Feb. 20, 2019 | Gerald Vander Pyl
Multipurpose rooms and furniture help make the most of small spacesAs the name suggests, when people downsize their home, they usually find themselves dealing with less square footage.
That's where multipurpose furniture can help, such as a storage ottoman with a seat that flips over to become a side table, or an entryway bench to use while putting on shoes, with shelves underneath for footwear and a built-in rack above for hanging winter jackets.
Even entire rooms can be made to play multiple roles in the home, such as a laundry room that has extra shelves for those large Costco buys of paper products or canned goods.
"Good storage is the key to multifunction spaces," said Rosalyn Lazaruk, owner and lead designer of Wicket Blue Interiors. "If you want to create a craft or hobby space within a spare bedroom, for example, ensure that you have proper storage in the closet to tuck things away when a guest comes."
Lazaruk says the best way to maximize the value of multipurpose rooms is to determine what you like and how you like your space to function. "Really taking a look at all the things that you would like from your home and finding some commonality to create multifunctional spaces and carve out niches for smaller things," she said.
"Good storage is the key to multifunction spaces." - Rosalyn Lazaruk, Wicket Blue Interiors
Lazaruk says Murphy beds are making a strong comeback and are perfect for small-space living, as they can be tucked away when not in use to free up functional floor space in a multipurpose room.
When it comes to multipurpose furniture, manufacturers have come up with some useful pieces that are ideal for a downsized home.
"There are a lot of great storage beds on the market now that have drawers underneath or the mattress lifts on a spring system," said Lazaruk. "It is a great space for storing seasonal pieces to keep a less cluttered closet."
She says you can also buy a bookcase that has a hidden drop-down desk shelf to eliminate the need for both furniture items in a room.
One thing to keep in mind with any furniture piece is to make sure it is sized and positioned properly for a smaller living space.
"The scale and proportion of all furniture should always be kept in mind," said Lazaruk. "If a double-purpose piece overwhelms the space, it is defeating the point.
"No matter the size of the room, proper space planning will ensure that your space functions well and suits all your needs. Always keep in mind things like flow of traffic, lighting and window placement, so you don't end up with an awkward room."