It's great if you have room for both a home office and a guest one, but don't despair if one room has to serve two functions.
A Bay Area couple found themselves in this predicament, but excellent design and the use of a clever redwood wall paneling system produced a dual-purpose room in their 30-year-old ranch house.
The 14-foot-by-12-foot room was plagued with a worn carpeting, a utilitarian looking acoustic ceiling and faded wallpaper. A sliding glass door leading to a deck provided the sole natural lighting.
Osburn Design, a San Francisco-based firm, came up with a flexible system, built by contractor Michael Bean of San Francisco, that utilizes 14-by-29-inch modular panels repeated throughout the room, two desk units and 27-by-30-inch book boxes that are designed to be suspended from the panels.
The desk is a handsome redwood unit with a return for a typewriter or a computer and burgundy-colored laminate tops.
The patio doors were left unchanged, except for the addition of narrow-slat blinds in a rust color that coordinates with the redwood and the laminate.
Two low-voltage Halo fixtures mounted on tracks on opposite sides of the room provide ambient light, while desk lamps provide task lighting.
The carpeting was replaced with new nylon carpeting in muted tones of red, blue-gray and gray. When space is needed for guests, a futon sofa bed can be pulled out and boxes hung at table height on either side for use as bedside tables.
I particularly like the extraordinary flexibility of the wall paneling/book box system. Recessed space at the top of each panel allows book boxes to be moved virtually anywhere in the room. Adjustable shelves can be placed within the boxes or between them.
Two brochures on working with redwood--"Panel a Room With Redwood Lumber" and "Redwood Interior Finishes"--can be obtained from the California Redwood Assn., 591 Redwood Highway, Suite 3100, Dept. LAT, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941. Enclose 25 cents for handling.
Seminars on planning kitchen remodeling will be presented by Jo Davis and Ann Otto of Kitchen Decisions at Cal State Long Beach from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Also: Los Angeles Harbor College, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 11; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 25, Pasadena City College and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15 at Glendale College. Fees and other information can be obtained from the colleges.