12 Multipurpose Room Ideas
While there finally appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, the post-pandemic world has forever changed how we live in our homes. If the past two years taught us anything, it’s that our living environments matter — a lot. So, it’s important to make the most of yours. Enter multipurpose rooms, one of the hottest trends we’ll see moving forward in real estate and interior design.
Here’s a closer look at what multipurpose rooms are, why they’re having such a major moment, and ideas for enhancing your own home through multifunctional space.
What is a Multi-purpose Room?
“Single-use spaces will become a thing of the past,” Forbes Home recently declared in its roundup of interior design trends we’ll see in 2022. Taking their place? Multipurpose rooms, AKA spaces that do double (or even triple!) duty.
With space at a premium, multipurpose rooms allow homeowners to use their homes in the most effective and efficient ways. Rather than limiting rooms to a single purpose, multipurpose rooms offer a versatile approach that uses the space you have how you need it when you need it.
Why Design a Multipurpose Room?
“Home is no longer merely the place we go at the end of the day to relax: It’s the office, school, restaurant, movie theater, and gym, and often many of these things at the same time,” asserts Elle Decor.
While the shift to “remote everything” may have required homeowners to adapt their homes to fulfill all of these purposes, we’ve all heard the expression, “necessity is the mother of invention.” During that time, homeowners learned a lot about themselves, their homes, and how they wanted to live.
This brings us to the bright side of the pandemic: It has revealed opportunities to make positive and lasting changes in our homes and in our lives. Multipurpose rooms are one such opportunity.
Also called a “flex room,” these multipurpose spaces are suitable for various activities. And while they’re especially useful in small spaces, they can help anyone optimize space — even if you don’t live in a smaller home where square footage is an issue.
Twelve Multipurpose Room Ideas
1. Guest Room + Home Office
Overnight guest rooms are convenient, except that they sit empty most of the time. This makes your guest suite a perfect partner for a home office.
Something as simple as using a Murphy bed and swapping out a nightstand for a desk can add functionality to a small room.
In larger spaces, dedicating a full wall to a work area gives you the daytime space you need without taking over the whole room.
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2. Dining Room + Kitchen
The formal dining room was once the exclusive domain of special occasions. This also meant they often say empty or—even worse!—or became repositories for “stuff.”
Kitchen + dining area combos offer many benefits, including more interactions with family members while preparing meals and easier entertaining.
3. Living Room + Office
Many homeowners without designated workspaces are successfully carving them out in their family rooms. While there is always the potential threat of clutter and distractions, there are some strategies for managing them, such as positioning your desk to face out the window and storage options for office supplies.
Looking for ideas? Check out Apartment Therapy’s roundup of stylish and functional living room/office combos.
4. Home Gym + Office
Depending on your space and workout preferences, offices and home gyms pair nicely together. Neither requires a ton of space nor constant use. This makes them ideal multipurpose rooms.
This means more than simply rolling out a yoga mat. Incorporating design details can help transform a utilitarian-feeling space into a beautiful one.
5. Home Gym + Guest Bedroom
We love having a good-to-go guest bedroom for visiting family and friends. What don’t we love quite as much? Underutilizing that space when we don’t have guests in town. It is a savvy solution to transform it into a dual-purpose home gym and guest bedroom.
6. Cloffice (Closet + Office)
While closet workspaces didn’t originate during the pandemic, the trend did explode. And with good reason. Closets offer a benefit many other dual-purpose rooms lack: the option to close the door — both when you need privacy during the workday and when you want to leave your work behind you when the day is done.
7. Playroom + Living Room
Playrooms and living rooms are natural partners, but there are some downsides—namely, when toys take over. That’s where mindful design and ample storage come in. With these two elements in place, your living room can successfully double as a playroom where all members of your family will love to gather.
8. Home Office + Dining Room
Dining rooms and home offices may not be the first space partnerships that come to mind. However, when you think about it, they play nicely together. After all, a dining room already has the essentials for an office: a dining table and chairs. It’s also one of a home’s most underutilized rooms. Task lighting, sideboard storage, and mobile utility carts can help you strike a beautiful balance.
9. Living Room + Classroom
Why give up an entire room for a classroom when everything from learning to homework help can take place where your family congregates? Setting up a workspace for your children in the living room offers other benefits, too—such as computer supervision.
10. Craft Room + Guest Room
We can’t all have a wrapping paper room like Candy Spelling. However, if you enjoy crafting, having creative space may be a must-have in your home. Enter the guest room/craft room combo.
Depending on the amount of space you have, this might involve setting up two zones or incorporating dual-purpose furniture.
Short on floor space? You can always create more by taking advantage of lesser-used vertical space through wall shelving and lighting.
11. Laundry Room + Pantry
Laundry rooms and pantries are often two small separate rooms. So why not combine them into one cohesive multifunctional room? To make this combination work, you’ll need enough space for the essentials, as well as a clear plan for organization and storage.
Working with a smaller space? This is another opportunity to think outside-the-box with vertical storage, such as wall shelving.
12. Media Room + Gym
While home gyms and media rooms are both nice-to-haves, you don’t need a dedicated space for either. That also means you don’t have to choose between the two.
When designing a joint media room/gym, make sure to consider the look and feel of the space in addition to its functionality. Comfortable seating, The more welcoming the room, the more time you’ll want to spend there.
Tips for Designing a Multipurpose Room
All multipurpose rooms aren’t created equal. Following best practices can help you design a space that truly speaks to how you live in your home.
If you’re considering incorporating more multifunctionality into your home, but you don’t have a bonus room, keep these tips in mind:
- Know your needs. One family’s needs will be different from another’s. Spend some time thinking about what changes will have the biggest benefits for your unique situation. For example, while space for gathering and entertaining may be at the top of one family’s list, home office space may be critical for another.
- Incorporate zones. In larger spaces, designating separate areas for different activities is effective. Generally, start with the largest zone and work in the smaller zone(s) after. Furniture and rugs can be used to differentiate spaces, as can room dividers if privacy is necessary. A room divider can even be used to minimize noise and create more peaceful spaces.
- Use dual-purpose furniture. Everything from sleeper sofas to ottoman cubes on casters that offer seating and/or can double as a coffee table, storage, and surface space can make rooms more functional.
- Light it up. Many homeowners underestimate the importance of lighting. While all well-lit rooms incorporate the three main types of lighting (overhead, task, and accent), layering lighting is especially critical in multi-purpose rooms. Natural light can also make a huge difference when it comes to both the form and function of a space. If you’re working with a bigger budget, adding a large window or skylight can have a transformative impact.
If you’re looking for small space solutions, to free up extra space, or simply want to use your home more efficiently while creating more beautiful and inviting spaces, interior design can make all the difference.
If you live in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities and you want to improve and elevate your home environment, Che Bella Interiors can help. Whether you’re wondering if a multipurpose room might be right for you or you’re ready to get started, our friendly, knowledgeable, professional team would love to help you create a multipurpose space that is beautifully yours. Contact us today.