Master's Class: Creating a Dual-Purpose Room

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There are lots of activities in your home that will work better and more efficiently if they are given a dedicated area. However, as we know, most homes simply don’t have the space for each of these activities to be allotted their own room.

This is why creating a dual-purpose space is such a genius move. But whether you’re creating a home office, gift wrapping area or even a small yoga area, when you’re partitioning the room there are going to be a few things that you need to keep in mind.

First, the key to your success in this endeavor is going to be good planning. Here are the five easy steps I normally go through when I’m creating such a room for a client. You can use them to easily create your own dual-purpose space:

1. The first step is to try to match up the activities as best you can so that they do not overlap. For instance, if you work out of your home office mostly at night, putting in a home gym to share the space is not a good idea, especially if the rest of the family works out at night. Also, a guest room that is used only for holidays and special events is a good match for almost any activity.

2. Try to visualize where you want your activities to ideally go and zone out the room. For instance, if you are combining a guest room and home office like I did for a client here, try to put the office part in the quietest, least trafficked area. This will make for a quieter spot to work, and give your desk a degree of privacy from curious in-laws.

Image via She Knows Home & Garden

3. Once you’ve zoned the space, try to tie the look and function of all the pieces together. For example, in the guest room/office situation, you can make the desk operate as one of the side tables to your guest bed. Or if you are doing a wrapping center, you can store your ribbons and other pieces in a collection of cool display boxes, so that they also serve a decorative purpose as well.

4. When I’m creating a multi-purpose space, I like to keep the decorating as loose as possible, using mismatched furniture and a combination of fun color and pattern. This trick allows the room to cope with a certain degree of contained clutter without looking too messy.

Image via She Knows Home & Garden

5. Wherever possible, try to contain your activities. The biggest fault of a lot of dual-purpose rooms is that one of the activities starts to spill over and take over the room. So organization is key. Try using decorative boxes to hold files, or cool shelves to keep everything tidy.

Creating rooms that successfully serve a dual purpose can be easy if you follow these simple rules. If done well, you will be amazed how you can make the space in your home work for you.

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