The era of giant homes is finished. We seem to have learned the key to the good life isn’t more, but much better. Better design, better technology, better efficiency and better use of space.
One of the secrets to making a little space work is to combine functions in interesting ways and rethink layout. Rooms that do double duty allow you to get more use out of your square footage, and they also let you extend your design chops. In my novel, clever beats big every time. Have a look at these 15 rooms at six classes to find out whether any of the ideas could work in your house.
Tim Cuppett Architects
The Intelligent Living Room
With Another library is indeed Downton Abbey. Behold the library and dining room combo. Walls lined with books make a room feel cozy and intimate. Additionally, your dinner guests will know how well read you are.
Bookshelves at the dining area do not have to be built in, but it helps if they span the full length of at least one wall. This looks intentional as opposed to like you ran out of shelving.
Sarah Susanka, FAIA
The Multitasking Laundry Room
A laundry area in and of itself sounds like luxury. Combining it with a home office or a workshop is brilliant. I mean, why do not pay the bills, write a novel or check your email while the garments are agitating?
Dream House Studios
It’s a laundry room/office/workshop/wrap room/craft area. A large, wide-open dining table is almost always a useful thing.
S / Wiley Interior Photography
The Hidden Home Office
This home office is tucked away so neatly to the little living space, you hardly know it is there. A slim parson’s desk, a few double-duty seating plus a wall-mounted TV make this a seamless combo.
This office, tucked into a cupboard, even has space for a guest. In my version there’s storage in that bench and folding shutter doors to close off the space.
Domestic Stories with Ivy
Here is a workplace off the entryway at a “space” made by shelving. Keep the space facing the door for the pretty stuff and hide the papers and mess down near the base of the shelf from the wall.
Scheer & Co..
Behind curtain number one: a workspace for two! When the curtains are closed, the entire thing vanishes, leaving the living room for dwelling.
Michael K Chen Architecture
The Disappearing Guest Room
There is a happy medium between a guest cabin at the ready and a blow-up mattress in the living area. Murphy beds benefit from vertical space; when guests leave, they can be flipped up, and your life can get back to normal.
De Meza + Architecture
A flexible couch or daybed at the office can be the place where all your best ideas hit and the place where guests put their heads during the night time.
Prestige Custom Building & Construction, Inc..
This guest room–office combination is permanent but still different. You do not have to look at a workspace as you’re resting, and also you do not have to be tempted by a rest space as you’re working.
The Working Kitchen
In eat-in kitchens, long, narrow tables can double as workspace.
Gabriel Builders Inc..
The Functional Family Room
Families do not want to be doing exactly the exact same thing at the exact same time. Creating different areas for different interests is the key to togetherness. With this house playground, the kids won’t even notice that you’re watching Breaking Bad right next to them.
Eisner Design LLC
This playroom outside a house gym is like a built in daycare.
Highline Partners, Ltd
This living room doubles as a guest room and gives a place where you can cozy up with a book when the movie gets dull.