Designing a Dual-Purpose Room
When you are short on space, make your home a more functional and thriving place by designing a dual-purpose room.
Before you begin
The first thing to do is de-clutter; recycle, donate, or toss anything you can do without. As you filter through your items, you will likely discover space you didn’t know existed – like an extra shelf in the clothes closet that can be used to hold office supplies. Cleaning up visual eye-sores, like piles of old magazines or heaps of wrinkled clothes, will clear your mind too.
One of the best ways to make your space do a little more is to install a workstation. This work surface can be used for homework, paying bills, sewing, crafts, or folding laundry. If a custom-built workstation is not in your budget, an old table can get you started. Throw on a cheery tablecloth and pull up a folding chair or two.
Bookshelves are great places to store lots more than books. Use bins and baskets to organize items before placing them on the shelves. Bookends can divide long shelves; using half the space for books, and the other half for other items. Hang up a few wall shelves for sewing or craft items that you want to keep far from small children. Cabinets, especially those that close, are ideal for stowing extra clothes, cleaning supplies, and toys.
Rooms to combine
The dining room is one area that frequently goes unused. Pairing a den with a dining room is easy with the addition of several floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The dining table will work well for large school and work projects. Consider combining a lavatory with a laundry room, a family room with a craft corner, or an office with a reading nook.
When decorating a dual-purpose room, create divisions of space with lighting and rugs. Find accessories and furnishing that are neutral and not specific to one type of room. For instance, for an office space you could use a table lamp instead of a desk lamp. If the area is large enough, a folding screen can divide the space while providing privacy.