Here in the Nashville area, homes are commonly built with multipurpose or bonus rooms. A large, open room such as this holds unlimited possibilities. With different ages, interests, and needs, it might feel challenging to configure the right set up for your family. This may be especially true if you have parents and kids working or schooling from home. It’s definitely worth taking the time though to come up with a space that works for all family members so that the room doesn’t end up being a catch all, but rather can be enjoyed as individuals or as a family unit now and into the future. Join me for a virtual tour of our family’s multipurpose room and read on for my pro tips for creating the organized multipurpose room your family will love.
Determine Your Must Have Items
What are the items that your family must have in your multipurpose space? My family wanted a space for each individual’s hobbies along with a shared space that could be used for everyone to enjoy the space together. In this room, we needed a music area, a desk for my middle school age daughter to use for homework, LEGO® creation area for my son, and a family game/craft table. The first step to creating an efficient, organized, enjoyable space is to make a list of all the activities you plan to engage in when in your multipurpose room. In addition to my family’s activities, you might want to use your multipurpose space for:
- Home gym
- Mom/dad’s work area
- Game room
- Home theater
- Guest room
- Lounging/TV watching
Create Zones for Your Multipurpose Room
Once you have a list of activities, determine the layout for your room. You can do this by designating zones for each activity based on how much space you need. For example, my husband’s drums take up quite a bit of space, so I created a zone for the drums in the bump out because it is a large area and it is out of the way of the kids’ toys. I also created this desk area not only for my daughter to study, but also to utilize the wall for her artwork. If you’re trying to incorporate a lounge/TV zone, you’ll need to think about adequate wall space and appropriate viewing distance for a couch or other furniture. Finally, in order to unify your zones, it’s helpful to use common colors throughout so the room has a cohesive, not disjointed, feel.
Utilize Items That Pull Double Duty
Whether your room is big or small, a great way to maximize the room is to utilize furniture pieces that are multi-purpose. For example, in our room, I created this bench seat by turning the IKEA Kallax unit on it’s side. This formation allowed for storage under the bench seat. You could incorporate tables that also function as desks or day beds that also function as a couch. Likewise, a murphy bed or other furniture that can move or fold up against a wall is very helpful, especially if the room doubles as a guest space. Just be creative, research ideas on Pinterest, and have fun with it!
Sneak in Storage Where Possible
An organized space is a more enjoyable space. Cluttered spaces produce feelings of anxiety because we feel as if our work is never done. On the flip side, organized spaces can be relaxing and calming…probably just what you’re looking for in a multipurpose room. Obviously, organizing is my jam, so that was my favorite part of putting this room together. With an assortment of items in this room, ranging from toys to crafts to games and more, the right organizing products were critical. I chose simple, clear bins with lids that my kids could see inside for the contents, stack using the bin lids, and sized appropriately for their toys. Not too big and not too small. Additionally, I chose a mix of open storage for the LEGOS® and closed storage for other toys. For my daughter’s crafts, one of the bins I chose has multiple compartments which I used to micro-organize smaller craft supplies. When you are designing and organizing your multipurpose room, consider furniture that offers storage. For example, utilize tables that have shelves underneath for storage. Finally, in the picture below, you can see that I used the back of the closet door for storage. My tip: always take advantage of vertical space on walls as well as the back of the door(s).
Build in Strategies to Maintain Organization Long Term
Once you create your list, determine your zones, and arrange furniture and storage items, it’s time to think through the strategies to keep your space functional and organized for years to come. One way to do this as you determine your layout and decor, is to consider how your space will grow/age with you and your family. Your children won’t always be young and some of the organizing products on the market are only geared towards young children. Think through how you’d utilize the space in five, maybe 10 years, and make decisions accordingly. I chose this layout because I wanted my kids to have a reading spot, but also because I can swap out the artwork for a TV, and with a few other tweaks, this can also be a great teenager hang out room in a few years! Another way to keep your space organized is by labeling your bins/baskets/storage as well as giving your family a “tour” of the room when complete so they know where every item belongs.
Many rooms in our home pull double duty. Whether you have a bonus room, guest room, basement, or another space in your home that’s multipurpose, configuring and organizing it in a functional way can make the space so much more usable and enjoyable. If you’re feeling stuck on how to utilize your space effectively, please reach out here. Working with families is definitely my jam and I’d be honored to work with yours!
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