Is it the dining room? The living room? The bedroom? In fact, the name of the room has traditionally identified its function. The trend toward multi-functional living spaces has made it more difficult to identify a room’s purpose just in the name. Boomers, who are remodeling so they can stay in their current homes as they grow older, are creating multi-functional living spaces that serve many purposes. If you are thinking of remodeling for a first floor suite – whether it’s for yourself so you can stay in your own home longer or for your parents or in-laws so that they can have a comfortable, familiar space, take into consideration the reality of what you want the space to accomplish.
First, decide whether you’ll combine existing spaces such as an unused formal living room and dining room, or build an addition. Whichever you choose, the layout should flow easily, allowing unobstructed movement within and between rooms.
Next, consider how you want to use the space. Will you be exercising to videos near the TV and need some open space? Do you like to entertain often? Do you have a hobby such as scrapbooking that requires desk and storage space? Your answers to these types of questions will help your custom remodeler create a space that is right for your lifestyle.
Think about your current and future storage needs. One of the dangers of a multi-functional space is the potential for clutter. If you try to accommodate too many activities in one space, you will end up with chaos. Head off this tendency by planning ahead. Aim for a good mix of form and function – plan for closets and cabinets that are high on practicality and good design.
Finally, think about how the use of the space may change over time. For example, if you might have grandchildren, consider how you’ll be able to modify the space to make it kid-friendly. No matter what your needs, a multi-functional space can meet them – just don’t call it a dining room.