I don’t know about you guys, but if I had a room in my house for every activity I might carry on during day to day living I would have, well, A LOT of rooms. As much as I would love to have a dedicated “craft” room, I don’t. We would have needed at least two more bedrooms, not to mention several more zeros added to the cost of our home, in order for me to have a craft room. And, that’s just not gonna happen anytime soon. So, multi-purposing is a must. The kids’ art center in the corner of the family room, the crafts at the kitchen table, you know… okay, so I’m still trying to find the right balance. Here are some ideas on multi-purposing!
A Double-Duty Den for All Ages
Take the den, for instance. In most homes, this casual corner houses little more than a couch and a television. But with some creative resourcefulness and simple construction, a well-sized room can be transformed into a triple retreat: a playroom, study hall, and man cave in one. Here are the hard-working pieces needed to make it happen:
Leather storage ottoman: A centrally placed ottoman makes toy clean-up a breeze—just prop open the lid and play a round of baby-doll basketball (use only the unbreakables, please). When you’re ready to have the guys over, the ottoman can provide extra seating or be topped with a tray to hold drinks and snacks. Storage couches (they do exist!) and cushioned window seats with hinged lids are also multitasking winners.
Lidded LEGO table: Most LEGO tables don’t come with tops, but take the time to cut and paint a sheet of wood to fit, and you’ll cut out the time it takes to pick up those tiny blocks when the kids are done with their fun. Simply hide away their building bocks with a slip of the lid, and their play table instantly becomes your coffee table. If you’d rather show off your kids’ creations, use a sheet of Plexiglas as the top and make their designs part of your design.
Card table: A round wooden table tucked into a corner is a safe bet for little boys and girls to spread out art projects or homework and big boys to enjoy a poker night. Opt for one with drawers and divide the storage between the users, tucking away markers, glue, pencils, pens, tape, a ruler, and a calculator in one half and cards, dice, and chips in the other.
Hinged-top desk: While a hinged-top desk (think back to your elementary school days) can be tricky to find, if you’ve got some basic woodworking skills in your tool belt, you should be able to craft one (or retrofit one) fairly simply. Affix a corkboard sheet or thin ribbon board to the underside of the top so that, in its open position, the top becomes a pin-up spot for reminders and loose papers; a slim laptop can also be nestled inside the desk compartment for homework time. When it comes time for entertaining your pals, simply close the lid on the clutter and set up your bar and snack station on top.
Mini fridge: Depending on the day of the week, this cool convenience can hold juice boxes, water bottles, string cheese, veggie sticks, and yogurts for after-school brain fueling or beers, sodas, sandwiches, and chip dips for game-day snacking. Bonus points if you have a large cabinet in which to hide the appliance.
Balancing a small space between the needs of children and the desires of the home’s adult inhabitants is possible — it just takes creative use of furniture and a willingness to share.
Tim Eyre helps residential and business customers who use self storage when they don’t have enough storage space on their own property. Tim’s company – Extra Space Storage – has locations from coast to coast, including a self storage location in Chicago. Tim also blogs regularly about self storage related topics on the Extra Space Storage blog.
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