With bedrooms doubling as greenhouses, hobby rooms and libraries, there's no reason a bedroom can't be a workroom. The need for a workplace at home is greater than ever.
Why the bedroom? The master bedroom is probably the only room in the average family home that can provide privacy. Close the door, and unlike the living room, the dining room or the family room, you're in a world mostly yours.
You can squeeze a desk into most master bedrooms. With modular storage furniture so readily available, an assembly of bureaus and a working desk can be lined up in a single row on one end of the room. With a chair and a good lamp, this arrangement can be a work area for writing or paying bills.
Another of my favorite devices for making work space is to use the area beneath the windows. If the room has two or three conventional 3-foot-by-5-foot windows, it's easy to build an 18-or-24-inch workshelf of plastic laminate beneath the windows -- wall-to-wall -- at an appropriate height for writing or typing. A couple of two-drawer files under the shelf make perfect storage space for paper, pencils, files and records.
The nicest work areas, of course, are those you can carve out for yourself, either in the original plan of the home or as an addition. In one home I designed, a large, roomy work space for both husband and wife was needed.
The master bedroom was the obvious spot for the remodeling, because it was on the second floor and there was no zoning limitation on extending the house. By adding six feet to the length of the bedroom, I was also able to extend the roof line, pitching it from the original high ceiling down over the lowest part of the new area designed for storage. Under the new extension, on the ground floor, the extra square footage provide a much-needed, larger dining area for the kitchen. I built three skylights into the new roof extension to add brillance and cheer to the new work area.
For this area, I designed a worktable that is actually a slab-end Parsons table, with a solid pack that acts as a footboard for the king-sized bed (and can be easily moved to change the sheets on laundry days). It is the same size and width of the bed -- 79 inches by a generous eight inches deep. Comfortable posture chairs on casters allow the chairs to revolve to make use of the storage-plus-typing space behind them.
The plastic laminate counter top stretches from wall-to-wall and provides a finished top for two lateral file cabinets two drawers high, yet is only 18 inches deep. The open space between the files is for typing. The space between the two work surfaces is only three feet. The long-armed drafting lamp illuminates the typing area.
All the whiteness in the room, in addition to the clear light from the sky, threatened to give the room a cold look. To offset this feeling, I painted the wall and ceiling in a soft, dove gray color that is repeated in the wall-to-wall, flat cut-pile carpeting.
The soft touches of the handsome old quilt hung on the wall, the oriental rug, plants and occasional pillows combine to cushion the feeling of a work place and make the room a comfortable bedroom, and an office-at-home as well.