How to Make the Most of Transitional Spaces

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Erica Buehler

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Published on December 2, 2020

What’s better than a room that’s actually two rooms in one? With the continuing rise in popularity of tiny homes (or rather, their uber-functional spaces), and other use-based designs, multi-functional rooms are consistent hits. Here’s how to make the most of your multi-functional space.

Work With What You've Got

Perhaps the most popular incorporation in a multifunctional area is work space. Given that the idea is to make the most out of a single room, adding an office or study space into a bedroom or living area (or vice versa) has become increasingly popular for home designers.

Simple additions like small or corner desks add functionality without overwhelming a room, while bookcases add storage, depth, and an air of productivity and thoughtfulness. Bright and fun work spaces in kids’ rooms create a work-play-rest dynamic and ultimately, a child’s sanctuary.

Already have a dedicated office space? Try adding a comfortable daybed with decorative throw pillows as a space to relax, read, or take a midday snooze. If you’re still unsure how to tweak your office, check out this article on dual-purpose furniture for some inspiration.

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Starting from Scratch

Transitional spaces work effortlessly in open-concept designs, making the creation of multifunctional rooms super easy. Consider an open-concept living and dining area: one large room can contain the prep space and functionality of a kitchen, the surface space and seating of a dining area, and extend seamlessly into a living room complete with all your entertainment and comfort needs.

Got an extra room you’re not sure how to design? Consider a multipurpose room comprising office space, a guest bed, and a place to hang out and relax. Tip: Keep in mind what sorts of functionality you’re looking for; you don’t want to combine a game room with an office space, as their functionalities don’t mesh well together!

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Incorporate Purposeful Furniture

The big takeaway of building a perfect multifunctional room is what you’re putting into it (literally). You want furniture with purpose but that still allows adequate space for movement. Corner-oriented furniture or pieces with secret storage are great for multifunctional rooms, as they maximize space.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, opt for furniture that is collapsible or expandable—dining tables with removable leaves, coffee tables that lift up into desks, or even neatly-stackable chairs are extremely popular and available in a variety of styles. Scandanavian furniture is particularly ideal for multipurpose use—if you’re not sure it’s your style, try our Style Quiz to see!

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Form and function aren’t always easy to balance—but our interior designers have the perfect formula up their sleeves. Get started with our style quiz

Words by Erica Buehler