Work the Room

This circulation space is not used much during the day, so itís a good place for a work area. Privacy in a hallway is not an oxymoron. This built-in desk used to be a closet.
Sarah Susanka Work the Room This circulation space is not used much during the day, so itís a good place for a work area. Privacy in a hallway is not an oxymoron. This built-in desk used to be a closet.

Despite the large size of the average American house, many homeowners are almost desperate for a little privacy in their homes once in a while. In a larger house, it’s relatively easy to find a quiet spot by rethinking how space is used and adding a door or two. But in smaller homes, the challenge is greater.

If the homeowners value visual separation but aren’t concerned about hearing other activities going on in the house, you may be able to create an alcove that's hidden from view but is right off the main living area. If it’s also important to them not to be bothered when using this space, you may want to include visual cues, such as a drape or folding screen that, when drawn across the alcove, indicates the desire for privacy.

One option for visual separation is an upstairs landing. In many homes, these spaces are seldom used during the day when family members congregate on the main living level. So if it’s large enough, this area can provide an adequate spot for a small desk or hobby area.

Adapted with permission from More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home by Sarah Susanka, published by The Taunton Press (2010).