11 Sweeten renovations show how to create a unified and functional work from home space
(Above) Erin and Chris’ home office
We may call them laptops, but we all know that a desk is crucial for any work-from-home space. Whether you have a whole room or a section to use, you can still create the functional working space that you need.
See how the homeowners below turned to Sweeten, a free service that connects renovating homeowners with vetted general contractors, for help transforming closets, spare bedrooms, corners of living rooms and kitchens—and even a stairway landing—into efficient places to get work done.
Kitchens do double duty with office nooks
For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home, where they spend most of their time. Kitchen desks provide space away from the cooking mayhem. These Sweeten renovators added this feature into their homes and created a perch for recipe-reading or working from home.
A separate office wasn’t in the cards for Laura and Randy, but they found a solution: a kitchen desk niche. It’s right off the main kitchen area and matches the rest of the white cabinetry. Bold, patterned wallpaper gives the desk a sense of separation from the rest of the kitchen, too.
With climbing prices in her Fort Greene co-op building, Mollie faced a problem. She could cash out (but deal with moving) or stay where she was. The neighborhood was ideal, but the look of her outdated studio apartment was not. She decided to remain and turned to a Sweeten contractor to help fix-up her 500-square-foot home. Her contractor came up with a plan to update her kitchen and found space within it for a desk nook, which Mollie made her own by adding interesting patterns and bold blue hues.
Barbra and Sean waited almost 10 years before renovating their 1,100-square-foot home in Kensington, Brooklyn. After living there for so long, they knew exactly what they wanted and what they needed to make their space work better for their family. Their kitchen had an existing spot for a desk so it seemed natural to carve out a similar area in their fully remodeled kitchen as well. The renovators found a desk that fit right into the opening. They also used leftover wallpaper from their foyer to give it a finished look.
Turn spare bedrooms into your home office
If you have a spare bedroom, you can turn it—or just a part of it—into a beautiful workspace like the homeowners below. Bedrooms usually have good lighting, natural or overhead lights. Closet space can also be used for extra work materials or storage.
When Jenifer Herrmann, a media executive, and her partner, Mitzie Wong, co-founder of creative design firm Roar + Rabbit, found a two-bed, two-bath apartment for sale at a price that left them with a renovation budget, they snapped it up. In addition to kitchen and bathroom renovations, creating a home office space for Mitzie was a priority for their remodel. They turned the second bedroom into a home office. It is the perfect space for Mitzie to separate work from lif. She decorated it with her art materials, books, and growing plant collection.
Having a work-from-home space was essential for first-time renovators Maria and Eric. They planned to include a home office in their 850-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment in Woodside, Queens. The couple worked with their Sweeten contractor to convert the second bedroom into a small office. They designed it to keep with the Scandinavian-chic aesthetic featured in the other rooms in their home.
Lavanya, the executive producer for Artifex Productions, and her partner, Regis, did an exhaustive search for just the right apartment. They wanted a railroad-style layout with distinct spaces that could serve different purposes for home and business activities. They found it in a 700-square-foot, two-bedroom condo in South Park Slope, Brooklyn. The long, skinny layout was perfect for a private office for Lavanya.
Work from home space—in unexpected places
There’s a saying: “There’s nothing that can’t be done.” That is just what these Sweeten renovators believed when trying to incorporate a home office into their small living spaces. With out-of-the-box thinking, they envisioned spaces that would make working from home more comfortable. We love seeing how they squeezed their desks into creative places!
This beautiful corner apartment in Hudson Heights, Manhattan was a perfect spot for Marisa and Cody’s growing family. They turned to Sweeten to help renovate the space, with the goal of joining the kitchen and living area. They wanted the apartment to “feel open and modern, but warm and homey at the same time.” They were able to fit into the design a desk nook in the corner of one room, utilizing the ceiling height by installing storage cabinets above the desktop.
What do you do with that little bit of extra room on your stairway landing? If you are creative like Dianna, an advertising agency director, and Todd, a college professor, you create a small office. The couple lives in a 440-square-foot studio alcove apartment, so space efficiency is critical. The office space is made possible by using a corner table that fits perfectly on the landing and floating shelves for storage and aesthetic interest.
For sisters Deanna and Daria, staying in New York City’s Sutton Place neighborhood was a must. So when they found a one-bedroom that they could convert into two, in a 1962 building, they jumped at the chance. They worked with a contractor from Sweeten’s network to revamp the awkwardly laid out space into a charming home. They reduced the size of the master bedroom to make way for a shared 7’ x 10’ walk-in clothes closet. It also fits a home office decked out with a simple white desk, blue-fabric chair, and a desk lamp.
Multipurpose rooms combine work and play
Sometimes you just can’t justify allocating a whole room to an office. Instead, you have to rethink the traditional concept of a home office and utilize what you have. One way to do this: turn parts of other rooms into your work area. Here, a look at two Sweeten renovators who worked with that they had to make efficient, convenient work areas.
Since homeowner Toby had working knowledge of design and architecture, he was was very involved in his Manhattan co-op renovation. He partnered with a Sweeten contractor to redo his galley kitchen and the apartment’s single bathroom. The living/dining area was already open and spacious, so it was simply refreshed. He split the room into a dining area, office space, and sitting lounge (not pictured). A truly multi-purpose room!
Gordon and Tracy looked to Sweeten to help them find a general contractor who they could trust to turn their townhouse in the Sunnyside Historic Garden District into a more family-friendly space. They knew they needed to use all three floors so, with the help of their contractor, they transformed the basement into a dual living and utility/storage space, complete with an office area. The floating desk and shelves enlarge the room, leaving space for an entertainment area, laundry room, and second bathroom.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.