Our house is pretty small which means most of our rooms have more than one purpose. Our kitchen / diner doubles up as my office, our bedroom has a keyboard in it and our living room also acts as the playroom and my craft storage space. Given that it isn’t the biggest of rooms we had to find a way to cram in as much as possible while still leaving enough room to play.
I’m definitely no expert here and believe me if I was a tidy person then we would have a much better system but there are a few things we’ve done to make the area work a bit better. It’s definitely more of a practical area than one that looks good but given that we home educate and spend a lot of time in it we need it to be that way!
Taking off the doors. You have to walk through our living room from the hallway to get to the kitchen which meant there were two doors so fairly soon after moving in we took them off, I say we but in actual fact it was more me ;). I then went on to take the doors off all the wardrobes in the bedrooms and the bedrooms, in fact the only rooms that have doors are the airing cupboard and bathroom! It just gives you so much more space when you don’t have a door taking up half the room and especially as the ones up in our house were really horrible to look at.
Putting your telly on the wall. Having no door meant we could put our telly on the wall in a place that we wouldn’t have been able to had it still been up. It’s actually the only place it could go so it’s a good job there is no door.
Move the furniture around. This is one of my most favourite things to do, I love the way it feels like such a different space after you’ve moved furniture around and eventually you will find the layout that works the best so there is a point to it or that’s what I tell Mr C ;).
Use lots of storage. I have all my yarn and craft books on shelves and then we have two storage units from Ikea which house all the toys and cart / craft materials as well as a desk for all my work in progress projects and a stand alone set of drawers for more craft supplies. Then I also have a big box under the desk where I keep my photography lights and tripods.
Excuse the crappy phone photo but these are the storage units we use, they were so cheap and the boxes are huge and fit loads of toys in.
And this is my (very messy) work in progress desk.
Make use of your cupboard under the stairs. Ours is in our living room and has no door on it, surprise surprise, so we cleared it out and put some laminate flooring down and it now acts as the storage area for all kind of things. It still needs painting and some build in storage added in but it’s nice to have somewhere to chuck everything.
Choose the right kind of sofa. When we first moved in we bought two massive, cheap sofas off eBay. And I mean massive, together they took up the entire room and I got to the point where I couldn’t take it any longer so we got rid of them. We now have a corner sofa which means we can all sit on it but it doesn’t take up much room. It wouldn’t be my first choice look wise and it’s brown but it’s fine for now. To find the perfect sofa for your space Sofa Sofa have a sofa finder that helps you to find one that will work best for you. You can choose from leather, sofa-beds, loose cover or fabric and then pick from 2 / 3 /4 seater or a corner sofa. They also sell armchairs and lots of scatter cushions. This photo is from their website and I love the look of this room, yellow and grey are two of my favourite colours at the moment and the big bag of knitting is right up my street!
Keep toys to a minimum. Lastly when you live in a house toys can start to take over so we frequently have clear outs where toys go to charity shops, we also buy a lot of toys in charity shops so it almost feels like a cycle. They come in then when the kids are bored of them they go back out. Things like the train track, bricks, dolls, cars and the big wooden kitchen stay but all the random things that they spot usually end up getting broken or end up all over the floor so they usually go, with their agreement of course. Now we’ve sorted out their room we also try and put a few boxes up there.
So those are some ways we try to make our living room work as a multi-purpose space. Obviously the dream is to one day have a playroom and craft workshop though 😉
Do you have tips on making your living room work as a multi-purpose space?