Your living room can become a multi-functional space

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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The living room is the one room in the house where everyone is expected to come together to enjoy some communal time, so it's worth investing a lot of effort and thought into the design scheme. More than that, a living room naturally takes on a myriad of functions other than simply being a room to watch television or relax in, so you need to make sure that you have created a versatile and adaptable room!

Take a look at some of our favourite examples of a multi-functional living room and see if you could stand to switch up your décor a little!

1. Assess your space

Creating a multi-functional living room is not as difficult as you might think, but your first port of call is to really and honestly assess the amount of space you have to play with. It's no good planning a grandiose overhaul if you don't have enough room for it, so be realistic and really consider everything that will have to be kept!

We think this large room, from RRJ Architectos, offers a wealth of possibilities, from relaxed socialising through to formal receptions and everything in between and love that the interior has been kept fairly plain and minimal, as this will help the room to adapt to new functionalities naturally.

2. Think about layout

When choosing where to place your furniture in a multi-purpose living room, we think it's a good idea to try and make things as fluid and easy to change up as possible. With this in mind, keep fixed furniture, such as large wall mounted bookshelves, in an easily accessible place, but allow for quick sofa and table switches. 

This spacious floor plan is perfect for a multi-functional space, as should a larger table be needed, for a games evening, the existing one can be easily and quickly moved out of the way to make room and should extra chairs be required, there is plenty of space for them. Super!

3. Use multi-purpose furniture

modern Living room by Monstros
Monstros

Sala—vista geral

Monstros

If you are keen to create a multi-functional living room, one aspect that you will need to consider is installing furniture that seeks to serve more than just one purpose. Let's take this open plan living room as an example of what we mean.

Clearly where everybody eats, this table is fun and funky enough to also double up as a study area for children who need to complete homework and while the antique sideboard is a great location for storing crockery, it can also be used to hide away art supplies and as a table for exhibiting treasured belongings. Suddenly, this room is for eating, studying, playing and socialising, all at once!

4. Don't only consider sofas

If you want to inject a sense of fluidity into the functionality of a room, be careful not to fall into the trap of only installing furniture that you would expect to see in there. In the case of a multi-functional living room, we are talking about sofas!

While a sofa is an anticipated addition to any living room, by opting to not have one, you leave the function of the room far more open to interpretation. We love the use of a single leather chair here, as the living room could become somewhere to listen to music or enjoy some quiet reading time, before popping on the television for a relaxed evening.

5. Use the corners

eclectic Living room by bilune studio
bilune studio

soggiorno

bilune studio

To unlock the potential of any room, you need to be sure that you are making great use of the available space and this means getting into the corners and putting them to work too! A corner isn't just redundant room, after all, it can open up the possibilities of what can be done in one room to make it a truly multi-functional living room.

Take this fabulous space as an example, where the corner has been transformed into a bijou dining area reminiscent of cafés in Paris. What a delightful way to ensure that everyone can still be interacting together, even when some people are eating and others are relaxing! 

6. Try low seating

One thing that we really love about a multi-functional living room is that with the right furniture, it can seek to become such a favourite spot that it almost take on the feel of an extra bedroom! With low, comfortable seating, you can transform what was once just a living room into a slumber zone or even, a cinema space!

By encouraging languid relaxation, living rooms become so much less stuffy and what's the problem if you fall asleep on the sofa while watching a film? We think that low seating really helps to up the comfort factor, while abolishing any formality!

7. Embrace hidden storage

modern Living room by homify
homify

Sam's Creek

homify

For a space to truly become a multi-functional living room, it needs to be able to accommodate a lot of belongings, so hidden storage is a fantastic way to preserve the look of a traditional lounge area, while also keeping transformative items within easy, yet out of sight, reach.

In a room that has sought to use a lot of wood, such as this one, we love that hidden cupboards and shelves would be an easy installation and think that a games cupboard would be a great addition. Even coffee tables can be transformed, with special flip tops being available to make jigsaws and games easier to complete! It all sounds like something out of an amazing James Bond villain's lair, but we are loving it!

8. Include the ceiling in your décor

A multi-functional living room will, of course, need adaptive lighting, so why not give some though to your ceiling when you are taking potential uses into consideration? For a potential cinema room, a projector could easily be mounted on a roof beam, while funky disco lights could also be installed for potential parties and social gatherings. In a high ceiling room, such as this one, clever additions such as these would go relatively unnoticed, but could still be implemented at the drop of a hat or the flick of a switch. Perfect!

If you are always on the lookout for fun ways to make your home more interactive, take a look at this Ideabook: Great Games Room Ideas. We think you'll find lots of inspiration that you could adapt for your own home!

Does your living room get used for more than sitting in? Tell us how you accommodate other needs!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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