elotrolado_elotrolado

Help Me Design my home counseling office/guestroom- see photos

Elotrolado Elotrolado
December 24, 2013
This is primarily to be a psychotherapy home office, occasionally doubling as a guest room for short stays. I want it to be warm, nurturing, simple, spacious feeling and functional. Thinking a love seat sleeper (double) sofa would work best. Also, a corner desk unit or custom shelving and table top to serve as a desk to take advantage of the window. I do not want clutter to be visible when counseling, so hidden storage ideas are very welcome. I will keep a double locked file cabinet hidden away in the closet, needing only the essentials in the desk area for doing billing, writing notes, laptop only use (no keyboard/tower), so probably only need a file cabinet with a couple drawers for office supplies, etc in desk area. Would also like to store some reference books and other books that clients can see which suggest diversity, etc. Will use office/therapist chair on rollers moving between desk area and in front of clients on sleeper loveseat/small sofa; probably need 2 small end tables either side of loveseat/sofa. .
Office space is 119" x 132", with window centered on 132" side; Sliding door closet is 29"x 52". Room height=94" corner desk area probably to be in left corner of room, long side along window; sleeper loveseat along right wall, perpendicular to window.

I'd love your suggestions on room color, desk area, sleeper sofa/love seat (double sized not over $1100), hidden storage, small end tables, etc. Specific items to purchase and places to look would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to posting the after pictures to show you what I did.

Comments (34)

  • mfwolfe
    Okay, if you are determined to have a sleeper sofa....and I agree a bed in a therapists office would definitely give off the wrong vibe......if you are determined, there is a Swedish company whose name I cannot access who makes a sleeper sofa with a miracle foam mattress. It is the most comfortable sofa bed I have encountered, although it still isn't what I would call really comfortable but you can get a good nights sleep on it. You have a solid plan to make this a good office. Do you have a plan as to making it a welcoming guest room? Also what is your plan for arriving and departing clients?
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked mfwolfe
  • hayleydaniels
    I assume by sleeper sofa you're talking about what used to be called a Hide-A-Bed? If so, I can't imagine why that would be a problem. Who would know it pulls out? And more importantly for your clients, who would care?

    A nice grayish green on the walls would warm up the room as well as add a calming feeling to it.
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked hayleydaniels
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    Thanks for the additional comments-- @bricklin -- The office does not get a lot of direct light, which is exacerbated by the trees outside. I have not been there in early morning, but the times when I would be using the desk are afternoon to late evening, so I am not worried about the sun exposure when using it. However, if there is a lot of direct light in the early morning, should I be concerned about the glass getting hot, even if it is not being used at that time? In other words, is the hot glass only a concern if it causes discomfort while in use, or is it something that can damage the glass if it is ever subject to a lot of heat? In terms of whether I can keep the desk that clean..... :-\ That would definitely be the goal, and is partly why I want to have a lot of storage, so that I can file things away and keep things out of eyesight. When I work, I have a ton of papers along with my computer, but everything goes back to work in the morning or on Monday, so it's a temporary frenzy. I would likely have the printer/copier on the desk, although it would be a wireless printer, so no cables to computer. I may also put an in box/outbox and other small storage for pens, etc. So I imagine it will look something like this desk in terms of items, and also I would like similar-looking storage cabinets and I also really like the Eames style chair.
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  • decoenthusiaste
    I wouldn't mind being psychoanalyzed or sleeping in either of these.
    Pre-War Classic · More Info

    home office/library · More Info
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked decoenthusiaste
  • PRO
    A Fresh Look Design
    I am a counselor and home stager so i love your project. Sofa that pulls put i to a bed is great. The window is nice too so nice curtians, sofa table, greige walls.....what colors were you thinking? I have to learn to look and post pics too.....
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked A Fresh Look Design
  • groveraxle
    My therapist's office was greige and turquoise with big fluffy pillows and an ivory shag rug. Lots of natural light and big monochromatic art. Very comforting. That said, LOSE THE TORCHIERE! I'm out of therapy now; can you tell?

    For nice clean closed storage, I like Ikea's Galant series of cabinets with sliding doors. They have desks to match.
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked groveraxle
  • groveraxle
    For that price, I suspect the only sofa bed you'll find is at Ikea. The Karlstad sofa bed and matching ottoman that could double as a coffee table would work.
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked groveraxle
  • alfredof
    What is the window dimensions and height from the floor?
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked alfredof
  • Caz Gee
    I can't help you with suggestions for furniture specifically that relates to a guest room, but I can give you my advice from my experiences of working with counsellors/therapists. I found that I was much more comfortable/relaxed when I sat in a substantial armchair as opposed to the office which featured a two seater couch. I never really find them comfortable just sitting at one end, and as a sofa bed you always end up leaning into the middle anyway, unless you are able to buy a fully sprung mattress version (not likely with the budget you suggest). However, either would have to be better than the therapist I saw who basically had us sitting opposite each other in canvas director's chairs!
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked Caz Gee
  • Elotrolado Elotrolado
    alredof, the window is 73" Width sill to sill (1" on each side beyond actual window), by 46" H, and 34" above the floor
  • mfwolfe
    I am working on finding the name of the manufacturer of the sofa bed I mentioned in my first post. But the holidays have interfered . That sofa does not tip to the middle because it is a full depth mattress. Very unique design. Good sitting. Good seating
  • Elotrolado Elotrolado
    MFWOLF, thanks for helping me think about making it a welcoming guest room as well as it's primary purpose as a therapy home office... I rarely have overnight guests and give my parents the master bedroom when they stay with me. Guests would need to exit the room in the morning and be able to store some things in the closet, half of which I'm dedicating to guest use; I'd need to review the space prior to seeing a client There is also a coat closet near the entry way to the home just outside this home office where they can store some things, as well as a hall slider closet.

    A FRESH LOOK, I haven't gotten as far as thinking colors, but I'll check Greige (no idea what that is), probably no room for sofa table, but will have small end tables next to sofa bed for clients to set things on. Yes on curtains for the window--any specific suggestions of what type/where to look?

    GROVERAXLE: Thanks for the many tips. I'll check out the Ikea Galant cabinets as I'm going there in a couple days to look at their sleeper sofas which you also mentioned:)

    ALREDOF, the window is 73" Width sill to sill (1" on each side beyond actual window), by 46" H, and 34" above the floor

    CAZ, I completely understand your experience and I wish I had room for both a loveseat and an armchair. but I don't think it's possible unless I completely nix the desk area. I see couples and individuals so need seating for up to 3 besides myself.

    EVERYONE: Wow, I really appreciate the generosity of your feedback. I feel like part of community. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
  • happyasaclam
    Could you re-think the idea of combining your office and a guest room? Your office should show no evidence of being a dual purpose room. In fact, it should not look like an office. A small, neat and tidy desk personalizes you. Two extra large arm chairs are much more comforting than a sofa. If you are counseling two people at once, the chairs could be pulled closer together - or farther apart :( - when necessary. Solid, well made furniture will help your patients think of you as a solid, trustworthy person. Keep the reference books to a minimum. Have a small collection of things that give a hint of what you enjoy in your private life. Disguise that closet! No hints of files or records! Put something in front of it that can be easily moved aside or disguises the door knob. If the window looks out at a public place, consider using white blinds that keep the window light and bright but still provide privacy and won't make the room feel closed in. Can you tell I've been in a few counselors offices? :D
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked happyasaclam
  • groveraxle
    Elotrolado, I've done a quick floor plan (guessing a bit at closet and entry door) with three Ikea pieces to scale so you can get a feel for how they fit in the room.

    I switched to the Ektorp sleeper because the Karlstad is just too long, included the Hemnes secretary desk thinking it would be nice to close it up for guests or when clients come in, and found the teeny weeny Skruvsta chair which looks less institutional than a regular desk chair.

    Hope this helps.
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked groveraxle
  • groveraxle
    Now we know why happyasaclam is happy as a clam! How happy IS a clam, anyway?
  • chookchook2
    I would suggest blue or green for room colour, due to the soothing nature of those colours. Paint will give you presence in the room, for less outlay.
  • happyasaclam
    This clam is PRETTY happy these days, grover! :D
  • alfredof
    Elotrolado, here is my suggestion, I think this will accomplish both of your needs without sacrificing comfort for the overnight stay of your guests and also looking professional for your clients/patients, all dimensions are to scale. The room dimensions are based on your information and the Murphy bed, couch, table and office chair dimensions come from existing products readily available on line or at retail stores. To deploy the bed the chair will need to be removed from the room and the table moved to the side of the couch, the desk top folds down and locks to the face of the cabinet, the picture is secured to the cabinet and that could be changed to other thing like diplomas, certifications etc. the Murphy bed deploys to a queen size bed with a standard bed mattress
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked alfredof
  • happyasaclam
    I'm planning to add a Murphy bed to my den. Great idea!! It will solve several of your issues.
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    There are Murphy bed styles with both the bed and the desk in one. Pretty neat.

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    Happy, my daughter had a Murphy bed in her studio apartment. Worked out great for her.
    Elotrolado Elotrolado thanked JudyG Designs
  • happyasaclam
    I finally convinced hubby we needed one in the den and he said it would have to wait for a little while until we got a few other things done (yeah!), but it will solve the problem of where to put our oldest daughter and her husband and will be great for my inlaws - they won't have to climb the stairs. I haven't seen a desk and bed in one. That's a great setup!
  • Elotrolado Elotrolado
    ALFREDOF, That's a creative and impressive solution! Hmmm, I will have to think on that Murphy Bed and desk in one idea and cost it out. So many options! I just got back from two stores in San Francisco, and now I"m toying with the idea of an armchair facing the window for individuals who make up the bulk of my clientele and a loveseat sleeper, though that would probably break my budget. American Leather makes a great sofa sleeper (condo double size) with an innovative design that's very comfortable to sleep on but it's $2500. Also might put a low bookcase below the window. Thank you so much for taking the time to make that great graphic. It is so helpful to see actual images of what we're talking about!
  • Alina Taylor
    Think about making a wall between your office space and guest bedroom by using inexpensive bookcases to separate the areas
    Color scheme: teal, beige and coral..
  • Elotrolado Elotrolado
    ALL: A friend suggested I use the closet as the desk area which would keep it contained and hidden, allowing for the entire room dedicated to a therapy office with a sleeper sofa. Thoughts? I will be in retreat for 10 days, so can't respond for a while, but appreciate your contributions. Happy New Year and thank you.

    BUBBASGMA: I work with individuals, teens and couples, rarely families. I use a developmental approach to couples work; and incorporate mindfulness, CBT, brief therapy, and more in my work. I have lots of experience with gay men and transgender folk, and issues of anxiety, depression, compulsive behaviors/addictions, personal evolvement, mid-life.
  • Elotrolado Elotrolado
    I hear you. I will maintain an outside office where I do initial sessions, only inviting those I feel comfortable with into my home office. best of both worlds, i think.
  • happyasaclam
    I agree with bubbasgma. Bringing paperwork home to work on is one thing, but to have patients in your home is a violation of your personal space. I'm not implying that one of your patients would do you harm, but some of your patients may assume a more intimate relationship exists between Elotrolado and Joe rather than Dr. Elotrolado and Mr. Joe X. Please consider making this room your home office/guest room and your outside office your sessions office. :)
  • 2dogssashatess
    I'm a psychologist and there is no way I would see people at home. Someone might seem ok at the initial one or 2 sessions but slowly they become obsessed with you or divulge information about themselves that might make you feel very uncomfortable that they know where you and your family live. The counselling professions have a high incidence of being stalked. I went to a workshop run by a woman who has studied stalking and works with both stalkers and their victims. She would think you were insane to consider working from home. There are cheap rental options available for work, and peace of mind is worth the money. Work from home at your own risk but consider you may be placing your husband and children ( if you have any at risk too)
  • chookchook2
    I agree. I have experience in these matters.
  • 2dogssashatess
    I had one guy obsessed with me ( but he didn't know where I lived) and thankfully I worked on the extreme other side of town. Another guy threatened to shoot me. Work from home? No thanks!!!
  • Mehna Miller
    I agree as a psychiatrist, I think working from home is unprofessional and a bed in your spare bedroom as an office is entirely suggestive.....
  • chookchook2
    Totally.
  • chookchook2
    In the current age of Ice it's wise to keep home seperate.
  • startheresa

    I'm four years late, but maybe you're upgrading. If you want a "warm" room, choose warm colors from the yellow-to-red end of the spectrum. These add energy-feel. Blue-end colors are cooler, can calm, and can be used as accents if they compliment the warm-end colors well (e.g. couch pillows, window dressing, vases). Buy wrapping paper in colors you like and hang on the wall a while to see how it fits the lighting and space before painting, 2 coats are best. White light cools, yellow light warms, but all light changes the paint tone. Without proper lighting a small space gets claustrophobic fast, so choose carefully. Consider recessed or art spotlights or wall sconces. And keep the window view available! Open-leg furnishings (e.g. desk without drawers) will help in a small space, rather than heavier close-box-types. Mirrors, even as small wall decor, can add "space" too. If you don't want to hang art on the limited wall areas, use a wallpaper trim by the ceiling instead, for visual relief. A thick pile (non-wool, non-allergenic) rug can pull the area and colors together and muffle sound. Plants and natural fibers, like wood lamp bases or twig baskets, can lighten the atmosphere. Metals can add "weight" and modernity to the atmosphere. Good luck!

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