Designing rooms that serve double duty without looking that way can be a challenge. Whether the room needs to be a bedroom by day, art studio by night or a dining room slash home office–it can seem impossible to put together a room that meets your needs, your budget and your style. Read on to see how we transformed our multi-function room and and pick up a few hacks for designing your own.

Multi-Function Room Design

Like all of my interior designs, this one started by identifying exactly what functions the room needs to serve. They are:

  1. Home Office – I work and blog in this room and, at times, invite clients here.
  2. Gym – Hubs and I needed enough of room to workout (ideally at the same time)
  3. Guest Room – An additional area where someone could sleep
  4. Greenhouse – Room for my succulents (since they live in this room every winter)

This is what the room looked like empty and pre-paint job.

multi-function room before

And this is how it looks now.

tribal home office lounge

Room Function One: Home Office

This room had always been oriented with my desk directly in-front of one of the windows. To make the most of the space we had, I decided to tuck the desk into the back nook of the room. In addition to giving me a place to work – it also opened up the rest of the floorplan for other functions and opened up the windows for the plants. My favorite part of this space is the large campaign desk. To make the most of it, I added two chairs so my husband, or client, can join me at the work space.

I found these faux leather dining chairs on Wayfair. I love the look of them and they were inexpensive.

Room Function Two: Gym

Even before the 3rd bedroom in our home was an office, it was a gym. Our key equipment: television, DVDs, free weights, etc. needed to stay in the room, but needed to not look like a home gym either. Since this room would need to easily transition for clients or guests, I new we’d want to have a solve for storing the equipment away tastefully.

home gym To solve for this challenge I accepted the inevitable–I had to clean and organize the room’s closet.

home office gym storage I decided to make the most of the little space by giving it an unexpected update. Using some left over Chelsea Gray paint, rugs and baskets we already had and some inexpensive shelving units this space now feels like something more special than a small storage closet. What do you think?

organized home office closet

Room Function Three: Guest Room

Our guest room is next door to this room and is typically enough for any visiting guests. We do have a growing family with our niece and nephew so wanted to have an option for when we have a full house. Keeping in mind that extra guests would need somewhere to sleep and any guests would need somewhere to hang out, we decided to create a lounge area in the main space of the room. By bringing in a sofa and accent chair, we were able to keep the room open enough for workouts or an air mattress, or just a comfortable couch for one.

Speaking of couch, you can see the disaster that was trying put our white sectional in this room by checking out this post.

couch We also gave the inexpensive IKEA sofa a facelift by adding modern wooden legs.Talk about an upgrade! I love how this turned out.

changing the legs on IKEA sofa

Room Function Four: Greenhouse

I also love the look of my plants indoors, but the only time of year that they are inside is if it is too cold for them in their normal outdoor home. This room gets amazing sunlight so every winter, it becomes home to my ever-growing collection of succulents and cacti. To help them survive, I needed to make sure the window spaces were used primarily for plants, without feeling that way.

indoor plant storage

The other consideration, and this is a big one, is that they plants still need to be watered. While it’s true that they get less H2O in the cooler months, I still needed to account for the surface being water friendly. Shelves were an obvious solve for storage, but to keep them water-damage free I decided glass was the way to go. Tip: Glass shelves provide the added bonus that the shelves let through all available light and help the space feel open.

ikea shelf styling

I also used decorative place mats for wood services that have plants.

cactus holder

Overall, we couldn’t be happier with the way this room came together. It’s become one of our favorite places to hang out, which was an unexpected bonus of the redesign. What to you think of the space? Leave me a comment below!

Home Office Decor Sources

Paint Color – Benjiman Moore, White Dove
Sofa – Ikea Norsborg Sofa
Sofa Legs – Covet Modern Design, Etsy
Mud Cloth Pillows – lsshabby treasures,  Etsy
‘Spider Rock’ Wool Throw – Penndeleton Wool
Faux Sheepskin Pelt – TJ Maxx
Accent Chair – Coral Springs Armchair by Langley Street, Wayfair
Hair-pin Table, handmade by @sawdustandsandpaper
Campaign Desk, Cost Plus World Market
Geometric Rug – Cost Plus World Market, limited run
Desk Chairs – Alary Faux Leather Modern Side Chair, Wayfair 
Desk Lamp – Barometer Work Lamp, Ikea
Tribal Basket – Varnish and Vine
Woven placemats, TJ Maxx
Shelving Unit – VITTSJÖ, Ikea
Mid-Century TV Stand – Kudzu Antiques
Gold Plant Mister – Urban Outfitters
Olive-wood Bowl – Homegoods
Distressed Terra Cotta Pots – DIY, full details here
Industrial Shelf – DIY, full details here
White Artwork Frames – RIBBA Ikea

Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants
The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes
Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

-Concert Posters – Hatch Show Print
-Taxidermy Moths – Kudzu Antiques
-Bohemian Skull – Google
-Tribal pattern on wood by Abbey Fitz Lady Stardust Design, Etsy
-‘Dreaming Elemental’ by Brian MacGregor 


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