Articles Interior Design Creating Multifunctional Spaces: An Interior Design Guide

Creating Multifunctional Spaces: An Interior Design Guide

As spaces get smaller and as we continue to live life predominantly indoors, there is a growing demand for multifunctional homes and spaces. Browse through our simple interior design guide to get inspired.

Multifunctional interior design is as straightforward as it gets, influencing furniture decisions and lighting principles to make a space functional in more ways than one, yet stylish, inviting, and not suffocating. As real estate has gotten more competitive in recent years due to an economic boom and an ever-growing population — hence the smaller spaces — there has been a steady demand for innovative solutions that improve a home's utility and overall charm.

Add to that the current social situation (i.e. the pandemic and the shift to work-from-home arrangements) and more people are eager to make their personal spaces as flexible as possible — turning their living rooms into makeshift workout studios and home offices. If you're reading this post, it's highly likely that being somewhat confined in your home has sprung the desire to think more critically about interior design and create a space that serves all your needs and wants.

Because your home can't just be a utilitarian space; it also has to be warm and a place that makes you feel relaxed. Understanding how to marry the two expectations is essentially employing multifunctional interior design. Here are a few home decorating ideas that will help you create that perfect space that not only functions but also delights:

An Open Layout with Distinct Zones

Office table and setup with two wooden chairs beside a snake plant and a blue gray velvet sectional

Open floor plans are trendy for a reason: smaller homes can benefit from the airy feel of fewer walls and less visual obstructions. Formal living and dining rooms have become a thing of the past. Some less traditional homeowners and younger tenants even choose to live in studio apartments where one big space functions as the bedroom, living area, and kitchen.

Of course, you run the risk of making a space feel cluttered and unfocused if you don't establish clear functional zones. This can be avoided by creating distinct areas with fixtures, area-specific lighting, and ornaments such as rugs and indoor plants. Identifying certain features per zone also helps in delineating what purpose these areas serve.

Another great interior design tip to follow is to choose furniture that look beautiful even when "floating" in the space. If you're not thinking of pushing your sofa flush against a wall, for example, it's important that you choose a couch that looks just as great on the back as it does on the front. This allows the seat to function as intended as well as a divider in a larger space. The same can be said about angular furniture pieces and electronic appliances.

Double (or Triple!) Duty Home Pieces

Unfolded sofa bed beside a long wooden table with foldable chairs

In a multifunctional home, everything serves a purpose. Some pieces — they can function in more ways. Technology and modern design has paved the way for transformer furniture and convertible pieces to exist and be updated constantly. Think of using couches that transform into beds for your guest room-slash-home office. How about slightly cushioned or lined side tables that double as additional seating stools for when you have people over? Or maybe built-in work desks at your main shelving and storage unit?

The trick to making multipurpose furniture pieces work is to make sure that they match throughout. Following the idea of open floor layouts in a multifunctional home, it might be helpful to choose furniture pieces that are not only multifunctional and space-saving, but also made of similar materials. Using the same elements in your furniture make it that much easier to incorporate them in any space or zone in your home.

Space Saving Furniture

A general benefit of using multipurpose pieces in your home is you inevitably save space (so long as you don't buy too much stuff to compensate for how much you're saving.) Additionally, you can opt to use space saving furniture so you can have more wiggle room to turn your rooms and spaces into something more. Free up valuable floor space and see that transform into anything under the sun - from a play area for kids in the morning to a yoga space after the workday is over.

Optimize your space by making sure that you're only filling it with large-ticket items that function in a space. Consider using tuck-away pieces like larger folding tables that are only used when guests are around, or built in and hidden storage solutions that disguise clutter and make your home just feel more usable. Foldable and stackable chairs and tables are also a popular choice among space savers. In the time of shrinking real estate, it might also be worth looking into raised platforms and loft ideas for beds and clothing wardrobes.

As previously mentioned, streamline your design style across your personal space by limiting variety in make, and maybe even choosing a single color palette to make everything look and feel cohesive and home-y. These tips will also help save space visually.

Bespoke Design Elements

And if streamlining interior design seems impossible because you can't find the right items for your space, consider custom-made furniture and home solutions. The best way to get exactly what you want is to have it made, and that's definitely the case for home décor.

Visit your local home depot and furniture stores to get a sense of how multipurpose furniture works. Do your research (reading this post is an example of said activity) to visualize what multifunctional spaces actually look like. And once you've gotten ideas on how to improve your home's functionality, get in touch with a trusty contractor and furniture maker to help build your dream space.

But bespoke in this case doesn't just apply to furniture and fixtures that you bring into your home. Sometimes, bespoke means something as drastic as needing to take down walls to open up your living area, or incorporating storage solutions that help define zones in your home. (If you need a fresh space to build the multifunctional home that you need, look through our properties for sale here.)

All in all, having something made specifically to and for your space should only add to the utility and appeal of your home. And with these ideas in mind, you're already one step closer to creating a multifunctional space that works specifically for you.