Decorating a multifunctional space can be a little tricky, but if you do it correctly it can really yield great results. By designing a practical floor plan and using elements of good design, you can make your space not only feel bigger but work better as well. Begin by making sure that the space will do what you need by taking a moment to consider how you will be using the space. Will you use the living room like a family room, or is it a more formal space? Do you do a lot of entertaining, and do you want a television in the room? Will you need to keep your dishes and silverware in the room as well, and how does the traffic flow through the room?
Layout a Design
Next you will want to measure you room and draw an outline of your space on a piece of quarter inch graph paper. Make sure that your drawing is to scale, and once the outline of the room is laid out, get measurements of all of the furniture that is staying in the room. You can plot these on the graph paper as well and cut out your furniture shapes to plan your furniture layout. This is a much simpler way to decide on your furniture arrangement without having to move pieces around. As you are considering different furniture layouts, consider the different traffic patterns in the room. You can even draw lines connecting all of the doors on your floor plan. Then you can choose to arrange your furniture around the traffic patterns, or you can block some of the traffic patterns using large pieces of furniture.
Plan Efficient Storage
As you are deciding what to include in your space, try to make every piece of furniture count. If you can find furniture pieces that double as storage, then so much the better. Storage benches can double as seating and storage. Sideboards can be used for serving and storage. By adding casters to furniture, you can easily reconfigure your room. For example, you may want to have some chairs with casters so that you can use them easily in either space. If you find that you need a lot of additional seating, but only a couple of times a year, consider filling this need with folding chairs. That way you can design your space for your normal situation, and you can use folding chairs to accommodate the several times that you need a lot of extra seating.
Work with Color
You can use color to unite a space or to separate a space. By using neutrals you actually make your space feel larger and simply fade away. You can move walls farther away by lightening them and move walls closer by darkening them. As long as you stick to your color palette, you should be able to play with the tones of your colors without getting into any color. Make sure that your color palette includes at least one bold color that you can splash through the room to add some energy to the space.
As you are selecting pieces for your space, remember to consider the scale of everything that you put into your room. You can use a large piece of furniture as a focal point or a room divider, just remember not to crowd your space. If you choose a larger scale for the room, you will use fewer pieces of furniture in the room than you will if your scale is smaller. Edit you furniture selections and make sure that you do not get so tied up with function that you forget to leave enough space to move around in the room.
If you design a combined space well, it is like you remodeled and added an entire other room to your house. By paying close attention to how you plan to use the room, you can make the space both beautiful and functional.
Online contributing editor for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, Jessica Ackerman has great experience in decorating with home decor wall art to modern wall clocks .