How to Get Started With Dual-Purpose Design

There’s something special about the idea of “two for one,” isn’t there?

Who hasn’t been out shopping and found themselves tempted into getting a little something extra, all because of that special “buy one, get one” promise? Or what about in the tech world? Today’s biggest gadgets are all about the idea of “two for one,” combining the best of two different elements into one convenient device. It’s a refrigerator that can make phone calls. It’s a speaker that can turn on your car.

But what about when it comes to your home? Is it possible to bring that “double duty” mindset into your interior? It’s definitely possible — and all it takes to get started is to think a little creatively about the space you already have.

As a matter of fact, dual-purpose room design is a growing trend in the interior design world, as homeowners in Chicagoland and around the country look at their living rooms, bedrooms, and office areas, and think: “I bet I can get more out of that.”

Part of the appeal of dual-purpose design is purely practical. Sometimes, no matter how much you organize or declutter your home, it can still feel like you’re running out of square footage. Reusing one space is a great way to make each room feel twice as useful, and get as much functionality as possible from every inch of your space.

At the same time, there’s some real aesthetic value to this way of thinking. For example, when your guest room isn’t in use as a bedroom, it can be a stylish den, or an efficient home office. When you’re consistently switching up the look and feel of a room, you’re making changes and reinvigorating the space — making it a lot harder for any one part of your home to start feeling dull or tired.

But what does it take to get started reusing one room in multiple ways? Whether you’re looking to make the most out of a large space or want to max out a cozier spot, there are all sorts of little ways to help you get as much function as possible from four walls and a floor.

Divide a Room with Style

If you’re facing issues with finding ways to give a room multiple functions and you have a large area to play with, consider utilizing multi-purpose room dividers. These are elements you can add to split a room into multiple segments, while also adding new functionality to your space.

For instance, you can creatively divide a space by putting in a moveable or permanent unit, creating a visible distinction within the room. You could add a folding divider that doubles as a shelving unit, for example, or, a mounted unit with pull-out or open shelves for tons of discreet storage in the middle of your living room.  And of course, how you decide to use your newly designated spaces is up to you.

Save Space With Multi-Purpose Furniture

If you’re looking to maximize a “cozy” corner of your home, one efficient idea may be to add multi-use furniture. These are pieces that often can easily be transformed into something else when you need the additional functionality.

So, for example, if you’re someone who regularly entertains, but you don’t have the storage space to keep a whole slew of tables and chairs on hand, one idea may be to invest in an accent side table, which converts and easily folds into a full-sized table. In need of an extra sitting room or office, but don’t want to sacrifice a space for guests? A fold-out couch can be a stylish, yet practical, solution.

There are countless other ways you can play around with multi-purpose furniture, and there are all sorts of playful and practical pieces out there, ranging from the classic to the cutting edge. It may be worth taking a look around and seeing what will work for you, fitting into the space you already have while giving you the functionality you’re looking for.

Create Multifunctional Bedrooms

Bedrooms can be fun, funky, and functional — if you look at this tired space with fresh eyes.

For example, if you’re looking for ways to make sure that a kid’s room or guest room can sleep more than one per night, you may want to invest in bunk-beds that go beyond the status quo. You could arrange bunk-beds so that they stack in a perpendicular way, for example, giving you more floor space to add a desk or a play area and making the room feel less cluttered.

Or what about any extra room you may have in the master? You could always also add a work area to this space, if you don’t have room elsewhere for a home office. With the right design choices — a comfortable chair, stylish storage, a striking lighting setup — it’s easy to add a functional office area, without sacrificing comfort or elegance. With some creativity, you could also refresh your master with a small sitting area, or use a part of this floor space for your home yoga room, or your designated space to zone out with your vinyl records.

Rethink Your Laundry Room or Basement

For homeowners or renters with a dedicated midsize or large laundry room or basement, you can turn any unused space into a more functional set-up. For example, a laundry room may be a great space to refashion as a home office. If there’s an underutilized surface that could double as both a folding area and a set up for your home computer or laptop, this could be a creative solution to a lack of a spare room.

As for your basement? Many of us immediately think of underground space as a bonus sitting area, or, just as often, a place to hide all of the clutter that can’t be stored elsewhere. But with a little creativity, your basement can serve any number of purposes — from becoming a home library, to a gym, to a yoga studio or playroom. One trick? If your basement doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you can make this space feel brighter by painting and decorating with light colors, using mirrors, or adding additional light sources, set to a mellow, naturalistic brightness level.

Find Your Dream Space, With Help from the Experts at Baird & Warner

Curious if the right space is out there for you? Looking to get to know your local market, or talk about your biggest home goals with someone who’s been around the block?

At Baird & Warner, we get you. Whatever you’re looking for in a home, our thousands of hyperlocal experts know just what it takes to help you get the space of your dreams. And with sales, mortgage, and title services all in-house, we make things more convenient, at every step of the way. “Easier” is just who we are and has been since 1855.  

Written by




Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.


Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.


Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.