5 steps to a Flexible space
The key to a flexible space is ease of transition. If you can't convert from one function to the other with the greatest of ease, you will never utilise the space to its full potential. Like most parents around the world with school aged kids during Covid 19, we have all had to adapt our homes to include a space for school, play and work. As a part of life some of us are blessed with blended and expanding or contracting families that demand flexibility. Its a lot of functions to add in to a space that originally considered none of them to begin with. The idea of creating multi-tasking spaces has never been so important.
I’ve got some great tips to help you rethink how you make the best use of your home, allowing it to meet the needs of everyone in the family.
01. Reimagine Functionality
With many of us moving from large-scale suburban homes to compact inner city abodes, our pre-conceived notions about how individual rooms function are ripe for change. When you’re dealing with issues such as a lack of storage space (a common complaint in smaller homes), smart solutions and an open mind are a requirement!
Homes that have a high pitched ceiling or an Attic space would be ideal to convert in to additional loft living space. It could transform as a teenage retreat or a home office that is private and functional.
The best way for a home office/guest bedroom combination to work is with a sofa bed or maybe a wall- or fold-down bed. The trick is to maximise desk and office storage to allow for a practical work area, while making it easy to clear away the files when a guest arrives, so the space is still cosy and inviting. Remember to actually lie down on a prospective sofa bed before you invest in it. Everyone needs a good night’s sleep, so if the bed’s not comfortable enough for you to sleep on, you really can’t expect anyone else to – especially not an elderly relative!
People are working from home more than ever before, and with space increasingly in short supply, that often means setting up a desk or study nook in the main living area. But when you’re ready to put your feet up for the evening or relax with friends over a home-cooked meal, the last thing you want is to have your work paraphernalia on full display. Folding doors, which allow you to tuck the functional parts of your home away in an instant, is a fantastic solution.
System for organising and storing your paperwork, bills, keys and phones will make sure that surfaces don’t become cluttered. Look to handy wall-hanging systems, bowls or baskets with lids. Assign every family member their own drawer in the sideboard. Maybe even introduce a colour for storage boxes or folders. In my home we installed industrial lockers, colour coded for each family member! Once you train yourself and your family to follow the system, you’ll be amazed at how organised you will feel.
03. Fluid spaces A truly ambiguous space allows you to reconfigure your home to suit your needs, not just now but in the future. Changes in lifestyle and new members of the family are cleverly accommodated without encroaching on anyone else’s space.
Making the most of under-utilised space is a crucial factor. Space such as the underside of a staircase or a corridor or closet that may currently have very little purpose, the dead space under your home - all potential crying out to be recognised and repurposed!
04. Seamless indoor-outdoor flow Smart glazing can help form a meaningful connection between your interior spaces and nature outside. Glazing that runs the full width of a room can creates a sense of ambiguity between the indoor and outdoor zones, while infusing the open-plan living area/kitchen with natural light thus making it appear bigger than it actually is. This idea can work beautifully in other spots too; consider, for example, opening up your ensuite to a private, landscaped courtyard with an outdoor shower or spa.
05. Vertical divides
We would all love to have an extra room, but these can actually become dumping zones rather than keeping us organised. Sometimes maximising the space you already have could end up saving you money and teach you do live slightly differently. There is always a solution to your problem, if the problem is lack of space - think vertical storage.
So, instead of looking out, look up! Consider all these ways to make your home organised yet tranquil: add wall shelving, maximise the space above your kitchen cabinets and robes with baskets or storage boxes, and make sure all your furniture contains practical storage solutions.
As we put more pressure on our homes to perform added functions, the idea of a fixed floor plan no longer feels relevant. Instead, expect to see flexible floor plans and moveable walls that allow us to configure spaces to suit our changing needs. Just know that all problems will have a solution that will work for you and your family - you just need to find it. Another thing to remember is there is always help out there if you need it! A giraffe is just a phone call away!