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Home design ideas for that tricky guest room and office combo

A condo dual-purpose room in Southie that works hard for the owners and their guests.

A guest room/office makeover in South Boston.Joyelle West

They may be common, but office/guest room combos come with tricky challenges. “You don’t want guests to feel like they’re sleeping in an office, but you don’t want to feel like you’re working in a bedroom,” says Dana Arazi, principal of Arazi Levine Design. This South Boston space presented a third challenge: Going through it is the only way to access the yard. Arazi created a balanced layout with a stylish sleeper sofa and easy-to-move, multifunctional pieces that allowed for easy flow, and made the windows the focal point to bring the outside in. “I like a long wish list,” Arazi says. “Coming up with solutions to problems results in the best ideas.”

1 Arazi emphasized each window with natural bamboo shades that tie to the outdoors and framed them with striped linen curtains. The modern desk from CB2 is sleek yet still provides storage.


2 A pair of botanical prints in distressed black-and-gold wooden frames is a nod to the citrus tree in the yard and continues the concept of greenery up the wall.

3 The oversize brass-frame ceiling fixture with linen shade casts soft light from above. “Since it’s also a bedroom, I wanted it to feel cozy at night,” Arazi says.

4 A Mission-style barrister bookcase fits perfectly in the niche. “We discussed built-ins,” Arazi says, “but the vintage piece added character and fit the budget.”

5 The sleeper sofa from West Elm combines clean lines with casual comfort. “Most pullout sofas are not comfortable, but their guests say this one really is!” Arazi says.

6 Versatile braided jute poufs add another organic element to the space. “I didn’t want it to feel like a pass-through room with an empty middle, but we couldn’t use a heavy coffee table,” Arazi says. “These are very functional and light.”


Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to