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How to Turn a Small Room Into Multifunctional Space

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

How to use living room as dining room

Most of us live in a small space, and in the past two years, our home has become a place to live, work, entertain, homeschool, you name it. It made us rethink how we need to use every available inch. So when creating a multifunctional space, a few key things to keep in mind are the type of furniture used, how vertical space is being used, and how to maximise storage without creating additional clutter.

How to Turn a Small Room Into Multifunctional Space

A few things to consider when transforming a small room into a multifunctional space. A multifunctional space indicates multiple activities are going to take place there. Before designing, shopping and decorating, think about what type of activities will occur in that space. Then you'll need to plan out visual separation and how to get the most out of your furniture and accessories.

You might already know what sort of activities you need your space to accommodate, but just in case you need some inspiration, here are a few ideas of how to make a small space multifunctional.

Kitchen/Dining Space/Workstation

A small kitchen and dining space can set the tone for the entire home. This is because it's where we usually spend most of our time. To create a multifunctional kitchen and dining space, consider removing upper cabinetry and swapping them with open shelving. Then, decorate the shelves with dishes, candles and plants.

Add a kitchen island. It is perfect for prepping meals along with dining, social gatherings, and if you choose one with cabinets underneath, they can double as storage. Kitchen island can also be used as a workstation.

Playroom/Living Room Space

If you don't have a separate playroom, it can feel like toys are everywhere! Creating a functional playroom and living room space doesn't need to be complicated, but it does require planning and intentional decorating. First, add some beautiful storage baskets. Choose colours that match the existing decor. Then, use the baskets to hide the toys away.

Living room doubles as a playroom

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

When choosing a coffee table, opt for a storage ottoman type to add more toy storage and choose a tv stand with cupboards to close away the DVDs and games. This helps the room look neater. Next, use under the couch space with rolling bins for storage and add a defined decorative rug.

Living Room/Office

Depending on the layout, you could pop the desk behind the couch or get a small side coffee table that doubles as your desk. Another super easy option is to stick an arch wall decal behind the desk and in that way visually separate work from living area. It will also double as a focal point. Either way, make sure you consider your comfort and ability to walk around the room easily.

Photo by Parking Perkins from Unsplash

Here's how you can visually separate the office using arch wall decal.


Living Room/Bedroom

Whether you need your living room to become a guest bedroom occasionally or to open it up to a bedroom every night, there are some great ways to make the room multifunctional, even when it's small.

First, choose a sofa bed that is easy to use and lightweight. Next, opt for something less bulky to make the already small room seem crowded. Use a storage bench in the room to store blankets and pillows to be assessed with ease. Add in end tables/ night tables on wheels to quickly move around.

Check out the multifunctional sofa bed at


Laundry/Craft Room

Laundry machines are necessary, but they don't need to take up an entire room. Hide them behind sliding barn doors and turn the laundry room into a craft room. Use the vertical space by adding cabinets and open style shelving above the laundry machines for your soap and other items. You could also add a folding table so that it's only down when it's required. Consider installing sliding doors to maximize the space Finally, create a bold feature wall to divert the attention from the sliding doors to the wall.

Final Tips on Creating Multifunctional Space

Get appropriate lighting.

Choose the lighting that would be most impactful for the space you're trying to create. Lighting, both artificial and natural, has a significant impact on the feel of space. Generally speaking, dark rooms typically feel smaller, while bright rooms feel larger.

Create your multifunctional room in a small space with a window whenever possible. Dress the window with sheer curtains that allow the natural light to shine through. When natural light isn't possible, use corner lamps, hanging lights and wall scones to brighten the space. It's important to choose lighting that fits the purposes of the multifunctional room.

For example, if the multifunctional room is a kitchen and a dining space, you need bright light for cooking and softer light for a dining space. On the other hand, consider dimmable lighting if the multifunctional space is used as a closet and office combined.

Choose the furniture wisely.

Choosing the right furniture is vital. Think versatile furniture when transforming a small space into a multifunctional space. Of course, the right furniture is dependant on what the use of the room is but a few things to consider are:

  • The size - you should use smaller and compact furniture to avoid creating unnecessary clutter.

  • The style - lift the furniture of the floor and choose pieces with legs. It will make the room feel more airy and tall.

  • Take advantage of vertical space. Think, open style shelving and foldable furniture.

  • Functionality - opt for multifunctional furniture. Desks that turn into kitchen tables, beds that fold up and double as cabinets, sofas that can turn into beds, and so on. Think of furniture that doubles as storage.

  • Add mirrors to a space. Using mirrors helps open the space up and make it seem bigger.

Reduce the clutter in the small space.

Make sure everything in the room has a place to live, and it can be put away when not in use. Things like decorative storage baskets, drawers and shelving are perfect solution. Reducing clutter helps to keep the room tidy and functional. Also, it is aesthetically pleasing.

Keep it simple.

A small room doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. When you focus on adequate lighting, multifunctional and purposeful furniture and remember the intention of the space, you can create a beautiful multifunctional space.

When possible, use natural lighting, use furniture with storage and open shelving to create an ambience and functionality. Ensure everything has a place to reduce clutter in the space and pair bold designs with neutrals to create a pleasing contrast rather than chaos.

Finally, to add life to any space, incorporate plants where appropriate.

Share these ideas or Pin them for later!

Small Multifunctional Room Decorating Ideas


Aaron Mears, the writer and editor of House Stories.

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