Our homes have become our sanctuaries in the last year, with many of us spending the majority of our time within the same four walls. We all want our homes to look great but functionality is key. If you’re keen to design a more practical space, or you’re looking for inspiration to inject style into a family home, this guide is packed with tips and ideas.
Adjusting the layout
One of the most effective ways to create spaces that work for you and your lifestyle is to adjust the layout. While many modern homes feature open spaces and a smaller number of larger rooms, older houses tend to have more rooms that can be compact and cramped. Open-plan living isn’t for everyone but it can help to make life easier if you have children and you want to be able to do several tasks at once. Many parents like the idea of being able to supervise their children while they cook, catch up with friends or other members of the family, do the washing or watch TV. If you have adjoining reception rooms or your kitchen leads on to a dining room, a utility space or a cloakroom, for example, you could consider knocking down walls or opening up part of the wall to form an arch. Using screens can enhance versatility if you’re keen to enjoy open spaces without losing privacy and seclusion.
If you are considering modifying the layout of your living space, it’s beneficial to contact local building firms and get a series of quotes. Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations, read verified reviews and testimonials and compare quotes before you make a decision. Look for the best value rather than the lowest price and opt for a firm you trust.
Creating more versatile spaces
For many of us, our homes have become temporary classrooms, entertainment venues and workspaces over the last year. If you’ve been struggling to adjust due to a lack of space, or you’re looking for solutions to make your home work better in the future, there are several ways to design more versatile rooms.
Investing in versatile furniture is an excellent place to start. If you don’t have a dedicated space to work, you may currently be joining meetings or taking calls in a dining room, living area or spare bedroom. If this is the case, you can utilise furniture to cater to every occasion. Consider the impact of adding a desk, chair and a 3 seater sofa bed to a bedroom to create an office that doubles up as a bedroom for visitors and using a side table or a console table as a desk in the living room. You could also look into using extendable tables for kitchens and dining rooms. When you’re working, you can use a small table to save space and then enlarge the table when it’s time for the family to get together to eat in the evenings.
Creating a schedule can also help you to make the most of the space you have available. If you don’t have the luxury of a home office, a gym or a playroom, you can use the same living areas to cover all bases. During working hours, you can work in a living room or dining room, which can then become a workout space and later a play area when the kids get back from school. The key to making this idea work lies in making tidying up easy and quick by utilising innovative storage solutions. You can keep everything from files and dumbbells to childrens’ books and toys hidden in tubs, drawers, cupboards, shelving units and sideboards.
Designing adult and child-friendly zones
We all love spending time with our children and hanging out as a family but it’s lovely to be able to enjoy some me-time or to unwind with your partner after a busy day. Designing child and adult-friendly zones is a brilliant way to ensure that your home works for everyone and to facilitate socialisation and spending time together as well as rest and relaxation. If you have two living rooms or a formal dining room, you could keep one as a family-friendly zone to play with the kids, watch TV and cuddle up for movie nights and set one aside for watching box sets instead of cartoons, listening to music, reading or enjoying a good book. If you only have one living space, use storage to make tidying away toys quick and stress-free once the kids have gone to bed and change the mood of the room with soft lighting. You could also use screens or curtains to section off small areas of the space, for example, a corner to read, write or draw.
Storage and organisation
For many homeowners, there’s a constant battle to eliminate ‘stuff’ and keep rooms clean and tidy. As we’ve spent more time at home than ever before this last year and our homes have taken on new roles, it has perhaps become even more challenging to keep clutter at bay and free up space. If you feel like you’re running out of room, or there seems to be stuff everywhere, there are solutions. Adding storage is a fantastic idea for family homes. There are lots of ways you can store items neatly, declutter and even make a style statement with storage. From hooks on the backs of doors, hidden drawers underneath beds and TV units and coffee tables with shelves and built-in cupboard space to floating shelves or walls made up of pigeon-hole shelving, you can display, hide or organise your stuff without detracting from the aesthetic of the room. Take a look online for ideas and get inspiration from interior magazines and TV makeover shows. Even if you have a small house, there are some very clever ways to get around a shortage of space.
Designing a home that is both fabulous and functional can be challenging. Family-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean bland or boring. You can be adventurous with decor and create a beautiful home that is also practical and versatile.