Be inspired by rooms that are much more than a place to lay your head at night
Houzz Contributor. I’m a freelance journalist and editor writing for nationals, magazines… More
Plenty of us need at least one bedroom to do more than accommodate a bed, but multiplying the functions we require from them is potentially a recipe for clutter and a distinct lack of calm. It needn’t be this way, though. These rooms multi-task with aplomb. Check out the strategies that make them champions.
Make light work
In this room, the bed has been kept separate from the dressing table and TV viewing area and the clothes storage for a layout that feels airy and spacious.
The gloss of the white furniture helps to reflect light and the white of the walls, bed linen and armchair also do their bit towards the bright atmosphere. With a definite nod to Scandi style, the room is warmed with wood underfoot.
Follow this scheme’s example with furniture that blends into walls to keep a multi-functional bedroom uncrowded and calming.
When it comes to multi-functional sleep spaces, I can’t leave out the bedroom in the Houzz of 2018. With this bedroom-bathroom-home office combo, the designers have taken advantage of the generous dimensions, but it could work equally well in a smaller space.
The lesson of this layout? Broken plan – that’s open plan with subtle divisions, such as this metal-framed window hung with a sheer curtain – strikes the right balance between a contemporary, spacious layout and privacy.
Note how the black of the partition is repeated as an accent shade to link the areas and make the parts feel whole.
A coffee machine and a pair of chairs provide guests with more than a place to spend the night in this spare bedroom. The shape of the bay makes it an intimate niche, and chairs upholstered in green repeat colours from the room’s dramatic wallpaper and leafy plants.
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Notice how the space has been maximised with a clothes rail in place of a wardrobe. It’s all visitors need, and copying the idea could free up space for seating if you’re designing your own relaxing guest room.
See before and after photos of this bedroom transformation
Get more up top
A limited floor area and awkward angles don’t hold back this attic room, which has been turned into a guest bedroom/office with a view.
The bed and desk both enjoy the room’s maximum head height, so the dimensions don’t result in a cramped feel. Even the bed is a hard worker, with deep storage drawers.
The slope of the room has been used to build in filing and other office storage, plus niches that take the place of bedside tables.
Call on a joiner to build in what you need to get this look. Assess exactly what you have to stash, so shelves can be made to file or folder size to maximise capacity.
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Try one at a time
It’s not always the case that a multi-tasking room has to be useable for all its functions at once. If space is tight, an arrangement like this is a problem-solver.
The bed here folds down from the cupboard for overnighters, and the office chair tucks right under the desk, so it doesn’t intrude. When the bed’s away, the room is a spacious office instead.
In a bigger room, consider a sofa-bed to double up the uses – it can be handy to have extra seating in an office, too.
The calm ambience of this room belies its hard-working nature as a guest bedroom, sometime home office and meditation space (the owners met on a retreat).
The guest bed comes up from the cavity in the platform when it’s needed, and the padded cushions for meditation can be stashed away. Meanwhile, the desk pops out from the sleeping platform when work’s on the agenda, and the stool comes out from the cupboard below it.
Alongside are storage drawers and open display space. There’s even storage in the steps up to the platform.
The colour scheme complements the room’s functions as well – restful tones are in the majority, with orange in the office area introducing an energetic accent.
Keep a hidden cache
This room takes the idea of a storage bed to its extreme. Instead of a bed base with a couple of drawers or a lift-up mattress, a platform stacked with six drawers makes this a multi-tasking winner.
This loft has a high ceiling, but note how a low bed leaves maximum vertical space. If your room has a lower ceiling, factor in space to sit up in bed when you calculate how much storage you can fit into the platform below.
Bring hotel style home
A cosy corner with seating and a dressing area combine with sleeping space in this sophisticated bedroom. The custom-built headboard is an idea well worth borrowing – it divides the zones without blocking light or making the room look smaller.
Lighting is key to demarcating the different areas, too. A floorstanding lamp illuminates the relaxation space, while the bedside lights mounted on the headboard have jointed arms, so they can be positioned for reading or more general light. Ambient light, meanwhile, comes from wall lights around the room.
Enjoy bath time
This bedroom with open en suite takes an approach that leaves the bath prominent as a feature of the bedroom, but distances the basins, and completely hides the bathroom’s other fittings.
A step up and a change of flooring are a visual and physical separator of the two functions, while a glass-brick wall conceals without blocking the light.
Effective extraction is vital in a room like this one. When you’re choosing ventilation, consider noise levels, for times when one partner wants a lie-in and the other’s in the bathroom.
Go for an all-in-one
The beauty of this multi-tasking kid’s room is that one piece of furniture performs all the functions required.
It’s a bed (with trundle bed for sleepovers below); it has open space for display and over-bed storage that allows scattered toys to be corralled into containers and hidden neatly, and it’s a desirable niche for reading or playing, with lighting built in.
Is your bedroom a multi-tasker? Share your photos and tips in the Comments section.