A Multipurpose Room That's Short on Space, Big on Style

Bold style, functionality and character mask this bonus room's lack of square footage.

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April 19, 2017

One Room, Multiple Functions

Located just off the family room, this multipurpose room can be used as a secondary living space, art studio or private office thanks to savvy design choices.

Pocket Doors

Often found in historic bungalows and Craftsman-style homes, pocket doors take up less space than inward- or outward-swinging doors.

Big on Style

While limited in space, this multipurpose room feels large and layered thanks to a careful selection of double-duty furniture, mixed patterns and airy hues.

Paint Tricks

An excellent way to make a smaller space feel slightly larger is to paint its walls and ceiling the same muted color. The continuous color blurs the lines between where the walls end and the ceiling begins, making the room feel taller.

Oversized Art

When space is at a premium, consider going big with a single piece of art instead of grouping lots of small pieces together. Here, an oversized, mixed media piece by Courtney J. Garrett adds graphic impact to the wall yet stays proportionately in check with the room's furnishings.

Industrial Elements

If you're in need of heavy-duty furniture with a chic look, zinc-topped tables and desks may be the perfect fit. This versatile Parsons table can be used as an extra serving space or impromptu workstation. The metal top can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use.

Statement Florals

When decorating coffee tables or occasional tables in extra-tall spaces, long floral arrangements can help fill the vertical space. Bells of Ireland are readily available, pack a nice punch of green and can last up to two weeks.

Savvy Fabrics

If your multipurpose space is used by both adults and kids, consider upholstery fabrics that will help mask accidents and spills. Medium-gray tones pair well together and are excellent alternatives to beige or tan.

Painting Millwork

If your home has basic, contractor-grade baseboards and crown molding, you can help them recede by painting them the same color as the walls. If you have custom or historic millwork, painting it ultra-white will draw the eye toward it, turning the millwork into one of the space's standout features.

For the Artist

When space is at a premium and you want a dedicated space for crafting, consider pairing an easel with multipurpose seating. This room is fully equipped with a spot to paint canvases thanks to a collapsible wooden easel and a trio of metallic garden stools.

Mindful Lighting

Installing light fixtures that are too current or trendy can jeopardize the charm of an older space. Instead, create timeless lighting by choosing fixtures that are classic in styling and materials. This iron chandelier with leather straps is traditional, but it could also blend with modern and traditional-style decor.

Cozy Chairs

If your room doesn't allow for a sectional sofa, try pairing a three-seater with a pair of comfy armchairs. To keep the overall look from becoming disjointed, look for armchairs that are no more than three inches taller or shorter than the back of the sofa. Keeping one consistent height among the seating elements adds balance.

Mixed Styles

Adding a mix of feminine and masculine lines can help create a gender-neutral space. While the tailored sofa in this room is laced with an air of masculinity, the light French armchairs add a feminine touch.

The Right Rug

Homeowners with active kids and pets don't have to sacrifice style for substance. Indoor-outdoor accessories are a great way to create an inviting space that can withstand busy hands, feet and paws. The area rug of this multipurpose room is engineered to withstand stains and moisture, and it's also UV-resistant. Though it’s designed for outdoor use, it has the look and feel of a high-end indoor rug.

Dual-Purpose Desk Chair

This gray upholstered wooden chair blends in well with its muted blue surroundings. It's comfortable enough for work, yet stylish enough for entertaining.

On Display

Groups of framed photos can act as a focal point in a room.

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