Like most people, we have a formal dining room that we essentially never use. When we moved in, I knew that I wanted to use it as an office instead. I could have commandeered one of the guest rooms, but because I work so much, I wanted to feel like I was still part of the goings-on in the house, not closed away in a room on the second floor. When designing the dining room/ office I knew that I wanted it's primary function to be as an office but it also needed to be a simple and unnoticeable transition to a dining room when we had people over. These are the elements I think make such a thing possible:
Storage: I love Ikea Expedit shelves. They are affordable and clean and offer lots of storage options. I store all of my supplies for Wouldn't it be Lovely in these. They also serve as extra work space when I'm assembling invitations and other wedding things. When we are using the room for dining, I just hide the printer in another room and use them as a buffet for all the tasty treats we've cooked up. Having all the work items hidden away in drawers and cabinets makes a room easily transformable.
A Good Table: A table that can be dressed up or down is key for a multi-purpose look. Our table from Inmod is great for this, it's substantial with clean lines so I can use it as a work space with a cutting mat to keep it clean, or as a dining table with placemats for casual dining or a pretty table cloth for more formal dining.
Easily Movable Electronics: Though my iMac is enormous, I can just unplug it and carry it into another room with the keyboard and mouse and it's like it was never there! Same thing with the printer. Buying electronics that are portable makes for easy conversion! I also bought a cord cover for the floor so no one is tripping over the cords! It's brown and blends into the rug pretty well!
Nice Chairs: Our Emeco Navy Chair knock offs are great, and when we have lots of company they mix well with the Eames knock off Chairs in our Kitchen. The chairs are light, easy to move and stackable if I need to store them for some reason. I splurged a bit on my desk chair, but my spine thanks me. A comfortable desk chair makes the working hours fly by!
Table $765 from Inmod, Chairs $145 for two from Overstock, Office Chair $189, Ikea Expedit $80 each, additional $260 for 4 drawer sets and 12 doors, the knobs were a DIY project. Light, $180 they don't carry this one anymore, but I attached a link to a similar one. Rug, $200 on sale from West Elm. Maps by "These are Things" World map $95, US map $50. Lamp is an antiquing find. Curtains were Fred Shand for Anthropologie a couple of years ago. Floor cord cover $25. The Whistle Sign was a DIY project.