”What Would You Do with An 'Extra Room'?

By John Voket


While the prospect of physically adding on a new room to one's home can be overwhelming, converting a room for special use is a project that is quite doable—and often a lot of fun.

Recently, Seattlebubble.com asked 100 visitors: What's the most important "extra room" to have in a house? The responses were:

  • Formal dining room (15%, 15 Votes)
  • Office / Study (48%, 48 Votes)
  • Den (18%, 18 Votes)
  • Mud Room (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Other (14%, 14 Votes)

With the office or study sharing the top spot, we decided to hunt down a few pointers from experts about designing or comfortably integrating one or both of these spaces into one's dwelling.

According to Jeanne Paula at decoist.com, one's study should be, above all, practical. Size is not as important as good organization - she says your mind won’t drift away as easily as in a vast salon, but a modestly sized study does need a certain degree of tidiness.

Paula says make sure you have the right lighting. Different activities require varying degrees of illumination.

If you have the liberty of choosing any space you like, settle the room orientation according to the office type you are, e.g. east for morning productiveness or south for work during the day etc.

She says a spectacular and inspirational place for a study can be in the attic, under a pronounced gable, by a large window to the sky, especially for graphic work or technical drawing.

Next, Paula advises you should pick a good pendant lamp or a capable desk lamp. Remember that artificial lighting can never replace natural daylight, however. Large windows can be a key element, especially with a refreshing view of nature.

Track lights make for flawless illumination in a workshop or studio, or an indirectly illuminated ceiling or wall can be a classy way to go. And she says If you receive guests or clients into your study, upholstered armchairs are a must.

Finally, Paula advises, get a curvaceous lounge chair – call it a “contemplation” or “pensive”  chair, especially if you feel the need to defend the presence of a large flat screen in immediate vicinity.