Rooms that serve several purposes in your home can be fun opportunities to get creative and design a multipurpose space that's as charming as it is functional. Use designer tips to define your flex room and apply a few ideas that truly help your space stand out. Multipurpose room ideas can take any area and transform it into a shared space that's elegant and flows effortlessly between functions.
Design a Charming Kitchen & Dining Room
One of the most common multipurpose rooms found in many homes is the kitchen and dining room combo, serving both your food preparation and hosting needs. Homes that don't have a designated dining room usually have their dining area combined with the kitchen. Though this is a common design in many homes, there are plenty of ways to elevate the layout and create a kitchen and dining multipurpose room that looks like it was designed by a pro.
Use Lighting to Designate Spaces
One of the most important features in a kitchen and dining room is the lighting. The chandelier or pendant lights you choose can help set the two separate spaces apart while creating effortless flow between them. Try large, statement lighting over your dining table, whether it's a small breakfast nook or a long table. In your kitchen, use coordinating flush mounts for general lighting and a few pendant lights over your sink or island to tie the two spaces together.
Small details can make a large impact when working with multipurpose rooms. Use coordinating materials to tie your cooking and dining spaces together. For example, you might have leather chairs for your dining table. Add leather drawer and cabinet pulls to your kitchen to tie the two together with one simple detail. Other materials you might consider are upholstery, tile, wood, and concrete.
Keep Flooring Consistent
You might be tempted to designate your spaces with different types of flooring by adding tile to your cooking and kitchen area and using hardwood or rugs in your eating area. For a truly professional look, opt for flow rather than differentiation. Carry hardwood flooring from the kitchen area to the dining space so the room feels cohesive. If you really want to ground the dining area or add some texture, add a rug under the dining table for subtle separation.
Create a Cozy Living Room & Home Office Flex Space
Living rooms serve as a retreat and a place to spend time with family, but they can also be a place for working if your home office is nestled within that space. Create a living room and a home office that serves you all day long with a few tips that help the space feel cozy and uncluttered.
Use a Beautiful Desk Chair
Your workspace should be comfortable and functional, but you certainly don't want your living space to feel like an extension of a cubicle. Swap your typical rolling desk chair for a cozy and stylish side chair for a designer look that provides the added perk of extra seating for your family movie night.
Use a Slim Desk Behind Your Sofa
A desk that can also work as a console table is the perfect solution for the living room/home office dilemma. Use a long, slim desk behind your sofa with a beautiful side chair for a workspace that can easily become a decorative area at the end of the workday. Be sure to include a few storage baskets nearby to hold all your desk essentials when they aren't in use.
Arrange Furniture to Designate Spaces
Just because your office is in your living room, that doesn't mean you can't have separation of spaces. Use your furniture arrangement to designate your living area from your work area. Arrange your sofa, armchairs, and coffee table in a square with all furniture pointing inward while your desk area sits behind the arrangement facing the opposite direction. You can also tuck your desk into a corner of the room or use one side of a built-in shelving unit for your working area. Be sure to use a rug and accent lighting with each area to show the separation of spaces.
Decorate a Beautiful Nursery Within Your Bedroom
How many babies really sleep in their nursery anyway, right? When space is limited or when you're choosing sleeping arrangements that best serve you and your family, a nursery and bedroom combo might be a great option. Make this multipurpose space look intentional and designer, even if it's only temporary.
Use a Shelving Unit to Separate Spaces & Gain Storage
You might love having baby nearby, but you still want your space to feel like it's truly yours. Use a shelving storage unit to create a wall between the baby's area and yours. The shelving is perfect for adding baskets to hold all of baby's clothing, diapers, toys, and other needs. Try painting the unit in the same color as your bedroom walls to help it blend in seamlessly and feel like more of an architectural detail rather than a freestanding unit.
Use a Feature Wall to Keep Things Fun
A feature wall with wallpaper, shiplap, or a painted mural will give the nursery side of this multipurpose space plenty of personality to make the welcoming of your baby extra fun. Choose a feature that works with your existing decor and can work well for the space even once baby has moved on to their own room. Place the crib or bassinet along this wall and add a couple of shelves to create interest and add more storage for baby's necessities.
Curate a Dining Room & Schoolroom Combo
Whether it's for homework or homeschool, you can keep a schoolroom inside your dining room tidy with a few professional tips. This space where you host, dine, and learn can be a beautiful part of your home that your family longs to spend time in.
Add Shelving for Beautiful Storage
Whether it's for your favorite casserole dish or for school supplies, shelving adds function and beauty to your multipurpose dining and schoolroom. Use plenty of baskets for hidden storage and even consider adding a bench or window seat to built-in units. Be sure not to overcrowd the shelves and leave room for a couple of strictly decorative items.
Let Color Carry the Space
With a room that acts as both a learning and hosting space, the colors you decide to use truly will matter. Try sticking to neutral or muted colors to keep the space calm and elegant. Avoid using bright or primary colors. Though these would work well for a school space, they might not feel appropriate for your dining room. Stick to sophisticated colors that feel academic while maintaining a classic ambience. Shades of navy, sage, beige, and gray will all feel timeless in this multipurpose space.
Work Where You Workout in a Home Gym & Office Multipurpose Room
If your home gym and home office exist in the same room, you can make the space feel intentional and professionally designed with a few helpful tips. You want to make sure your work space feels sophisticated and calming while your workout area feels energetic. Do this by incorporating multipurpose room hacks that help you work hard and workout harder.
Place Workout Equipment Near a Window
While a window might add distractions during the work hours, it can provide beautiful scenery while you're on the treadmill or elliptical. Place your workout equipment near your window and angled, so you can easily see the view during a workout. This also helps save on floor space, as your equipment will probably be parallel to the wall.
Add a Large Mirror
A large mirror, whether leaned against the wall or mounted on it, can make your home gym and office feel larger and more open. This also gives you the opportunity to see your form when lifting weights or working on yoga poses. Use a decorative mirror with a beautiful frame so the space still feels cozy and beautiful.
Add Plenty of Rugs
A durable rug that works as a workout mat and an additional rug near your desk will help the two spaces to feel separated appropriately. Try a round rug near your office area if the desk is small and consider a long, narrow mat for your gym area. Another option is using a gym mat that easily snaps together in a beautiful print or neutral color.
Create a Bedroom Home Office Flex Space
Your home office can easily double as a comfortable bedroom for yourself or other family members. You can even add an office in your home's guest room. Create a cozy and productive home office by designating spaces and adding plenty of details that are visually appealing and functional.
Use Fun Colors
Bedrooms and office spaces are a great place to experiment with color palettes you might feel hesitant about in other rooms of your home. Try a deep color behind the desk of your office area or use a soft pastel throughout the room to help it feel calm for an office and inviting for a guest room. Use color in unexpected ways by painting your trim in a deep color or adding a fun pop of color to a door. These color applications work well for both a home office and a bedroom.
Create Separation With Lighting
Accent lighting will help distinguish the home office area of the room from the bedroom oasis. Sconces by the bed or matching table lamps will help show the clear difference between the room purposes. Use a floor or table lamp near your office area to show that it's separate from the sleeping and resting area.
Add a Room Divider
A beautiful and functional way to divide a multipurpose room, a room divider, will clearly designate your home office from your bedroom. Try an antique version for a fun vintage look or use a light-toned wood or white panel divider for an updated and modern style.
Let Your Kids Learn & Play in One Flex Room
Having just one extra room for kids to enjoy is all you need for a homeschool and playroom combo. Don't be intimidated by separating learning and playing. With the right approach, your kids will clearly understand when the room is set up for school and when it's set up for playing.
Use a Calm Color Palette
The temptation may be to choose bright colors for your kids' homeschool playroom, but remember that this space will be used equally for learning and play time. Instead, try a calming or pastel color palette. This allows you to incorporate fun colors without the space feeling too stimulating during school time. Neutrals and whites are a safe option, but soft pastels might help inspire creativity and whimsy whether kids are working on math equations or playing pretend.
Use Storage Containers That Keep Toys Hidden
For a playroom that also acts as a learning space, avoid storage items that showcase toys. Keep kids from distractions during learning time by using storage containers that are opaque and completely hide the items inside. You might also consider trunks or large storage ottomans so kids aren't tempted to play while working on homework. Hidden toys will also help the room feel tidier and less juvenile. For school items, consider displaying them in a beautiful way so kids can be inspired by what they are learning even when they are having playtime.
Include a Functional Table
A table that's used for learning and play is perfect for a homeschool playroom. Look for a kid-sized table that's perfect for learning separately or as a group and can also double as a fun craft table or place for board games. This is a scenario where spaces don't have to be entirely separated; rather, you want to include a furniture piece that can function in multiple ways to serve both purposes of the room.
Create a Multipurpose Room in Your Apartment
Apartments often contain one or more multipurpose rooms. Your living room and dining room may be in one space, or you might find your bedroom also acts as a home office and gym. Your entryway may be part of your kitchen, and your laundry room might be shared with the bathroom. Use a few pro tips to make your apartment space work for you, no matter how many rooms you have.
- Use a murphy bed or sofa bed to save on space and keep your sleeping area private when guests are over.
- Use rugs to designate your living space, dining space, and sleeping areas.
- Arrange furniture with backs facing outward rather than against the walls so that the furniture itself creates separation of spaces.
- Place your sofa at the foot of your bed so the spaces are separated and your back is to the bedroom area when entertaining friends or enjoying home entertainment.
- Add a small table behind your sofa or in your living space that can act as a desk or dining table.
- Use storage ottomans and benches as additional seating that doubles as storage.
- Use wall-mounted shelving in place of freestanding shelves to save on floor space.
- Mount sconces on the wall in place of floor or table lamps to save floor and tabletop space.
- Use a daybed against the wall to save on floor space and provide seating for guests.
Make Multipurpose Basements Beautiful & Inviting
Basements provide many opportunities for a multipurpose space. When using the right approach, you can make your basement dual purpose room feel just as inviting as any other room of your home.
- Add plenty of lighting to keep your basement feeling warm and bright. Use a combination of ceiling mounts, sconces, and accent lighting to designate spaces.
- Add vinyl flooring with rugs to designate spaces like family rooms, playrooms, office areas, and home entertainment spaces.
- Use gym mats that snap together to create a clear space for all of your workouts.
- Use built-ins or free-standing shelves to keep your laundry area separate from the rest of your basement.
- Create a family room or home entertainment space with furniture arranged in a square, facing toward a central focus.
- Add ceiling tiles to unfinished basement ceilings to make the space feel more welcoming and less like a basement.
Flex Room Ideas That Serve You
Whether it's a home office in your bedroom or a home gym in your basement, multipurpose spaces can feel intentional and designer. With the right pro tips and a bit of creativity, you can design a multipurpose space that serves your needs and still looks beautiful and stylish.