10 Creative Flex Room Ideas
You may have heard the term “flex room” before but may feel a little confused about what it actually means. What is a flex room, exactly? In short, it’s a space that can fulfill multiple needs. But the beauty of a true flex space is that even those purposes can change and grow over time. What is your nursery today can be your office space tomorrow. And if your job needs change, then perhaps your office can then be your music room. And if your hobbies change, maybe you can consider a library. If mom wants to come for a short-term visit, then the space can also be repurposed as a guest room. Flex room basics involve you being in touch with your space needs and what works best for you. For some helpful hints to guide you in the right direction, here are 10 creative and useful ideas that can help you create a flex space that suits your needs.
Creative Flex Room #1 – Your Home Office
In this sudden work-from-home era, perhaps the most common and practical use of flex space is the home office. Keep in mind that the term flex “room” doesn’t necessarily need to refer to a dedicated room. For many people, space is limited, and it’s necessary to craft flex space out of a room that doesn’t exist, by turning a nook, a corner or even a section of wall into a “room.” Your home office may simply be a dedicated space that you use to do your work. However, out of all the flex spaces, this is one where you might want more privacy to be able to work, video conference and make phone calls, so section it off as best you can with dividers, potted plants, furniture or shelving. If you plan to spend a good deal of time in your office, make sure you invest in comfortable chairs and aesthetics you feel are conducive to getting work done. If you have an extra room, using it as a home office is a worthwhile idea, instead of trying to position yourself in a type of open-air style.
Creative Flex Room #2 – Playroom or Study Area
If you have children or are planning to have children, create a flex space for kids. It’s likely that the nursery will become their bedroom, so having a place for them to play and learn as they grow is an optimal use for a flex space. When they’re younger, a playroom works well for honing skills, and many of these skills go beyond playing with toys. Envision a room with a small, indoor trampoline, bouncy balls and other things that enhance gross and fine motor skills. As kids age, this room can become a study area. Plan for flexing the room as they grow by having an open design playroom, which is more equipment-based than toy or furniture based. When it’s time to switch it to a study area, swapping in some light furniture, such as desks and chairs is no problem. Kids can help you pick which designs they’d like to keep or discard.
Creative Flex Room #3 – Flex for the Holidays
One of the better things about having flex spaces is the ability to blend flex spaces for the holiday. If you have multiple living rooms, you can blend these rooms together for an overall holiday feel. If you find your main living space too crowded with the Christmas tree or other holiday decorations, move it to the secondary living room, which gives you more space for celebrating with family. It also gives you more space around the tree to add special accents. Maybe this is the year for a Christmas train around the tree, or perhaps you can deck that entire room out in holiday spirit. Having a flex room around the holidays definitely has its perks. Another idea for a flex room around the holidays is making room for any visiting guests that may be coming. Before making a permanent purchase for a short-term need, consider renting your furniture. It’s a great, low cost, way to try out new furniture pieces and trends that you may want to incorporate throughout your home later on in the year.
Creative Flex Room #4 – Art or Music Studio
Whether it’s part of your career or it’s something you enjoy doing as a hobby, turning a flex room into an art or music studio is a terrific idea. Again, you don’t need an entire room, just a corner or nook to call your own. Set up an easel or sketchpad and chair and hone your craft. Or, you may find a pleasant corner by a window is a great place to create music and set up a guitar amp and a boom mic. If you’re thinking of dedicating an entire room, you can always consider soundproofing the walls for a music room, or creating a miniature art studio that’s all your own. Chalkboard-painted walls and other accents can add a personalized touch.
Creative Flex Room #5 – A Guest Room
Having a guest room is one of the perfect flex ideas because, when it’s not in use, there are so many other ideas to choose from. You can also have a guest room be an art studio, office, sewing room or one of many other different ideas. A room that has an extra bed is ideal for when family comes to visit — or maybe for just taking an afternoon nap. What’s best about a guest room is the fact that there are so many ideas for multipurpose use. Set up as a guest room, in case someone does drop in suddenly, but also use it for other things, such as storage, sewing, music, study or art. Make sure that your guest room is outfitted with all the necessities, such as fresh sheets and blankets, towels, a full-length mirror, alarm clock, tissues and toiletry basics.
Creative Flex Room #6 – Bar or Lounge Area
In a post-COVID world, having your own bar or lounge area really isn’t a bad idea at all. If you don’t imbibe, this idea can translate to a host of other ideas: Make this corner, nook or room a coffee nook, game room or entertainment center. Or, the space can be so flexible that you can enjoy your coffee in the morning and beers can flow for Monday Night Football on a large-screen TV. It’s your space, so you have full control over what to do with it. Of course, this space works best against a wall, so you can build your bar, whether you’re setting up wells for liquor, or espresso machines for coffee. Seating doesn’t have to be too complicated; several barstools work well against a small island or counter seating. If you have the room, lounge furniture offers a more comfortable atmosphere than typical bar seating. Depending on the type of setting you want to create, consider adding a pool table, darts or room for a buffet table if you want to hold get-togethers.
Creative Flex Room #7 – Storage Solutions
If you’re like many people, over time you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. While decluttering is big these days, there are some things you can’t get rid of, like your childhood keepsakes, holiday decorations or summer/winter clothes as you store them for a season. If you find that you don’t have room to store these in the basement, garage or other area of the house, perhaps your best flex idea is to have a storage room. This is a tough one, because you don’t want to walk in and immediately think, “ugh” when you see a row of boxes. To set up a storage room, find shelving that works for you and bins or other storage components that you like and meet your needs. Storage as decor (such as storage furniture) is also an option, depending on the number of items you need to store. Label everything, and set things up in a back-to-front manner. For example, you want your storage to be set up so that the next thing you need is in front. If those are window A/C units and your summer clothes, those should be in front, not in back. This way, you’re not digging through boxes every time you enter. Also, if there’s enough room, try to multipurpose part of the room if possible. Perhaps one corner can be a “second office” when the first office space isn’t available. This also helps you want to create order within this space, and not chaos.
Creative Flex Room #8 – Pet Playroom
There’s nothing cuter than a doggie or kitty playroom, and sometimes this can be a necessity if guests come over who are allergic to pet hair or your pet doesn’t do well with strangers or with young children. But don’t think of it as an isolation room — this should be a fun room that’s used often by your pet for play or comfort. For puppies, or even for kittens, this can also be a good, dedicated spot for the pet that isn’t housebroken yet. As they get older, set up the room with dog or cat beds, cat trees, toys and other fun items that your pet will enjoy.
Creative Flex Room #9 – Fitness Center
A home fitness center is another optimal choice in a post-COVID world. Not only does a home gym give you a place to work out where you don’t have to worry about wearing a mask, it offers you the flexibility to work out whenever you want. This is another type of flex room that doesn’t require a dedicated room .|If you’re only setting up one or two fitness machines, you can grab a corner of the house, or even the basement, and start exercising. If you have the space, add a few machines, including equipment for the kids, such as trampolines to get the whole family involved in getting fit. Think of adding weight balls, yoga mats and other equipment beyond fitness machines.
Creative Flex Room #10 – Reading Nook or Library
Many people like to grab a book and enjoy it in their favorite chair, but there’s also something about having a reading nook or library space that’s perfect for the book lover. This could be a coffee corner or reading nook. If you have a picture window or a nook where you’d like to improve the design, this is a wonderful idea. Adding bookcases or book shelving on either side with a built-in futon makes the ideal space. Add a touch of home remodeling or simply add several bookcases and a chaise or lounge to a corner of a room. Or, dedicate an entire room as your library. This is another flex idea that could be multi-purposed, should you want to add a coffee bar or other embellishment to the library.