Dining rooms have always been spaces that see a lot of action in our homes. So much more than just a space where we share meals, dining rooms have become multi-purpose spaces where we often help the kids with homework or balance the budget. And this was all before COVID-19!
Now, more than ever, dining rooms have become the headquarters of the house—a hub of activity and productivity. And, for those of us who don’t have space for a separate home office, our dining room tables are pulling double duty and have become the space where we set up our computers everyday for work. So now, it’s a space for video calling, homeschooling, and so much more.
And converting your dining room into an office? Not always so easy. But it can be done! Keep reading for our best tips and favorite examples of dining room office combos to inspire you!
Don’t have a formal dining room to convert? You can also set up a home office in the living room or guest room! And if you need insight on the best office color schemes for productivity or the best home office desks, we’ve got you covered!
How Can I Use my Dining Room as a Home Office?
If you don’t have a proper home office, using your dining room as an office is the next best thing! A dining room office combo makes for a great set-up because it’s the most ergonomic place in your home, and you already have the basics of what you need for a workspace!
For home office furniture in a dining room office combo, your dining room table becomes your desk, which is much better for your neck and back than working from your sofa or bed! And, your dining room chairs are already at the proper height for your arms to rest comfortably on the table and for your computer to be at eye-level, helping you avoid back pain!
Not all dining rooms have ample lighting though. We love working with a flood of natural light, but you can always add a task lamp to your dining table for a well-lit workspace, or commandeer a floor lamp from another room in your house!
Since you have much more space to sprawl out when using a dining room table versus a desk, don’t be afraid to set up a full monitor! You’re spending 8 hours a day here, after all, so give yourself permission to totally overhaul this space. (You can always put your monitor away on the weekends so you aren’t tempted to log into work on your days off!)
Proper storage is essential to keep things organized and avoid cluttering up your space. Clutter can cause anxiety and stress, and we certainly don’t need any more of that than we already have! So, incorporate table-top organizers for papers, files, and writing utensils, as well as a rolling filing cabinet to keep essential documents within reach!
And, of course, you can’t forget to pick a comfy chair! For all-day work sessions, you want to make sure you have back support and a cushy seat which allows for good posture. If you have a real office chair, we highly recommend that you use that! If not, dining chairs—especially upholstered styles—are great because they’re more ergonomic than the sofa. And you can always add a seat cushion or lumbar pillow if you need extra support!
Dining Room as a Work + Activity Space for Kids
Who said office dining rooms were just for adults? Your kids may be out of school for the summer, but depending where you live homeschooling will potentially continue into the new year. And, homeschooling aside, you may just need a space where they can do activities and get creative throughout the summer! So, set your kids (and yourself) up for success with a few clever dining room interior design ideas!
Start by pulling in a bench, if you have one handy. This can help change the vibe in the space, giving it a more “schoolhouse” feeling. It allows for more kids to sit up at the table and makes moving around easier. And you can easily remove it when the work or school day is over to help transition the space back to a dining room!
When creating a kid zone within your dining room, be sure to balance work and play. Incorporate fun activities to help kids keep themselves entertained—from a chalkboard for drawing or games, to a tend that makes a cozy reading nook or for make-believe play time, and plenty of table space for crafts, coloring, reading, and maybe even a little screen time.
As in all kids spaces, we recommend adding baskets for easy clean-up! Baskets are our favorite kid-friendly storage solution, since they look good but they also make it easy for kids to own their own clean-up. And, since they’re low-maintenance and easy to move around, they make it easier to transition your dining room from day to evening.
Other Ways to Transform Your Dining Room into an Office
Looking for other home office interior design ideas as you transform your dining room into a home office? There are so many ways to make this combo space work! Keep reading for a few more of our favorite set-ups.
A Distraction-Free Set-Up
If you want your dining room home office to be as distraction-free as possible, opt for a more minimal style. A glass table is easy to clean, which is great if you’re using the space for both work and meals! And the velvet chairs make long days of work feel more stylish and fun—not to mention more comfortable than a wooden chair!
Room WIth a View
Endless video calls aren’t so bad with this view! Don’t be afraid to take over your whole dining room, making space for your monitor, office supplies, and reading materials. You can even keep your printer nearby for easy access to printed documents! An analog clock is also great to help keep you focused without constantly checking your phone to see the time (and inevitably getting lost scrolling through social media.) This charming countryside set-up is also a favorite approach for small home office design ideas when your dining room is your office!
A Workspace for Two
A long table means lots of work space for multiple people. This is great if you’re sharing your dining room office with a partner or roommate. It allows you to each take one half of the table and both have plenty of space to spread out! And, if you’re both working from laptops, it’s easy to put everything away at the end of the workday and continue using your dining room for sharing meals, as well.
A Space of One’s Own
If you’re co-working and want a bit more privacy? Place a tall vase and floral arrangement in the center of the table to create some separation and delineate your space from your partner or roommate’s!
We also love the idea of installing or repurposing shelving for office supplies and books. If you currently use your dining room shelves or cabinets for serving platters or fine china, move them to storage for the time being so you can make the most of your space as an office.
Need help converting your dining room into a home office?