Practical advice

Serve up breakfast and business


Interior designer Jessica Dauray, based in Greenboro, North Carolina in the United States, asks her clients one question: “How do you live?” And if she gets an abridged response, she asks again.

According to Dauray, the right answer is an honest one: that you put your feet up on the sofa, throw a ball in the living room, or need something durable enough to handle spilled red wine so you don’t have to worry about it.

“Kitchens are no longer contained areas. It’s the hub of the house.”

— Jessica Dauray

She just needs to know how you’re really going to use your space. That’s why she’s our go-to for making one space serve multiple purposes. And what room does she convert to multiuse the most? The kitchen—as a home office.

“Kitchens are no longer contained areas,” Dauray says. “It’s the hub of the house. People want to be able to eat, watch TV, spend time with their family, and work.”

And more often than not, Dauray is creating kitchens that double as offices. “Technology has changed the usage of [kitchens],” she says. “Now everything is wireless, so all you need are some power-points.”

Dauray offers tips for combining your kitchen and home office into a multipurpose room so you can do everything you need to do, all in your home’s central spot.

Seek storage

Step one for blending your kitchen and office is to plan storage for the office supplies. Determine what you have, and get creative about where it’ll fit when not in use. Anything from a window seat or bench seating to part of your pantry or kitchen island can double as storage for supplies like paperwork, printer, and pens.

Show who’s the boss

This room isn’t your average kitchen—or home office—and your floor can let your visitors know just that. “Find something that’s stylish and maintainable so you can live in your space without worrying about it,” Dauray says. She suggests creating a rustic look with gray tones or layering with a rug over a beige tile to create a high-end look.

Dump the desk for your home office

Corner desks are so last year. Dauray recommends finding a statement piece of furniture that can float behind, say, a couch or in front of a window. Or if you’re pressed for space, utilise the unused areas of your benchtops or kitchen island. Keep it minimal, and there’s your spot for your laptop and paperwork.

Flexible seating is key

Every office needs a couple of seats. And thankfully, so does every kitchen. Just make sure your chairs are movable and look good no matter where they are in the space. Ottomans are a simple option, too.

Kitchen island seating is a great way to make space to eat and take care of business.

Be coordinated

When creating a space that serves multiple purposes, it’s easy to get overzealous when purchasing new items. Just don’t forget that your bells and whistles have to be consistent in style and colour—that’s what makes your multipurpose room or kitchen-turned-home-office really tight and perfect.

Make your lighting a statement

You gotta be able to see when you’re working or else you’ll, well, not work. That’s why Dauray recommends adding a layer of décor to your multipurpose room with scone lighting—simplicity meets purpose.

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