Flex space, combination rooms, flexible living space…There are many terms for the same concept – spaces within your home that can fulfill multiple functions and be customized to serve more than one purpose. Depending upon the needs of your family and limited only by your own creative ingenuity, there is much you can do to take advantage of the space in your home and make the most of your home’s square footage.
Often when you first buy or build a home, it fits the needs of your family at that time, but as you live in your home, things can and will change. You may have another child, or your children may move out or even move back, or you may move a parent into your home to care for them. Then recently, our homes and how we use them were forever changed with COVID.
We worked at home. Went to school at home. Played at home. Entertained at home. Ate at home. Worked out at home. Our homes became the place for everything.
Even as we continue to return to “normal” many are still working from home and will long term. Considering the possibility of another quarantine or even just needing to self-quarantine, a need for work from home space, homeschool and study spaces, sanctuary spots, workout areas and more are all not going away anytime soon. During the pandemic many families began cooking together and eating together again, and this trend continues to hold. For many years, even before COVID, there was a trend of children staying home longer and later into life, affecting the space in a home. More families have begun forgoing costly nursing homes and are moving their parents or grandparents in with them to care for them also affecting how the space in a home is used.
Without a doubt, a family’s needs and how they use the space in their home change over time. To help you enjoy your home as long as possible, we want to provide some helpful tips and tricks for adapting the spaces in your home so that you can make the most of your home’s square footage.
SPARE BEDROOMS AS COMBINATION ROOMS OR FLEXIBLE SPACES
If you have an extra bedroom, you’ve got the ticket to a multi-purpose combination room that will free up space throughout your home! Most often used as a guest bedroom, spare bedrooms can also be purposed into a variety of combination rooms: guest room and workout room, playroom and office (great for getting work done while your little one’s play), guest room and hobby room, workout room and office, office and guest room, and so much more! Using any combination of the techniques that follow, you can put your spare bedroom, or any area of your home to work for your family.
USE COLOR TO DIVIDE UP SPACE
Who needs a whole room when you have color! An easy way to make a “dedicated” space for an activity is with a little paint! Use a different, maybe even bold color of paint to indicate “this area is used for this activity.” Maybe it’s a homework area in your child’s bedroom or the living room. Maybe it’s a workout space in your guest bedroom. Maybe it’s an office space in your laundry room. Whatever the need is, with a little painter’s tape and the color of your choosing, you can let your family know that “this” is a dedicated space. Plus, if you need to change the space or you’re selling your home, simply paint over it.
THE CLOSET OFFICE
Known as the “cloffice” this idea has taken off in recent years and is even more popular now. If you have a closet, you can have an office! Most often people will turn the closet in their spare or guest room into an “office” that’s easy to tuck away. This is an affordable and easy way to add an office to almost any home. Typically, easy and affordable by just adding a desk or you can go all out adding built-ins, shelves, paint and more! For an immediate solution, just measure the size of the closet and find a desk that will fit in it. Add any other supplies or items you’ll need for your office space. Top it off with a folding chair that you can fold up and slide into the closet when you’re not working, and your office space is ready!
Furniture can be a game changer when it comes to improving how a space is used and divided.
- Bookshelves can be used to divide up large spaces and make “dedicated” areas – office spaces, study spots, play spaces and more.
- Couches that fold out turn any living space into a guest room.
- Couches and footrests with hidden storage are great to store blankets, books, movies and more.
- Murphey beds – seemingly a thing of the past – are making a comeback with options for built-in desks that fold down to reveal a full-size bed.
- Fold down desks and tables are perfect for adding a desk to any room.
- Even just adding a long rectangular table or bench and some stools to the backside of a couch creates “stadium” seating, perfect for watching football or movies with family and friends, easily adding 2 or 3 more seating spots and keeping your couch free of food all at the same time.
- Entertainment centers can be the perfect way to help keep clutter off the furniture and floors and can be perfect for holding toys, books, magazines, decorations and more. Use fabric bins or stylish boxes to hide clutter and add a pop of color.
These are just a few ideas as to what you can do with functional furniture!
PUT YOUR WALLS TO WORK
Use floating shelves, hanging storage, clipboards, corner shelves, cork board, baskets, bins, hooks and other things that can be attached to the wall to hold anything and everything. The options are endless and you’re sure to find some great, creative solutions. The main thing to remember…Make sure you hang anything of weight or that will hold weight from a stud!
DECLUTTER AND ORGAZINE
When everything has a spot, its easy to make the most of your spaces. Tying into the ideas already stated, organization almost naturally happens when you are already intentionally purposing a space or area. Plus, if you must rearrange or move things that have already been compartmentalized it makes it significantly easier.
Part of organizing is decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t use anymore. This will help free up space in your home. You may realize there are entire areas of your home that have been wasted or even hidden because they have been a “clutter catcher” space or dumping ground for toys, shoes and everything else.
Use baskets, bins, storage containers, hooks, and more to help you organize and find a place for everything in your home. If you don’t already have one, having a drop zone or even just baskets to catch clutter and other items as the family comes through the door can be a huge way to eliminate clutter. Baskets for mail. Hooks for keys. Coat racks and hooks for backpacks, sweaters and hats. Bins for shoes. The list and ideas can go on and on. The main goal is this, when you and your family always know where things go, it can help eliminate clutter and make any space or room feel larger.
PURPOSING UNUSED SPACE
You probably have extra space just waiting to be purposed hiding all-around your home…Areas around staircases and loft spaces make great reading nooks, office spaces, study areas, play areas, game spaces, workout rooms and more! A corner of a bedroom can be turned into an office or study area. Your laundry room may have the potential to double as storage or even an office space. Hallways and entryways often have plenty of room to make a drop zone or family “command center.” Corners and hallways make great places for floating shelves.
And then there is unfinished space in basements and garages. Albeit not the prettiest areas of the home, they hold so much potential. Perfect for indoor workout spaces – sweat’s not going to hurt the concrete – and hobby spaces – easy clean up after you’re done painting, crafting or woodworking – the unfinished areas of your home allow you to make a nearly-guilt-free mess and are often already hidden. If you want or need to make it a little prettier for motivation, you can always add rugs, furniture, bookcases, a little paint, mirrors and or more. And if all else fails, unfinished spaces make great storage areas!
There’s also the option to use an unfinished basement as an industrial-styled entertainment space…some people pay big money for that “unfinished” look. Add a flat screen, gaming center, comfy seating, maybe a pool table or ping-pong table and maybe even a cool, edgy-looking bar and you’ve got a great entertaining space you’re guests are sure to love – and most-likely compliment your creativity!
We hope these ideas have spurred your creativity and help you make the most of your home’s spaces. You can find these ideas and more inspiration on our Pinterest board Make the Most of Your Home’s Spaces.
If you are considering buying or building with us and are curious about the space in our homes or even concerned about the square footage, we’ve helped you see the potential in every home we offer. All our Available Homes have a “there’s room for” tab that provides some ideas as to how you can use the home’s spaces and rooms depending upon your family’s size and needs. We also highlight “Why You’ll Love This Home” to help you see all the possibilities, features and finishes that will come in the home.
If you’re looking to build, all our floor plans have information that indicates potential uses for the space in the floor plan. You can always discuss your options and the possibilities with your New Home Specialist, things like built-in entertainment centers, drop zones, cabinet features and more.
We hope this has helped you love and make the most of your current home…And if not, we’re here to help you buy or build the home of your dreams!