An area of much contention is the spare room. Yes it would be great to have space for a dedicated, well equipped spare room for when the odd guest drops by. But in reality that concept is outdated, and not conducive to the requirements of a modern day home. More and more of us are working from home and many families need a room separate rooms each child and even possibly a room for a child to complete homework or music practice uninterrupted.
So how can you make the most of your spare room by creating a much more useful multi-functional room?
The first thing to do is write down all the requirements that you’d like that room to achieve. Do you want an easy ready bed for the guest that drops by unannounced? Or do you need a large desk to satisfy your work at home needs? A workout room, with space for a bed? A kids den/study? By writting down everything you want the room to do you can have a list of what is feasibly achievable, and you can plan the space accordingly.
If your room needs to be multifunctional all the time, zone the room in a way that makes it feel like each section has its own identify. Use different fabrics and colours to help differentiate the two areas. Often a spare room is also used as a study, you can use colours on the walls to mark out the ‘study’ area, for example having a darker colour around the desk. Or use wall decals and stickers to zone the space and define your working area. Rugs and soft furnishings are also effective in creating definite zones.
If space is an issue you’ll need to be clever, using a folding desk and a folding bed is a smart way to transfer the room between uses without compromising space. There is a great company called The Studybed who make a desk and folding bed combo, which is so nifty you don’t have to clear the desk for the bed fold down.
A day bed is always a great way to include a sofa in your study and then use this to pull out into a double bed when guests arrive. You’ll also get to use that as a sofa when you next need to read that boring report whilst working from home. A good quality sofa bed also works for the same purpose. If you invest in decent bed linens to dress the room when the bed is out, it won’t feel so studenty!
Perhaps you want to hide the desk away when it’s not in use, build it into and alcove or a cupboard and then use a curtain or screen to cover it over when guests are using the room as a bedroom. Again a folding desk will work well for this purpose but you will need to clear the desk every time you need to fold it, so you need to ensure you have space to store the items you would normally have out on your desk.
Get creative about facilities for your guests. Rarely do they need a whole wardrobe to hang things on, instead use a row of hooks on the wall for hanging space. It takes up less room so won’t be in your way when you need to room for other purposes. Use a small shelf fixed to the wall as a bedside table for guests or better still a small stool that can be removed and used in other areas of the house when not used for guest. Use the back of the door for a mirror extra storage for guests. If you have lots of files for your study area use a high shelf to store them on so they aren’t taking up too much room. Or if the room is large enough and allows for it split the room in two with an open bookshelf, this will let light in whilst allowing for decent storage.
Investing some money in a carpenter or a handyperson will help you get the right space you need with nifty storage and clever ideas. Sometimes it’s worth getting an expert in to allow you to develop the space exactly as you want it. It’s better to invest and make it work well for you than having dead space in your home.