When you're dealing with a design dilemma, such as space constraints, a little visual inspiration always helps. However, connecting a pretty picture of someone else's home with your own problem area and potential solution can require words in addition to photos. Here are 8 good-looking and functional double-duty areas and a quick breakdown of why they're successful.
1. Despite including a workspace, this bedroom from Lonny keeps a tranquil look and feel by using a subdued white palette and an appropriately petite desk that doubles as a nightstand.
2. This living room has a secret: the colorful armoire hides a complete work station. The teal makes a fun statement with the undeniably large piece of furniture, and the doors close on any messes or piles (see it open here).
3. By positioning the biggest furniture pieces parallel to one another but facing the sofa away from the dining table, the combination living/dining room in Sara's DC apartment has clearly defined spaces but maintains a good flow.
4. This living room in this West Village apartment includes a work area that is set off from the couch and anchored by a dark wall. The color immediately distinguishes one area from the other.
5. Softer than divider furniture and better emphasizing the room's height, curtains provide separation and privacy between a bedroom and dining and living space in this Brooklyn studio.
6. By keeping the desk against the wall next to the couch, the living room in this Berlin apartment keeps space open in middle of the room for a child's play area.
7. This Ikea unit has the same separating effect as the curtains in Image 5, but it adds the storage that small spaces typically lack.
8. In this studio apartment, the angle of the sofa allows you to move easily into the living area. The upholstery complements the neutrals in the rest of the room, but the zebra print rug sets the sitting area apart.
MORE MULTIPURPOSE ROOMS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Small Space Solutions from Our Tours: Multipurpose Rooms that Work
• Work Around: Closets as Offices
• Slow Home Space Planning & Organization: The Living Room
(Images: 1. Lonny 2. Oh Happy Day 3. Nicole Crowder for Apartment Therapy 4. Apartment Therapy 5. Bob Martus and Jessica Weit for Design*Sponge 6. Freunde von Freunden 7. Queenie Takes Manhattan 8. Bethany Nauert for Apartment Therapy)