FOR A FLEXIBLE SPACE THAT BALANCES WORK AND DOWNTIME, PLAN A MULTIFUNCTIONAL ROOM TO WORK 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.
CHOOSE CLEVER FURNITURE
In a flexible living space, the furniture you choose is important. Be clever with a sofa that converts into a bed easily, without compromising on style. Meanwhile, hidden storage pieces like our Bobbin Footstool are perfect for hiding bed linen when not needed.
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, like our House by John Lewis Dice range. Choose a round dining table, which can be fitted into a corner in a compact kitchen area, as well as low-level occasional furniture, such as tables and pouffes, which are easy to move around when friends come over.
“This room feels relaxed, even though there’s lots going on”
WORK THE SPACE HARD
Just as we multitask in our daily lives, we need our living rooms 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 next to the front door where it can double up as a console. Extra bonus points if you can pop it behind a sofa – this will make it easier to switch off at the end of your working day.
Max out your storage with a tall shelving unit, fitted neatly into a corner or alcove. Choose a colourful one, especially if you’re renting and unable to decorate the walls. Stack it with books and houseplants, which are great for giving a space life.
“Working from home has become discreet and portable, with a laptop that can be used at a desk or sofa”
FLEX FOR FRIENDS
Look at where friends congregate when they come over, and add rugs, pouffes and cushions to those areas. Even the smallest of living rooms can accomodate a grazing table or large tray of snacks and sharing plates.
Be clever with the space you have, using baskets and wall caddies as storage on otherwise redundant wall areas. Use them to store cutlery, napkins and other essentials to save on valuable drawer space in a small kitchen.
“It’s time to reinvent pastels – try mauve, lilac and dusky green for a contemporary look”
CALM THE SCHEME
In a busy space, go for a softer palette for your accessories, such as mauve, dusky green, blue and lilac – all of which work brilliantly with grey. Sarah O’Sullivan, Partner & Designer, Home Design Studio, explains: ‘A softer palette gives more fluidity in a flexible space.’ Work the colours throughout the space, using them for cushions, throws, furniture, spare bed linen and even crockery.