Making it work: How to have 4 (or 5)rooms in 1

This is not a post about styling your space.

Like most homes (or is it just mine?) there never seems to be quite enough room. In my perfect world, the kids would have their own dedicated hangout area, I’d have my very own craft room/home office/command central. There would be an epic guest room rivaling the best bed and breakfast money can buy. I’d have a palatial laundry room/mud room (ok, ok, maybe not that excessive…)

Alas, fantasy, meet reality.


My family room is a work in progress, just like most homes.  It could be just a little more styled and decorated. There are a multitude of design flaws, but I’m thankful to have the skills to make it all work. I’m happy, my family is happy, and that’s the most important design element.

Well, back to reality. This particular room has to function as at least 4 rooms, because all the other rooms are taken up. Here’s how I’ve combined everything into this room to make it work for us.


My family room is fairly large, measuring about 20ft wide by 12 feet deep. As such is functions as:

1. Children’s play and toy storage area.

Anyone who has kids knows how their stuff just reproduces overnight! Since there’s no TV allowed in their  bedrooms, they (along with their things)  tend to congregate in the family room.

photo 3 (4)

(complete with ikea lawn furniture that the kids fell in love with and each had to have one, yeeah baby!) The middle-ish area is the designated hangout spot, while my stuff and everything else is just kind of pushed to the outskirts of the room.

photo 3

2. Guest Room for the occasional overnight guest.


With just an old box spring and mattress set, wooden base, and some pillows, I have fashioned a daybed that functions as additional seating, and a guest bed when needed. This current daybed is not the final design. Once I’ve completed the project I will post instructions.

3. Crafting space

Of course


My art/craft/design supplies live in (for the most part) concealed storage all around the room. The bookshelf behind the french doors hold gadgets for sewing and knitting. The slim bookcases that flank my work desk hold other bits and bobs. The lower part of our built-in bookshelf holds more suppplies. My ultimate goal is to have everything contained in bins and drawers to reduce visual clutter.

photo 4 (2)

4. Home Office

work area

I work from home at night, and my job comes with a lot of wires as you can see above.


5. Mudroom

Oh yes. This room leads directly to our back yard where we enter and depart the home. A corner of it is also dedicated to being a ‘mudroom.’  Here live school backpacks, winter gear and other things related to entering and departing the home.


With some clever storage and arranging, you can turn 1 room into 4 (or 5).

I’d love to see how you all are making it work with the imperfections in your homes.

3 thoughts on “Making it work: How to have 4 (or 5)rooms in 1

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