Rethinking a Room's Purpose - Interior Design Tips to Reimagine Underutilized Spaces in Your Home

What to Do with a Room or Space in Your Home that You Don't Use

Do you have a room or transition space in your home that goes unused or is used infrequently? Wouldn't it be great to get more function out of the space you already have, not to mention eliminating the feeling of a dead zone in your home? Think for a moment. If you could add a room to your current home, what would you add? Do you wish you had a dedicated area for working from home, an area to cultivate a hobby, or an area where the kids can do as they please? Which of those activities do you think you could incorporate into an under-utilized room or space in your home?

New Purposes for Underutilized Rooms in the Home

Rooms to consider are a formal dining or living room, only used when it's your turn to host Thanksgiving, or a grown child's bedroom that is only used for an occasional weekend visit. Less obvious spaces to consider include an extra closet, a space under the stairs, or a nook along one of the home's transition areas. The room pictured above is a space in my own home that I'm considering converting. It used to be the "library" where we would read on the weekend. Now we would like an additional play area for our growing family and this might be just the space (stay tuned...).

If you are converting the function of a stand-alone room the top task you have is shifting your mindset from the old function to the new. If you are adapting a space that is an integrated portion of your home, e.g., incorporating a home workspace into your living room, you'll want to make sure that the new addition feels intentional and blends with its surroundings. Below are three tips for creating a cohesive aesthetic between an existing space an its new purpose.

1. Consider color palette. 
Piggyback off color choices from adjacent rooms or choose a complimentary color scheme to what already exists. This will allow the spaces to connect visually even if there are different functions occurring side by side. 

2. Invest in storage.
I'm a fan of organization to begin with, but if you are going to place an office or a playroom on your main level be sure to have a way to calm the chaos  when needed.  

3. Don't get stuck on the type or style of furniture you "should" have in a particular area of your home.
Choose pieces and finishes that reflect what works best for you. Function and style can co-exist! 

Today I encourage you to think about your home in a different light. What possibilities could exist if you disregard the intended purpose and start to envision your room as a space that serves your unique needs? Instead of trying to force a space to be something that doesn't fit you or your lifestyle, embrace the freedom to make your home your own!