Make Your Home Office Family Friendly

What’s your home office look like? Is it a spare bedroom, corner of the living room, or have you taken time and space to create a dedicated work space? Personally, I’ve done it all. I used to have an office space in our master bedroom. I also had a loft which I shared with my daughter for home schooling. And, more currently, I have a spare bedroom which is used solely for my work and craft space (since I also have a craft business). Today I wanted to share ideas to inspire your home office space to more family friendly.

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One of the reasons you chose to work from home was to spend more time with your family. You are not alone. Many people who come home to work do it to enjoy being home with family.  But how to create a workspace that makes that possible.  Creating a family friendly home office is makes it possible to be productive but still make it possible to spend time with family.

It is a delicate balance to try to achieve. On the one hand, you need to get your work done. On the other hand, you want to enjoy your family. Is there a way to do both? Let’s take a look at some suggestions.

Make it Functional

The top priority of decorating an office space is to make it functional. Without functionality you won’t be able to work productively. You need a desk that is a good height and has the space you need to work. Let it reflect your style and the decor you have planned for the room. If your office space is in a living room or bedroom, coordinate the colors and style to match. Then it will look like it belongs instead of sticking out.

Choose your seating according to the time you spend on it. Some desk chairs are intended for short periods while others are made for long periods of use. I recommend a desk chair with wheels. That way you can move up to and away from the desk much easier than without wheels. Plus, their back support is usually better than a traditional chair.

Nothing says relax like a comfy sofa. It serves as a ‘magnet’ to draw the kids together in one cozy area, away from your desk. It can also give you a alternative place to sit down with your laptop and work beside your children. Invite the family in after school to relax and catch up on their day. If your home office isn’t large enough for a sofa, throw down a rug with a couple bean bag chairs or big pillows. The goal is to have an inviting place to welcome your family into your surroundings, but still give you a dedicated space for your work.

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Put a table and chairs in your office separate from your desk. It gives your kids a spot to do play and do homework. Use the same idea for your pre-school children and include lots of kid-friendly art supplies so your young children can ‘work’ while you do. If room isn’t available for a table, get out those old TV tables you have stored and put them to good use, then fold them and store them away again until needed. Make it space where your kiddos be close to mom and play quietly. Have quiet activities and toys dedicated to your home office. Have a toy bin to keep toys, games, and books. And when they start to act bored of some toys and books, switch them out.

Set Some Rules

Having a family friendly office does not mean there are no rules involved. There are times when you need to be alone to work. Therefore,  it needs to be made clear from the beginning. You could have a set schedule. If necessary, post your hours on the door for all to see. Put a sign on your home office door to let family know when your office  is open for company. Save work that doesn’t need a lot of concentration for those ‘family times.’ Be clear about the rules and arrange your work time so you can enjoy your office and family both.

Isolating yourself in your office and making it totally off-limits to your family may not be what you had in mind when you decided to work at home. If that’s the case, you will want to create a home office that is, at least at times, open for visiting. Take time to enjoy the reason you decided to work from home – your family! I still need mine to be family friendly. My goal is to redo my craft space to have room for a cozy loveseat or arm chair. I’m also redoing my decorations to make it more inviting.

Want some more home office inspiration? Check out these ideas on Pinterest!


  1. My desk is in my bedroom. It is a little side table that used to be inside my grandparent’s house. I need to find a pretty table cloth to cover it because the top is laminate and it is coming off.

    • Katharine says:

      I love old furniture, Samantha! I’d like to find an antique desk or table at some point. My desk now is wood laminate (wood with wood grain paper over it) and I’m wearing it off the edges right from the time I bought it! Once you find a cover for your table, you might be able to find a desk mat to keep the tablecloth from sliding around. I’ve seen some nice clear ones on Amazon. My husband bought one you can cut to size and it’s a wipe off board. He jots down his work notes on it.

  2. This is great! I am trying to create an area for me, but with the area being smaller, I need it to be as functional as possible.

    • Katharine says:

      Jacki, I’ve worked in small spaces, too. My have to haves is a desk with storage, a file cabinet or cupboard to hide paper and stuff away (also use the top for my printer), and shelves for books and decor. If you don’t have much space you can put shelves over your desk. You can also tuck a portable file box under your desk to save space.

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