Flex Room Ideas and Trends
Interior designers have started incorporating flex rooms into people’s homes for a few years now. A flex room is basically a room that can easily be repurposed for a variety of functions. For example, it could be a storage space for now, and then in the next month it could be turned into a home office.
The Flex Room’s Purpose
As the name suggests, flex rooms are called as such because they are flexible. On a floor plan or blueprint, it is usually marked as “flex,” “bonus room,” or “optional space.” It is usually spacious enough to give the homeowner some flexibility to do what they want with that room.
The flex room can be transformed into anything that the homeowner needs for the time being. Because a homeowner’s needs will inevitably change over time, having a room that they can readily modify provides a lot of versatility and convenience.
Although flex rooms are great to have for any homeowner, it is especially useful for people who are just starting a family. It could start out as a nursery and then turn into a bedroom. When the kid is finally old enough to move out, it could then turn into an entertainment room, a guest room, or anything else.
There are a lot of flex room ideas out there that can help you create a space that matches your needs and lifestyle. The question is, how can you make this room look adaptable enough for any circumstance?
Design Elements of a Flex Room
In designing a flex room, you want to make sure that the elements you choose are appropriate for anything that you might need one day. This will reduce the effort and the cost of repurposing this room in the future.
- Functional Furniture
Most flex rooms aren’t that small, but they tend to be smaller than rooms that have one designated purpose. Hence, it is important to choose furniture that allows you to maximize the available space. For example, you can go for an ottoman that has a storage. You can also choose a sofa bed instead of a normal couch, so that the room can easily double as a guest room at night. For desks, you could go for the pull-down ones that could be folded back up when not in use.
- Versatile Colors and Materials
It is advisable to choose neutral wall colors and versatile flooring to ensure that it will conveniently match with most things. This is especially helpful if you see yourself changing the flex room’s purpose regularly. To modify the ambience, all you have to do is change the room’s decorations and accessories as necessary (e.g. rugs, curtains, lamps, indoor plants, etc.).
Adequate natural light can make any room look a lot more spacious than it really is. Interior designers usually achieve this not just by creating bigger windows, but also by using lighter color palettes and mirrors.
An effective flex room design ensures that renovations are the last thing that you have to worry about if you need to change its function. After all, adaptability has already been incorporated into its layout when it was first planned out.
Ways to Create a Flex Room
When it comes to creating a flex room, the idea is to think ahead and build it in a manner that could easily be modified as is. If you are thinking of remodeling your home, here are some ways to ensure that you can conveniently transform your flex room:
- Renovating a Room
Say you already have a spare bedroom at home that mostly remains unused unless you have visitors. You can renovate and rearrange this room such that it can be a study room or an office during the day time. The bed remains, but it is now modified so that it can be stowed away into a shelf on the wall. You can also use a sofa bed if you prefer to have additional furniture in that room.
Another instance is when you have a formal dining room that is only rarely used. Instead of letting that space go useless for the rest of the time, you can transform it into a family room where people can comfortably do their usual activities. It can also easily serve as an area where you can receive and entertain family guests.
- Reworking Open Spaces
Modern home builders usually provide a number of open spaces in many of the homes they build today. These alcoves and nooks can be very handy, and make your house look bright and spacious. However, they can also quickly become unsightly when it becomes a makeshift storage space. This usually happens when you don’t assign a specific purpose to that space.
Small spaces can be modified into reading areas, study areas, or mini offices. You just have to choose the right seats, tables, and shelves to make the space look inviting. Make sure the elements are complementary so no one feels the actual smallness of the space.
Large spaces, on the other hand, can be divided into multiple spaces with various functions. This can generally be achieved by installing decorative screens, incorporating glass doors, painting walls with contrasting colors, or putting large furniture like cabinets as dividers.
- Completing Unfinished Rooms
You may currently have basements, attics, or garages that you never bothered to finish decorating. Now is the time to work on them and turn them into something more purposeful. You could turn it into a suite for your parents or parents-in-law for when they come to visit, or a workshop so that you can finally engage in your hobbies. It could also become a hangout place, an entertainment area, or a mini bar.
- Adding a New Room
Your existing home layout may not have a flex room right now, but if you are investing in a home renovation project, it’s highly advisable to consider adding a new room now. Make sure that you plan out the room’s electrical and plumbing needs beforehand. This will make it easy for you to think of future purposes for this room.
What Can You Turn Your Flex Room Into?
Flex room ideas are boundless; it’s only the lack of imagination that limits you from coming up with a unique flex room purpose. If you are thinking of turning an old room into a flex room, here are some ideas that you can play around with:
If you are a young family that has just started having kids, you can use your flex room as a nursery, and then as a bedroom when your child gets older. You just need to put a crib, a couch, some toy storage bins, and a drawer for the baby’s stuff. You can also use paint and wallpapers that are appropriate for a nursery.
- Kids’ Playroom
Turning a flex room into a kids’ playroom will help you maintain your home’s neatness and cleanliness. When toys and playtime are confined to a single room, you wouldn’t have to worry about misplaced toys all over the house. Additionally, it will also help you teach the concept of discipline to your kids at an early age.
- Extra Living Room
If the house is used as a boarding or rental space, it’s recommended to turn a flex room into an extra living room. This provides tenants with more space to hang out and relax. It could also turn into a sleeping area at night if the space isn’t exactly that big. On the other hand, if this is for a family home, having an extra living area provides members with more spaces to have some me-time or enjoy the company of others.
- Home Office or Study Room
There will be times when you’ll need to do important business at home. You won’t be able to focus on the stuff you have to do if no corner in your home is conducive for working.
The problem with using other areas of your home for work is that they may be too comfortable that you can’t get anything done. On the other hand, they may also be too uncomfortable that you can’t focus on what you’re trying to do. Hence, a home office should be a great combination of formal and relaxing, so you’d be able to accomplish your tasks without being stressed out.
- Entertainment Room or Game Room
If you need a space for fun and games, you can turn your flex room into an entertainment room or game room. You can set it up to be a home theater for movie nights, or you can have a PlayStation or Xbox if you and your friends are into video games. You can also put a pool table, foosball, or a space to play card and board games. What’s great about this flex room idea is you wouldn’t be disturbing other people in your home who are minding their own business.
- Reading Room or Home Library
Are you voracious readers at home? Do you like reading and hoarding books? If so, turning your flex room into a home library could be a great way to cultivate your hobby and encourage others to give reading a chance. This space could be a sanctuary from all the noise and the busy nature of the other rooms.
- Hobby or Collection Room
A flex room can also be turned into a place to display your collection, or a place to be immersed in your hobbies. For example, if you are a musician, this could be your music room where you can practice playing your instruments and write songs. It could also be a computer room where you can play computer games, edit videos, or record podcasts.
- Workshop Room
This is similar to a hobby room, but the activities can be messier. Hence, it needs its own room to maintain the cleanliness of the rest of the house. For example, you might be into woodworking, sculpting, or painting. You might also be into DIY projects that require an ample amount of space.
- Home Gym
For those who don’t have the luxury to go back and forth to the gym, having a gym right at home provides a practical setup. You no longer have to get in line to use certain gym equipment. You can do everything in your own terms and immediately proceed to the next order of business.
- Combination Room
One way of maximizing flex room space is to turn it into a combination room. For example, it can be a game room and a guest sleeping room at the same time. You just need to choose the right furniture and make the most out of the layout. This ensures that nothing is out of place and the room properly serves its purpose.
Flex Room Considerations
It is worth noting that while flex rooms can be turned into almost anything, it may not exactly be the best choice for every purpose. What does that mean? To illustrate, consider the following factors:
- Room Location: Where is the flex room located within the house? Workshops are best located near the kitchen, laundry, or the garage. Meanwhile, home offices and reading rooms would work well if they are enclosed and far away from common living spaces.
- Size and Layout: Is the room big enough for your intended usage? Is it a traditional square room or does it have corners and nooks?
- Decor: Of course, your room decor should match the room’s purpose. If the place is meant to be a living or sleeping space, make it feel as homely and comfortable as possible. If it’s a study room, then it should have an ambience that helps you keep your mind on the task at hand.
Make the Most Out of Your Home Spaces
How you use your flex room would all depend on your lifestyle and basic home needs. No matter which phase you are in life, a flex room can always provide the space to accommodate your life’s calling in the current moment. It’s all about knowing how to modify the available space to fit your requirements.