Our Project in Focus series highlights the real-life ways people use More Space Place Austin’s offerings to complete beautiful, functional projects in their homes. Murphy beds, custom closets, dream laundry rooms, home offices, hybrid home office/guest room combinations, and more – we’ll feature them in this series and highlight the ways they’ve used our products and design services as they’ve upgraded their homes.
During 2020, Selena’s mother was in an accident. Selena and her family chose to move to a new home so they could care for her. They were able to find a dream property on a 1.3-acre lot. It had everything they wanted in a home for their active young family – expansive trees, a pool with a casita, plenty of room for children to run, play and grow.
The only problem? The home didn’t have an office space. Selena and her husband didn’t want to choose between a home office and a guest room. They wanted to have the best of both worlds.
The Challenge: Making Space for an Active Family in a Remote Work World
With four young children around the house and two parents working remotely, an office space to connect with clients and team members in privacy was a must.
However, because Selena and her husband are both Austin transplants and have moved from coast to coast, they also needed a guest room to be ready for visits from long-distance friends and family.
That’s where More Space Place Austin came in, helping Selena pull together a hybrid home office/guest room to maximize the space in their new home.
The Space: Converting a Sunroom to Meet the Family’s Needs
As a professional interior designer, Selena saw promising possibilities in a sunroom space. It had the potential to create an ideal workspace full of natural light and to allow for some privacy within a busy home – privacy that would be valuable to both the working parents and to the guests that might stay with them.
However, it was built at a lower level than the rest of the house and didn’t feel fully connected. Selena’s contractor, Eloy Prieto Construction, suggested using concrete to level the floors and make it feel more integrated with the rest of the house.
With that step completed, they were ready to consider how to use the space to accommodate their guests and needs. Because the room was designed for a different purpose, it wasn’t really laid out to fit a bed comfortably. Instead, it was more of a long, thin space designed to chat or read, but not necessarily to use for everyday work and rest.
The room measured about 10 x 15 feet. Two walls were covered with expansive windows that let in plenty of light but that weren’t ideal for placing furniture against. Another corner was dedicated to a fireplace, further limiting options for equipping the room with a home office/guest room hybrid setup.
The Solution: Finding Space-Saving Options to Fit the Room
Putting her years of interior design expertise to work, Selena started envisioning the perfect design for the room – one that would maximize its functionality for her family, serve as both a guest room and an office, and look sleek and stylish, rather than cramped and crowded.
Almost immediately, she thought about including a Murphy bed. “I’ve always wanted one,” Selena admitted. “When I was looking at the room, I realized a Murphy bed might fit perfectly into the space.”
From there, she needed to find a vendor and More Space Place Austin was at the top of her list.
During the earlier phases of her home remodel, she’d dealt with some frustrating supply chain issues, so she wanted to work with an Austin vendor, one where she could meet with them in person and communicate with the staff, not an online vendor where she’d be purchasing a product without being able to evaluate its quality in person. “More Space Place is really the only place to go for a Murphy bed,” Selena said. “Online vendors are just not the same experience.”
In the course of her usual work as an interior designer, she’d seen More Space Place Austin’s showroom in the Design District. She was able to stop in the showroom, visit with Pamela from the More Space Place Austin design team, and begin the process of pulling her room together.
With her experience, she had an idea of what she wanted for the room’s overall look and feel. She started from the floors up, chose a beautiful paint color (Mount Etna from Sherwin-Williams) and selected a cherry veneer for the Murphy bed cabinet. “I love a dark, moody office,” Selena said, “and the Clark Cherry finish along with the Mount Etna paint made a wonderful combination with the natural light streaming in through the windows and skylights.”
That took care of the bed portion of the room. For the office portion, Selena chose a sleek, lightweight desk that could be easily placed to the side of the room if needed when guests were on-site, or that could occupy the middle of the room if she or her husband wanted room to spread out while working.
From Our Perspective: Fusing Modern with Ranch
Working with Selena was exciting and joyous for the More Space Place Austin team.
She came in with well-defined ideas about what she wanted for the space – she knew she needed shelving and cabinetry, and that she needed to be able to accommodate a workspace, store work supplies and make guests comfortable.
From our side, we were able to introduce her to our specific offerings; our design director
Pamela Hughes recounted that Selena was decisive and easy to work with “Selena had a vision for the space that enabled her to quickly evaluate options and make design decisions,” Pamela said. “She came prepared with flooring samples and paint swatches and was prepared to select the right finish for her bed.”
It was also delightful to see how the cabinetry and shelving Selena chose transformed the room while still staying within the home’s overall design aesthetic. Selena’s ranch style home has a natural rustic feel, yet when we chose a modern Murphy bed, it blended in perfectly with its surroundings. “When I visited the Selena’s home to measure the room for the Murphy bed, I was enchanted by the beautiful Texas ranch style home and the renovations they were making,” Pamela shared. “I’m really proud of the way we were able to select cabinetry and shelving that made her space more functional while making a gracious, open, sun-filled space. It’s a great example of how our products can lend themselves to any design style.”
This design partnership turned out beautifully in part because of Selena’s own knowledge of interior design. However, being a professional designer isn’t a prerequisite for creating a beautiful space. In fact, when you visit the More Space Place Austin showroom, you have the opportunity to be inspired by different roomscapes, to talk to professional designers about your space and to start envisioning a plan that will make the most of the space in your home.
The Aftermath: A Hybrid Home Office/Guest Room Space is a Win-Win for Selena’s Family
The home office/guest room hybrid has been a great win for Selena and her family. They have the space they need to enjoy their home, work productively and invite guests into a welcoming space when needed. As for the guests, they get to wake up and enjoy wide-open spaces and the beauty of a lush tree-filled lawn – all from this elegantly designed space.
Selena is planning another home project for the near future and will be working with More Space Place again as she incorporates a Murphy bed into a casita on their property. And, she’s already putting on her designer’s thinking cap to spot opportunities for a Murphy bed to fit into her clients’ spaces. “With the boom in the local real estate market, families aren’t always able to just go out and find a bigger house that fits their needs,” Selena said. “I can see a Murphy bed providing a great solution for many families who need to make space and make do in their existing homes. And, it’s a breath of fresh air to work with More Space Place Austin – one that provides a great product, offers great customer service and was there to answer questions, be hands-on, and make sure everything was handled smoothly.”
Our More Space Place Austin team was delighted to be part of Selena’s project and to use a Murphy bed to provide her family with the space they needed to truly enjoy their home.
To learn more about the products we provide or to talk with a designer about space-saving options that might be a fit for your home, visit our showroom and talk with one of our designers. If you’re an designer, we value our partnerships with the design community and invite you to connect with us, see our inventory and discuss how we might fit into your future projects.