Want a game room and home officeBut don’t you think you have room for both? Think again! There are several tricks you can use to design a space that is multifunctional –without Having to sacrifice style. (Take, for example, the way David Frazier divided his small living room West Village Apartment into two distinct areas – lying down and dining – simply by directing a floor lamp and a rug.)
To help guide you, we asked a group of designers for advice on how to maximize space by giving each room more than one purpose.
“The first thing I do is measure the room and take it out,” he says. I think Chic Interiors Founder of Malka Helvet. “Size is key! Make sure you buy furniture that fits properly in your new space.”
Moving on: “I would suggest using any one of the many free room planning apps that are available,” Helft adds. (Not sure where to start? Click here to some of our favorite interior design apps!)
Choose double-duty furniture
Buying furniture that can serve multiple roles. “The standalone banquet, for example, could be a dining table or a desk—or it could be moved into a foyer or breakfast room if you end up moving into a larger space,” says Zekas. Likewise, the oversized cross-section “creates an open floor plan for children to play in,” says the designer Sandra Asdorian—Adds Maria Viola-Kotrov, Founder viola interior design.
Another great way to create several rooms from one room? Invest in modular furniture. Linda Hayslet, founder of LH . designs.
Think outside the box
“It can be very easy to follow traditional notions of the type of furniture that each room belongs to,” says the designer. Georgia Zikas– “But with a little careful planning, you can offer different types of furniture in different positions throughout the space which will ultimately give you better functionality.”
Install custom ROMs
“When creating a space with multifunctional uses, we recommend designating zones for each desired use,” continues Viola-Kuttruff. A great way to do this is by using custom inline elements. “For example, when we hired one of our clients to reinvent an old and underutilized space in her home, she explained her need for an area that could serve everyone in the family according to their individual needs. For her children, we created a homework bar with a custom long desk and a computer desktop with built-in storage.” For her husband, we created a small meeting table where he can take calls and work on his laptop – and for our client who loves to read, we made a custom window seat.”
Other inline to consider? Murphy bed. “It gives you the ability to pull your bed away from the wall whenever you want to sleep or relax, and hide it when it’s time to use your space for something else,” Pulp Design Studios Co-founder Beth Dotolo. “Install a door or sliding wood panel to cover the bed when you’re not using it for an extra stylish touch.”
Consider sound insulation
“If you intend to divide a large space into a living room and bedroom without large constructions, get a room partition with soundproof panels,” Helft advises.
Get creative with furniture and decor
Smart space dividers such as double-sided bookcases or vintage screens can be used to mark the end of one area and the beginning of another, Viola-Kotrov notes. Area rugs, changing the floor pattern or accent color can also help define spaces.
Use art or mirrors on the walls to define areas. Zikas asserts that “creating this visual line of distinction, even in the absence of a physical line, is very powerful in creating a space that can serve multiple purposes.”
You can also use indoor plants to “create another room in a larger space,” adds Hayslett.
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