With a fresh new year comes resolutions and excitement. One of the best ways to start the year is with a new or ‘feels-like-new’ space. Maybe your family room became a co-working office-meets-playroom in 2020, or your home office was transformed into a classroom. We pulled together some of our favorite ways to revamp a shared space.
Rearrange the furniture
Pulling furniture from a different room can update a space instantly and make a room more functional for shared activities. A small game table can become a homework station, and a comfortable chair can become a reading nook. The key to creating maintainable and organized spaces is to use storage you already have to suit your needs and lifestyle. A media cabinet can be the perfect spot for toy storage while a cocktail table with drawers works well for office supplies.
Declutter and deep clean
Beginning with a clean slate helps decrease anxiety and improve mental health. Our advice is to start small on a space that people use every day, like a drawer or a cupboard. Start by completely emptying the space to decide what you will keep and what you can let go. For drawers, we recommend measuring the space and purchasing dividers or inserts. Working in small sections decreases the risk of overwhelm and helps create focus on the task at hand. A tidy space helps with focus and clarity, and is helpful in shared spaces whether working from home or juggling homeschool with zoom meetings.
Individual storage spaces are the best way to help organize a multifunctional space. Storage can be hidden in built in cabinetry, with cubbies for each family member. A caddy with handles can be helpful for keeping kids’ school or art supplies. Kids like to move around. A caddy can move with them, and compartments mean no excuses at clean up time. If your dining room is acting as a school work station, you want to be able to put everything away and enjoy your home at the end of the day.
Create mini private spaces
Finding the perfect corner to call your own and furnishing it with your favorite things is a wonderful way to create harmony in your living space. For kids, a nook that feels like a secret hiding space is a win-win. A chaise lounge in the corner can be a relaxing space for reading. A writing desk in the corner of the room is a good spot for catching up on emails. Defining a unique space doesn’t require an entire room, but can create an area for reflection and creativity.
Add an accent wall
Wallpaper is a great way to add a pop of color, pattern and texture to a room. Wallcoverings add instant visual interest to a room, with a pattern, color, texture and style to suit any home. Graphic patterns are a fun statement for kids spaces and game rooms. Textures, like grass cloth or jute, can add a coastal and calming backdrop to any room. Vibrant colors and patterns are a fun and playful touch for a powder room.
Extend living space outdoors
Extending our living space outdoors is a great way to create another room with the benefits of fresh air and wide-open spaces. Designing an outdoor family room with comfortable seating means another part of the home can be used for hanging out, eating, home work time or just relaxing. Defining larger spaces with an outdoor area rug and cozy seating arrangement encourages conversations and gathering.
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Originally published in the January 2021 edition of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine