Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility
JENNIFER MORGAN,-INTERIORS EDITOR

FOR A FLEXIBLE SPACE THAT BALANCES WORK AND DOWNTIME, PLAN A MULTIFUNCTIONAL ROOM THAT WORKS HARD FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD

We demand a lot from our living rooms. No longer just for relaxation, it’s a space with many roles – often doubling up as a home office, a place to catch up with friends and even somewhere to eat. Added to that, our homes are also getting smaller and we’re moving more frequently. As we navigate these new ways to live, this central hub of our home needs to be many things – intuitive, functional, stylish and homely, with clever storage and smart technology. This multifunctional living room works hard, helping you achieve that all-important balance. 

Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility

SPACE TO FOCUS

Just as we multitask in our daily lives, a flexible living room needs to do the same. This open-plan space is a home office by day, thanks to a compact desk area, while at night it becomes a place to relax. Think about where you position your furniture, arranging your desk area behind your sofa if you can – this will make it easier to switch off at the end of your working day. 

If you want a room to work hard, then keep it simple. The more clean lines, the easier it is to live with

Fionnuala Johnston,-Partner & Senior Designer, Home Design Studio
Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility
Room for Family
Room for Flexibility
Room for Family
Room for Family

CREATE CLEAR ZONES

Start by compiling a list of what all the members of your household want to use the space for. If you need a quiet corner for enjoying a book, listening to music through headphones or using a laptop, then position a comfy chair, like the Vitra Eames RAR Rocking Chair next to a tall bookcase, using a circular rug to define floor space. Tired of eating on your lap? Choose a small round dining table, which can easily fit into a corner of the space. Lighting for each newly created zone is key, so look for simple table and floor lamps. 

This room reflects a new norm: one of houseshares, smaller homes and renting. We’re moving more frequently and leading more nomadic lifestyles

Elizabeth Slade,-Partner & Buyer, Upholstery
Room for Flexibility
Room for Family
Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility

HARD-WORKING FURNITURE

In a flexible living space, the furniture you choose is crucial. Look for compact pieces if space is tight, like our House by John Lewis Arlo sofa. Choosing pieces in the same finish – like oak – helps the space feel harmonious. If you’re renting and likely to be moving in the not-so-distant future, then go for freestanding pieces that you can take with you, for example our House by John Lewis Dice range. Shelving under a coffee table is great for storage, while baskets are good for throws. Curved shapes, like the round edges of a side table or the soft corners of the Grayson sideboard, will also help the space to flow.

Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility
Room for Flexibility

PLAY WITH TEXTURE

Soften a hard-working space with plenty of texture – look for interesting woven fabrics and super-soft wools. Maintain a sense of calm and order by opting for shades of navy, grey and other neutrals in place of bold colour or pattern. Meanwhile, accessories in oak can be worked through the room in place of a bold accent colour.

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