Desks In the Bedroom

If I were to emphasize the "therapy" part of Apartment Therapy in my own home, the first step would be to get the home office out of my bedroom. All the experts say the bedroom should be exclusively used for sleeping (and, er, related activities). But the realities of NYC living mean that I do my work, keep my files and pay my bills at a desk right next to my bed. Here are a few bedrooms that successfully integrate a work area … and my own, less successful attempt.

Lots of designer bedrooms include desks, but they are usually used (or at least styled for photos) as vanities or accent furniture. It is very rare that one sees an actual real-life workspace in a bedroom when flipping through a shelter magazine. In fact, most of the shots I found for this roundup were kids' rooms that included a space for doing homework.

I've had trouble making the home office work in my own room (image 5). I suffered through about a year of back pain before finally giving in and replacing my lovely little dining chair with a "sensible" (read: ugly) desk chair. Aesthetically, I kept everything very simple — all solid white and blue, other than my parents' old Persian rug — to counterbalance the inevitable chaos of papers and books. But try as I might, this is as neat as it ever gets. Plus, though I get to look out the window onto a peaceful courtyard and a patch of blue sky, my setup blocks access to the window, and probably also blocks about 30% of the sunlight that could come in …

If you are like me and have a workspace in the bedroom, how do you make it work?


Images: 1 Amanda Nisbet Design; 2 West Elm; 3 Massucco Warner Miller; 4 Design by Stephen Volpe and Roth Martin, photo by Simon Upton for Elle Decor; Anna Hoffman