How To Transform A Single Space Into Multiple Functional Rooms

Multifunctional areas around your home are important for more than just expanding your limited space. According to Architect and Interiors India, a multi-purpose room brings your home to its full potential, utilizes wasted areas, and can even help you live a more minimal life with dual-purpose furniture and smaller homes.

According to Stylepark, multi-purpose furniture is the first step. It typically collapses or folds to make items easy to store or transforms completely into another piece of furniture that serves another purpose. This concept can be traced back to Germany during a housing shortage and when people were tight on space. One of the many reasons that designers are drawn to the idea of multi-purpose furniture and spaces is because there are still plenty of small households on a budget.

Designers and technology have made even greater strides when it comes to multi-purpose furniture. A few examples of this are tables that are compact and small but can open up to accommodate a full dinner party. There are nesting chairs that fit snugly together to form a table or bench but can later be taken apart to be used around a room. One of the most common pieces of furniture in this category is the daybed, which can serve as a couch/seating area and extend for sleep.

According to ImmoAfrica, multifunctional furniture is great for minimalists, and it ultimately saves space. These items are often easy to clean and easy to stow away when they're not in use. These can transform almost any room into a social seating area or place to eat. Here's how to use these pieces to create multifunctional rooms.

Make your home office mobile

Working from home can be a bit of a blessing and a curse, especially if you're tight on space and feel like your home office is taking over your home life. Still, it's important to have a hard surface or a designated work space to stay productive and awake, according to Today. Your bed might seem like the perfect place to work, but you can quickly lose focus with so many distractions. Here's how to transform your room into a home office with little to no space.

Making your home office mobile can solve a lot of challenges that come with working at home. A mobile workspace can easily be moved around the house if that area is occupied, too loud, or too crowded. Also, moving to a new location can wake you up a little if you're feeling stagnant and bored. Additionally, if your home office is easy to pack up, you can unplug at the end of the day and create some distance between your home life and the office.

To make a mobile home office, you will need a portable, foldable laptop stand or lightweight desk. According to IKEA, some laptop stands are adjustable in height, so you can use different seating options or stand at them. They also often have a titled top for comfortable typing or reading, and they might even have a convenient cup holder. With the right foldable desk or laptop stand, you can pull it up to the couch, slide it in front of a window, or move it around the room and then hide it away for storage. This will give you a designated work space when you need it, all without earmarking an entire room for an office.

Room dividers go a long way

Room dividers are an easy way to transform a space into a multi-functional room, whether in your room/home office, living room/gym, or a makeshift area for extra storage in any room. According to RoomDividers, these simple pieces of furniture are becoming popular in homes, offices, and even businesses because they are versatile and come in various styles, colors, and materials. A screen can also create shade or hide a mess when you have guests or want to unplug from a project.

As more people begin to work from home, it may feel difficult to step away from the grind when your desk or computer is staring at you. Furnishing Tips explains that partitions easily create separation, even if it's just at the end of the day or on an as-needed basis. The portable and lightweight nature of room dividers makes this easy. Consider pulling a divider out to separate your desk and bed if your office is at home. You can also use a screen if you are lacking closet space. In any room, if you need a little extra storage, stack some totes or hang some hooks and slide an aesthetic partition in front to create a closet. This is way cheaper than a built-in and great for rentals.

If the only room for your exercise bike or treadmill is against the wall in your living room, it could make the room feel overcrowded, clunky, or just plain ugly. Find a room divider that goes with your decor, push your weights, machinery, and yoga mats against the wall, and hide it all away with a room divider.

Custom built-ins go a long way

If you're living in a home that doesn't have a lot of space and storage, or if you want to make it a more multi-functional space, you may want to consider adding some built-in shelves or cabinets. Custom built-ins, according to Patrick A. Finn Custom Homes and Remodeling, are a semi-permanent option that utilizes wasted space and increases the value of your home. Built-ins range from window seats to under-the-stairs cabinets, storage, and more.

Is there an odd corner in your living room or a small nook near the entryway that doesn't quite get used? These small areas you can't quite decide what to do with might be the perfect place for a built-in shelf or bench. If you're transforming the corner of your living room into a home office, a few extra shelves might go a long way. A well-placed window bench could create the perfect reading nook, or a storage bench can be a new, small play area for your kids. The concept of custom built-ins is to make small areas functional. According to Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design, most books can fit on a shelf less than 10 inches deep, which will minimally interfere with the space in your room and could be done on a budget. Built-ins can also free up much floor space, which means more legroom and less clutter. If a built-in storage bench can replace an ottoman or a basket of blankets, that could give you the space needed for a desk, an exercise machine, or a new reading nook.

Transform almost any space into a reading nook

Reading nooks are amazing for so many reasons. They provide a cozy space to relax and read, but they also add a finished look to your house. They're inviting and can help balance your room. According to Food52, you don't even need much space to achieve a dreamy reading area in your home. There are a few essentials that you'll need, but the most important thing is seating. You might assume you need an oversized comfy lounge chair, and those are great, but if you're low on space, consider a lush floor cushion, a window seat, and a chair with an ottoman that serves as a side table too. Also, add throw pillows and a blanket if your chair needs help in the cozy department. If there's room to sit down, there's room for a reading nook.

Dream Green DIY explains that good lighting and extra storage are other necessities. Creating a reading area by the window is ideal, but a wall lamp or a tall skinny floor lamp tucked behind a chair will also work. Additionally, slip a basket or storage tote in the corner or under the chair for extra blankets, and warm socks.

A reading nook isn't complete without reading materials; however, shelves can take up a lot of space. Consider an over-the-arm table to stack books, or a storage sleeve that fits paperbacks and magazines. Finally, you can also consider floating wall shelves if there isn't much floor space. 

Adding a vanity desk is easy and helps you declutter

If you like to spread your makeup across the counter or really spend time and attention on your skincare routine, then the edge of your bathroom sink might not be enough space for you. Transform your morning and night routines into a breeze with a simple vanity desk that will help you stay organized and declutter your bathroom. The best thing is that you don't need a lot of space. Whether you want a vanity in your bathroom, bedroom, or closet, a wall is really all the space you need.

According to IKEA, there are more than a few ways to create a vanity — all you need is a mirror, good light, and just a little room for storage. You can even transform a simple shelf or a window sill into a makeup artist's dream with a mirror and a few simple storage trays. Be even smarter with your space and use a mirror that includes its own storage. If you need even more space, consider a rolling storage cart — you can wheel it over to the mirror in your bathroom or pull up a chair and have everything you need at your fingertips. You can then wheel the cart into your closet or under your sink when it's not in use. Having a designated area will do wonders for your organization, and a vanity desk can become an elegant part of your decor with the right mirror and accents. If you really want to spice up the space and make it pretty, add some greenery, picture frames, and even a few candles to make it your own.

Creating a seating area with no space

Nothing will make your space feel more cramped than a few people standing around with nowhere to go. However, even if you don't have a large apartment or a house, you can still create seating areas all around your home for when guests stop by. A big part of keeping your home decluttered and still functional is choosing the right furniture for small spaces, as per Crate & Barrel. A piece of furniture that is too large can feel like it's taking over a room, so you'll need to consider the scale of your furniture and the room size.

Carving out a seating area is easy if you choose the right furniture. For example, if you're tight on space, consider a more narrow couch, but add an ottoman for comfort that can double as extra seating when needed. Stools make great side tables that can be pulled out to sit on when needed. In addition, storage benches can be used as coffee tables or be pushed up against the wall until you need a place to sit. And don't forget about minimal folding chairs. You can store these in a closet until you know you'll need them, and then tuck them into corners or leave them folded against the wall for guests to grab easily.

Finally, don't forget the floor cushions. Your close family and friends won't mind getting a little low if your space is limited. These can be stored, or you can leave them out all the time. Adding a couch tray or a cutting board on top of the cushion can turn it into a coffee table or side table.

Adding a Murphy bed

The Murphy bed is a bed that can conveniently fold up into a closet or wall, which is great if you want your room to be multi-functional. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the Murphy bed has been around since the 19th century and was born out of necessity for the inventor William Lawrence Murphy, who lived in a studio apartment in San Francisco. Apparently, William was courting a young woman, and it was against his moral code to entertain her in his bedroom, so he invented a bed that could be hidden in his closet. The desire to create more space, especially in a small apartment, has not gone out of style, which is why more and more designs for stow-away beds are becoming popular. The versatility of the disappearing bed is still used in cities, guest houses, and rentals worldwide.

Whether you're in a studio apartment or simply want to provide a sleeping area for your guests, the Murphy bed can create a simple multi-functional space. According to BredaBeds, a Murphy bed doesn't have to be built into the wall or require heavy lifting. With new technology, they can be installed on almost any wall and offer a wide range of storage cabinets that can go on the sides or underneath. There are designs that fit all sizes, from twin to king mattresses, even up to 11 inches thick. With that many options, you can transform nearly any wall into a bedroom with its own private, hidden hutch and storage.

Transform your closet into a reading room or home office

If you think your closet is simply a closet, think again. Welcome to the cloffice! According to Food52, transforming your closet into a designated office space with a desk and a chair may be the answer you've been looking for. Working from home or simply wanting a desk out of the way doesn't mean taking over your guest room or adding filing cabinets and computers to your bedroom that used to be an oasis. The cloffice is a great way to utilize your space, and at the end of the day, you can fold up your chair and close the doors on the whole thing.

You won't feel tempted to check your email or finish one more task before bed because your laptop is staring at you from the kitchen counter or the coffee table where you left it. With a cloffice, you can leave your work behind closed doors. The first step of this project is to clear everything out. Find a desk or shelves that will fit the narrow space, and then go from there. Depending on your job, you may need lots of shelves or storage bins for your work, or you may just need a desk with a few drawers. If you don't want to sacrifice all your storage, add some shelves higher up and keep a step ladder close by for items you rarely use.

You can always add some style to any space. Consider painting the closet a bright color or adding some fun wallpaper. Because the area is so small, it won't cost a lot. Add small details that will make it feel like a true office, such as plugging in a phone charger, slipping a wastebasket in the corner, and adding pictures.

Add a daybed

The daybed is a simple piece of furniture that functions as a couch and can become a full-sized bed. According to MasterClass, daybeds usually have three-sided frames to create a comfortable sofa, and though they don't have box springs, the stacked mattresses make a very comfortable seating option. Daybeds work by sliding out and extending the frame that is stacked on itself. Then the two twin mattresses, usually stacked on top of each other, can be seperated to make one layer of a full-sized bed. A daybed is a great option for several rooms in the house — the kid's room, a guest room, your home office, or even your living room. 

If you have an extra room and can't decide between a home office, a gym, and a guest room, consider a daybed. They are similar to trundle beds, but you get a comfortable double bed instead of two separate twin-sized beds. Daybeds are often more comfortable, a lot lighter, and less expensive than sofa beds as well, which are meant to be used mainly as normal sofas. The folded mattress in a sofa bed can be uneven, whereas a daybed mattress is stacked flat and stays flat.