If you are lucky enough to have a dining alcove in NYC, you probably assume that it has to be used exactly for that. But the days of formal dining rooms are behind us - most people these days have a dining area tied in with their living room space, allowing company to mingle in a more casual atmosphere.
So if your dining area and living room are now one - what do you do with that alcove off your kitchen?
People who work from home (or like to pretend they do) say - Home Office!
People who often have out of town guests (whether they want to or not) say - Guest Room!
People with children say Play Room!
If you are like me, all of the above apply, as well as extra storage, pet toy/food area and extra TV room!
That's right - with some clever designing, the right furniture and great organization I was able to turn this 10 X 12 space into every other room I could need.
To get the office part of the room, I opted for a narrow console table rather than a traditional bulky desk. I got tabletop file organizers in lieu of using drawers. And a ladder style bookcase allowed me to mix my work files and printer in with photo albums and magazines. For the guest room part, the most important item was a queen size sofa bed. The larger size sofa allows for both comfortable seating and comfortable sleeping for 2. Since the main perk of a guest room (rather than just a sofabed in the living room) is the privacy factor - I went ahead and installed curtains to separate the living room when necessary. Most of the time, the silk curtains are tied away to the side. For the playroom part, the main way I accomplished this was simply throwing all of my daughters toys in the room. After tripping on them many times, I realized I needed to go a bit further for this portion - so I got a child sized toy chest/bookshelf unit for most of her stuff (she's my first child and the first grandchild in the family, so needless to say she has A LOT of toys). But at least they have some sort of "place" now within the room, and the larger toys just get put next to the toy chest at night.
This room also has a small closet - that is where I store all extra stuff that I don't need to get to that often. Pet supplies, luggage, guest bedding...and I left a little space for company to hang up clothes when they visit. Hence - my extra storage space.
Just when you think that room has enough uses, I was able to get one more out of it! After getting my husband a great new television for our living room, we decided to use our older tv in this room. Mounting it in the far corner on an angle allows it to be viewed from the kitchen, the desk and the couch.
So there you have it - what was once a barely used dining room is now probably the busiest, most popular room in my apartment!