but will seamlessly transition into your home’s design once you head back to the office.

Stick with us here. Outdoor patio sets are a perfect solution to help set up a quick office. You can find sets with a small footprint that are easy to clean and lightweight for moving and easy storage. As the weather warms up, they’ll perfectly transition to your favorite outdoor dining set. 

These outdoor/indoor metal chairs from West Elm are stackable, making it easy to move or store when the workday’s done.

The chairs pair perfectly with the quaint West Elm bistro table. It’s big enough for your laptop but small enough that it won’t take up an entire room. We love the fresh mint, but it also comes in a neutral white. 

For a more luxe contrasting aesthetic, consider mixing textures. This brass beauty bistro table from CB2 is an elegant, yet fun addition to your workspace. Pair it with wicker dining chairs from CB2 to create an artful contrast. It’s not hard to imagine these pieces moving outside for an elevated patio moment.

If you’re searching for a clean modern style try this patio set from West Elm. The concrete pedestal-style table makes a statement in any room (or outdoor space) and works perfectly with the easy-going wicker chairs included in the set. 

Patio furniture for your temporary office is a quick solution that’ll live on in your outdoor space far after your work from home days are done.

The top priority for most when it comes to a home office is the right desk, and if you choose wisely, you can find a piece that’ll outlive the office space. The right table can be part of a home vignette when you’re not longer WFH. 

This CB2 rolling console table is on the bigger side. It’s perfect for the person who needs a large WFH set up, but its wheeled design provides the versatility that makes it easy to store when the day is done. You can easily convert it to a media console, or even moveable kitchen island in the future.

This small, but mighty marble bistro table from West Elm packs a punch. Use it as a small desk, for now, then a side table or part of an outdoor patio set later.

Your home office space, no matter how temporary, deserves a dash of style, and this white plaster pedestal table from Crate and Barrel has it in spades. Use it as a stylish space for your laptop or monitor, then transition it to the bedroom or dining room for statement vignette.

narrow hallway decor

Staying organized is the key to sanity when working from home, and it’s worth investing in organizational solutions that’ll make your day to day easier. But, who says office storage can’t be home storage or vice versa? Bring some style into your home office with chic organizational pieces that’ll seamlessly transition into home storage when you head back into the office.  

It might be unconventional for a traditional office, but this natural fiber basket from Crate and Barrel could be just the storage your home office needs. Use them now to store pillows and blankets that get in the way during the workday, then keep them as a permanent home for your living room throw.

Similarly, this set of Cove Goods striped baskets can become a catch-all to tidy your space for the workday, and stylish laundry hampers in the future.

And even your temporary desk is bound to get messy with papers, tools and more. Try a catch-all bowl on your desk to keep your surface tidy—it’ll transform into a serving tray when your home office days are done.

We’ve all gasped when we’ve logged onto a Zoom call and realize how horrible the lighting is in our home workspace. Don’t let poor lighting exhaust you—keep your space well-lit with the proper office lighting. 

Rejuvenation’s antique brass and bronze lamp is striking design with a small enough footprint to fit in any home office space. Use it as a reading lamp next to your favorite chair when things return to normal.

Desk lamps don’t have to look stale and corporate. Use this modern globe desk lamp from Target in your workspace. Its design doesn’t scream “office space,” and could make for a perfect bedside lamp when you’re through WFH.

Looking for a quirky accent piece? Find a fun table lamp that fits on your desk, we love this Anthropologie pick. When your office goes away, it’s a fun table lamp to add to any room in your home that needs a little extra lighting.

One of the benefits of a home office, even if you never wanted to be there in the first place, is your chance to make it uniquely your own. Forget about cold and corporate, this space can be personal and cozy. We wouldn’t blame you for picking up a few decor pieces that made the space more comfortable. 

The dreaded office draft doesn’t have to be an issue at home. Grab this striped throw from Cove Goods to keep warm at your desk, then use it as a throw on the couch or bed. You can also boost morale and add instant cheer to your home office with some greenery and a cute plant holder.

Working from home comes with its own stressors. Escape the chaos of your home with a few self-care items. Remember to stay hydrated with a set of striking drinking glasses, light a luxe candle for a little mid-day escape, or try an aromatic diffuser to bring invigorating energy to your desk space. Self care doesn’t stop when working from home does. Use these items across your home later for a reminder to take some “me” time. 

For many of us, the transition to working from home was sudden and without much choice. However, that doesn’t mean you need to squeeze into a dark corner of your space each day to work. Consider investing in a few pieces that can live on in your home, post-WFH.

Looking to tackle a home design project while working from home? Take Havenly’s style quiz to get started.

Words by Heather Goerzen