A multifunctional living room - It's easier than you think

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A multifunctional living room – It's easier than you think

Chloe Hines Chloe Hines
de Held Schreinerei
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In one way or another we all have made ourselves multifunctional spaces to live within.  Particularly living rooms where over 80% of home activity occurs!  When most think of creating a multifunctional living room – they associate it with homeowners and renters that have smaller, more limited space to work with.  However, multifunctionality should be considered even in the largest of homes.

No matter how much space you have, consolidating both space and activities is an important consideration to make a happier and healthy living space available to yourself.  Creating a multifunctional living room really is easier than you think and there are a lot of cheap and easy design options available to you!  Think about hidden storage space (that you can most certainly create by yourself), multifunctional furniture and unique design techniques to utilize areas that are typically hard to decorate around.  Below we have everything you could ever imagine covered to help you create a multifunctional living room of your dreams!

Skip a Conventional Sofa

‘Rehbailitacion edificio en Gracia’ Salones de estilo moderno de lluiscorbellajordi Moderno

‘Rehbailitacion edificio en Gracia’


If you look at living room furnishings, usually a couch or sofa is the largest item that takes up the most space.  We want you to rethink the idea of the 'stereotypical', conventional sofa.  Luckily, there are so many sofas on the market now that seem to have more technology than a car!

Sleeper sofas, sofas that offer ample storage space, or sofas that can pull apart and become end tables or foot rests are all things to consider! In this example we have displayed a sofa where most of the seats can be separated – the designer also chose this sofas as it's slightly off the ground (think about hidden storage space!) We cannot stress enough the limitations that can exist with conventional sofas – depending on your lifestyle, you can certainly find a sofa that fits you, and your family's needs.

The Layout

No matter what style or taste you have and no matter your space and furnishings, the layout you decide to use is one of the most important aspects of creating a multifunctional space.  Corners, windows and doors are all aspects of interior architecture that will have to be considered.  Also, if you prefer open-concept or a more private, closed-concept with your interior – this is another option weighing in.

With smaller spaces, leave the inner-area of the room open – preferably use a great rug here to tie the room together and include a multifunctional coffee table that can provide hidden storage.  Keep windows uncovered and place all furnishings against the walls, except in the example shown here where a modern, Danish-design bookshelf is used to divide the living space into two areas.

When thinking about the layout of your living room, take time to sit down and draw your vision for how you want your space organized.  Having everything laid out in a visual manner will help you make final decisions!

For more great ideas for a multifunctional layout, consider MAT architects and designers!

Access Your Spatial Needs

This photograph is outstanding in that you can both feel and see the multifunctionality at work!  The space would be viewed by most as limited, small and unworkable.  However, this family has truly designed the interior of their home to properly provide for all necessities.  Although this is an example of a bedroom/dining room mix – they have added multiple levels to the same room to give a sense of both depth and height.

Most think adding depth for either beds, or desk space would be a hefty construction project.  Think again! There are weekend DIY projects that specifically focus on adding a dorm-type spatial element to homes where space is a limitation. Multiple levels, cubby holes, and use of otherwise negative space is one way to utilize the spatiality of your home.  Try sketching some ideas, or use 3-D computer programs to give a more professional rendering of the possibilities of your smaller spaces.

Look to the Ceiling

Richmond Full House Refurbishment Salones de estilo minimalista de A1 Lofts and Extensions Minimalista
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Richmond Full House Refurbishment

A1 Lofts and Extensions

As a ceiling is just that – a ceiling, it is often rendered useless when it comes to design techniques and definitely is not considered when thinking about ways in which to make your home multifunctional. 

Look to your ceiling to provide vertical, extra storage space and pictured here, it can even provide unique hanging seating.  Think one more piece of furniture might make your room look cluttered? Think more seating or tables might take away too much floor space? Then look up.

Use Low Seating

Or, consider the opposite of the above mentioned – don't use the ceiling for seating – look to the ground!  Whether your seating is predominately provided by a sofa or even plush feather bags – take your seating to low places to make more room for storage!

Placing furnishings and seating at a lower level can add a sense of depth and drama to any size room! It also makes for a convenient place for floor storage or under each cushion!

Multifunctional Furniture

Pictured here is one of our newest and most coveted pieces of multifunctional furniture by designers, Nordic Function. Many international home furnishing companies and even smaller, local designers have recognized the importance of multifunctionality and purpose when it comes to living room furnishings.  Nordic Function has created a wonderful, hybrid table/storage bin/foot rest while maintaining simplicity in design.

This industrial design technique is a mere perfect example of how design and aesthetic needn't be lost with multifunctional furniture.  As mentioned before, double-up your sofas as storage holder – turn foot rests into tables – and turn tables into book holders (and some end tables even have built in lights!)

The options are truly unlimited here!

Utilize Corner Space

It has been said time and time again – corner space is one of the most difficult spaces to work with in any home. However, once your let your creativity flow, you will realize that there are more options available to you than you think.

Any easy fix to this problem is looking specifically for furniture built to deal with ninety-degree angles – such as small corner tables and bookshelves.  In this example, a corner space is not only fully utilized as a stylistic feature, but is also made to hold books, candles and everything in between!

FUNDAMENTAL BERLIN, is absolutely fabulous at providing home accessories and designs for use in multifunctional spaces!

Hidden Storage

We have previously discussed hidden storage multiple times before (which should prove its importance to us – and to YOU!)  Don't be fooled – hidden storage doesn't necessarily have to mean that it can't be seen.  We have mentioned how sofas, corner shelves and multifunctional tables can offer plenty of 'hidden' storage space – but lets consider storage that isn't so hidden and if anything, can become a cool design feature in your home.

If you have stairs in your home – then consider under-stairway storage! This homeowner has chosen to keep the design of these storage areas rather minimal and linear – and it works great with the space! But don't feel that you need to limit yourself to such an example – think about curtains, sliding doors or more transparent materials like decorative glass to hide those things you need to grab from time to time but don't want them visual.

Vivienda Unifamiliar en Tomiño, Pontevedra (Spain) Casas de estilo rústico de HUGA ARQUITECTOS Rústico

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