Design Process / Interior Design / Make over / Shop the look / Sustainability

How to design a multipurpose room

Desk minimal

One of my children has a small bedroom overlooking the garden which I would like to use for more than one purpose. I want it to be versatile and therefore to have these 3 functions:

1. Home office (for myself, hehe)

2. Guest Bedroom

3. Child’s room, if needed

My daughter just uses this room for sleeping, playing happens mostly in her sister’s room or downstairs. In fact, she doesn’t like any toys in this room.  So, I thought it doesn’t harm to use the room for my work;-)

The room should also be available when my parents from Austria stay over or friends want to come and stay a few days. I also plan that the girls share a room, as I think it might be big enough for both of them and good to bond as siblings. But, if my daughter wants to retreat in her own room, that should be possible too.

So, how can I design a small room to make it work for all my needs?

First, I need to choose a colour palette that would set an ambiance that pleases all purposes. I thought about a harmonious palette with an energizing touch of yellow.

It needs to be welcoming for guests as well as helping to focus on work. The colours should be interesting enough to satisfy a child too. A tricky one, this one!

I am a great fan of boho and natural materials and I think the combination is particularly interesting for a home office and it reflects warmth for the guests and comfort for a child. The aspect of the room is west facing and the sunlight travels through the window in the afternoon. There are big trees in the garden preventing the sun to make the room too hot.

Most walls will be decorated in white with a hint of yellow, which goes well with the wooden flooring. I suggest White 03 by Lick, or Farrow & Ball All White. This will make the room warm and glow when sunlight hits the walls. On the furthest wall opposite the door, I choose botanical wallpaper to give the room more depth and texture. In small rooms, a feature wall can make the room appear bigger and adds an interesting focal point. And don’t forget the mirrors. They work miracles for small rooms.

What furniture do I really need?

Less is more and functional is best for a small room like this. I have decided on a comfy sofa bed utilizable when guests stay over. Of course, I will need a desk, an office chair, and bookcases to hold files. Luckily, the room is equipped with a fitted wardrobe which holds my daughter’s clothes and the spare bedding for the guests. I’ve put my daughter’s cot on castors so I can move her bed in and out when needed. But I truly believe (and hope) she might like to share a room with her bigger sister. I also suggest swapping furniture from other rooms before buying new things.

In case you are curious, this is the mood board I’ve created for this particular room. You can shop the look below!


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If you are thinking about decorating or repurposing a room in your home, I’m happy to help. Simply check out my online interior design services or book a free discovery call for more information.