Is it just me, or is life just getting more and more hectic? I think it’s safe to say that most of us are maneuvering through all the twists and turns of everyday happenings the very best we can. While that’s easier said than done, having homes that can accommodate our busier lifestyles and ever-changing needs certainly can help! One way of maximizing a home is to create what’s known as a flex space. It’s a feature many are adding to their homes, and today I’ll show you how you can too!
What is a Flex Space?
I’d be willing to bet that you have either heard of a flex space, or you’re familiar with the concept. A flex space is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a room or space that can be used for multiple purposes. A few years ago when the world was hit with an unforeseen pandemic, we were all stuck inside our homes for lengthier durations than ever before. That meant we had to get creative in order to meet the challenges of our spaces. All of a sudden, we were expected to have classrooms in our homes for kids to continue school. We couldn’t go to the gym, or to the office, and our kids had to hit pause on their extracurricular activities. Because nothing even remotely close to this had ever happened before, our homes couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Instead, we made due with what we had, often crowding into whatever room was available for everything from zoom meetings to spanish lessons. It was a time, indeed. The truth is, many people thought (and some still think) they didn’t have any other options. The idea of a flex space felt impossible when they considered the home they worked so hard to create pre-pandemic. And, I get it. I mean, there aren’t a ton of people rushing to completely re-do their homes when they’ve invested a significant amount of money to curate those spaces to their preferences already. The other myth was that you needed a lot of extra square footage to create a flex space—square footage they didn’t have. Fortunately, that’s simply not true! You can achieve these multi use spaces with what you have with a few easy tips.
Flipping Your Space, Temporarily
One of the things clients often bring up when we’re seeking answers to their space conundrums, is that they don’t want to waste space for situations that only arise every now and then. For instance, what do you do if you want an office, but the only “free” room in your home is a guest room? If you booked a virtual consultation with me on The Expert, I would likely begin by asking how frequently you have guests staying in your home. Many of us are holding space for people or activities that occur rarely enough that there might actually be a better use for that room!
So, let’s create homes for the lives we live now! Make that room an office that can easily be flipped into a guest room when needed. I love creative solutions like murphy beds for this exact purpose. Murphy beds fold up into the wall when not in use, so you never have to sacrifice space! You can put desks, tables and any other office equipment you need in the room, and conveniently let down the bed for your guests when they’re in town. Voila, flex space activated!
Put Your Interior Design to Work
I say it all the time; interior design doesn’t exist only to make things pretty. It also helps you get the most function out of your space. When you want to create a flex space, consider the power of design in your choices. If you’re a huge movie buff, but your home doesn’t allow for a built-in movie room, create one! Depending on budget and wall space, you can buy inexpensive projectors and screens that can be used for movie nights in any room! If that feels too lofty, turn to lighting! There are so many smart lighting options that are ideal for setting the vibe for a fun movie night. You can program scenes as you wish that will transform a space into dark theater mode at the touch of a button. All you’ll need next is a comfy blanket and popcorn! Flex spaces don’t have to be permanent. You can shift into them as needed.
Redo, Repurpose, Reuse
What’s in your garage? What about your basement? One of the best ways to create a flex space is to take advantage of the spots in your home that have gone forgotten and unused altogether. I can’t tell you how many clients tell me they wish they had a home gym or a safe place for their kids to play, all while completely overlooking the most obvious answer. If your garage has become a place to store a bunch of junk you keep meaning to get rid of, now’s the time! Park that car in the driveway, and transform that space into your home garage or yoga studio! Looking for a craft room? Maybe a playroom for the kids? Tidy up your finished basement and design one. Most of us aren’t lacking space, we just lack vision. Don’t waste good space!
You Have What You Need
Would you believe your existing space is likely already flex space material? Because it is! You simply have to decide how you need it to perform. Then, we can use innovative ways to bring it to life! Maybe you have an office, but you want to be able to look over notes without feeling disconnected from the rest of the family in the evenings. Occasional tables are perfect for this reason. They’re small enough to pull up and place your laptop while the kids are enjoying a board game just a few feet away. I love looking over blueprints while my boys eat their messy lunches right next to me without the fear of their little fingers staining my documents! Occasional tables are small enough to be placed beside any seating area without obstructing walkways. They’re available in various design styles ensuring anyone can find one right for their space.
I’m a busy mom of two boys, so I know what it’s like to deal with mountains of homework. We’ve been lucky enough to have a space converted for schoolwork for my sons, but an alternative to that is something you probably use daily: your kitchen island. These make awesome flex spaces in a home because they often already have electrical outlets, something you definitely need with all the devices our kids use. If you haven’t already, invest in smart switches and outlets that allow for conveniences like faster charging, and even wire organization to keep things neat. My favorites are from Legrand. Durable countertop materials (we don’t want sharpie marks on marble!) comfortable barstools and enough outlets make for a superb working station!
Demand more from your home! You spend a lot of time there, so it should be able to keep up with your lifestyle. Flex spaces are becoming more and more common, and they really do help you maximize your usable square footage in creative ways. If you need better performance out of your home, contact me and let’s figure it out together!