Does your room lack function? Here are 10 tips to make the best use of your space.
Most often when it comes to talking about function in a space people don’t say “I wish my living room was more functional.” What someone normally says is,
“I wish my living room was more organized, there is no place to put my kids’ toys.”
“It’s difficult to read in my home office it’s too dark.”
“There are stacks of mail and bills that just sit on the kitchen counter.”
If you have ever heard yourself saying statements like these then your space is lacking function. I understand this frustration and could definitely tell you about several areas that lack function in my home.
Sometimes to make a room more functional it involves knocking down walls, adding windows or doors, buying new furniture, adding built-ins or cabinets, etc. Although we have done bigger home projects like these often times we just need a quick and simple fix.
So when you aren’t in the market to knock down any walls or re-furniture a whole room this post will show you several simple and quick fixes to help your space.
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What is Function in Regards to a Space in Your Home?
Function is the most important part of designing a space. Function is simply the purpose of that space; what the space is used for. A bedroom is used for sleeping, an office for working on a computer and filing documents, a kitchen for prepping and preparing food and drinks for meals and for entertaining, a garage for parking cars and storing lawn products and power tools.
Function is the framework, foundation, the starting point to designing a space. Without function the mood, form, character of the space has no anchor or platform in which to stand or build upon. Function is the reason you have that space in the first place.
When you maximize a room’s function you create an area that is clean, comfortable, pretty, easy to use and maintain. Ultimately a space you love that you can’t wait to come home too.
How to Create More Function in a Space
You may notice that that some of these tips cross over so fixing one problem will actually solve many problems.
1. Use the Space for its Intended Purpose
A functional room starts with using the space for what it it was made for. Do you read and leave the mail on the kitchen table, pay bills or even work from home at the kitchen table? Is the kitchen island the catch all for your kids backpacks, your wallet/purse, keys? If that is the case then things like eating at the kitchen table/island become a challenge if the table is covered with paper, office supplies, etc. Keep the kids toys in their room, the craft and building supplies in the garage, the paperwork in the office. If you have to use the space for other than its intended purpose make sure to clean up the space immediately after use, at the end of day or before its needed to be used for its real purpose.
2. Use Appropriate Sizes and Amount of Furniture for an Efficient Layout
Too much furniture and decor can make a room feel overcrowded, cluttered and unsettled. Too little furniture can make a space feel empty, drab and lifeless. A well balanced room that makes the best use of the space will maximize a room’s function. Make every piece in your space count and don’t feel you have to make use of every square inch. Allow for some breathing room in between pieces and decor to keep walkways clear allowing for easy movement in, around and out of the space.
3. Multi – use Furniture
Selecting furniture that is versatile creates various uses for the space. For example an ottoman that is also used for storage, a two tiered coffee table to allow for storing items on the bottom shelf, a couch that is also a sofa sleeper, furniture that has drawers, a bar cart, etc.
4. Go Vertical
When you go up you maximize the space you have in a room; it gets stuff off of the floor and helps clears walkways. Get creative and make the best use of your wall space by using tall bookcases, cabinets or shelves. Mount baskets, bins or crates. Mount the TV and furniture such as TV consoles, nightstands, or a desk on the wall. Instead of using floor lamps use lighting that mounts to the wall or hangs from the ceiling.
5. Reduce Clutter
Having a cluttered space prevents you from being able to achieve maximum use of that space. If there are dirty dishes, kitchen supplies, or food items on the kitchen counter it will be a challenge to prepare and cook food. If there are piles of papers on the desk it makes it difficult to work from home or do the bills. Decluttering although it is another whole book of its own accord you can start by getting rid of items no longer in use, putting things away and in their proper place when you are finished with them and making a point to doing tasks as they come up and avoid putting them off.
6. Add Storage and Create a Storage System
I can create storage easily, but being able to locate that item when I need is usually the challenge. This is where having a system for your storage or a “method to the madness” comes into play and will create functional utopia. Group like items together and store them close to the area you will use them most. Make the best use of cabinets and shelves by using bins, baskets, crates, canisters to hold your stuff. Then add labels so it is easy to locate what you’re searching for.
7. Have a Place for Everything
I love the quote, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This quote so simple yet so profound has such an impact on the function of a space. When items have a designated place it alleviates clutter and confusion and promotes organization and communication. Create places for things by using bins, baskets, crates, drawers, cabinets, shelves, hooks, jars, etc. Once items have a designated spot it makes it easier to locate them and then make it a habit to return the item to its place.
Also consider who will be utilizing the space. Organizing a child’s room and developing good habits for putting toys away will be a different task altogether then having a filing system in an office utilized for adults. Overall this practice will keep areas tidy and clean and help develop good habits.
8. Store Items Where they will be Used
To be efficient in your space it is best to store items where you will use them most. Store bathroom items under the bathroom sink, cleaning supplies and linens in the linen closet, laundry detergent in the laundry room, etc. I am sure this seems obvious but to be even more specific and tactical think through your daily tasks and have those items stored close at hand. For example in a kitchen the pots, pans and pot holders are close to to the stove. Keep mixing bowls, mixer, measuring cups and spoons and baking ingredients close together and glasses close to the refrigerator for easy access to drinks, etc.
9. Keep the Area Clean and Create Pleasing Aesthetics
If an area is disorganized and cluttered I seem to have no problem contributing to the mess, but when something is clean and pretty there is an unspoken obligation to keep it looking this way and I seem to respect and honor that space more. To keep an area looking its best keep it clean, free of clutter, organized, use coordinating paint colors and decor and add your own personal touches. Use stylish baskets, bins, crate for storage and have a place for everything. Maintenance with staying on top of this will continue your love for the space even more.
10. Utilize Lighting Appropriately
Ensure that your space has the proper type and amount of lighting. The function of the room will determine how much lighting, type of lighting and the best location. Use brighter lights for tasks such as in the kitchen, home office, craft room. Dimmer lighting works in a living room or a bedroom for a more relaxed mood and atmosphere. When you’re designing the room’s layout leave room for table lamps, floor lamps, recessed lights, pendant lights, etc. In your lighting plan keep in mind the tasks that will occur in the room as well as the desired mood. Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST!
If any of these tips have helped you be sure to PIN it on Pinterest.
Start utilizing these 10 tips and let me know how your room is transformed in the comments below.
DREAM it, DO it,