A Room With Many Uses: How to Design (and Redesign) a Space Over Time

Dear Modsy,

I recently moved into a new home and have an extra room that I don’t quite know what to do with. My partner and I hope that it will eventually become our nursery, but that is a few years out. Right now we would love a home office, but we don’t want to invest a lot of time and money and have to start all over.

How can we design the space for our lives right now, knowing that we will likely need to change it up in a few years? Please help!

Sincerely,
Time-Traveling Home Designer

 

Dear Time-Traveler,

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that life is full of changes. We believe that designing your home shouldn’t be a one-and-done situation, but rather a process that can evolve over time and grow along with your lifestyle.

As your needs change over time, that one random room you used as a home office might transform itself into something new, like a nursery. And while this is exciting it can also be stressful. We can help make this process a little easier by planning for the future while designing for the present.

 

Step 1: Right Now

Start by designing the space you need right now, be that a craft room, a home gym, or an office space. If this is a space you plan to stay in, we recommend opting for a mix of investment pieces and items that get the job done for now.

Think about what will stay in the room long-term:

  • A rug… might seem like an easy place to cut costs, but a high-quality piece will last you years. If you’re planning have a rug in this space for a  think about investing in a high quality rug that can last over time.
  • Storage… is always in demand, so investing in a bookcase or other storage option is always a safe bet.

Think about what you just need right now:

  • A desk chair… might not be the place to invest if you’re planning to transform your home office into a new space in a few years. A great alternative option is to use a dining chair instead. Use it as an extra (matching) seat at the dinner table in a pinch, and easily return it to your dining room when you are ready to repurpose your office into something else.
  • Accessories… are always great ways to add personality to a space. If you plan on refreshing the space in a few years, opt for more budget-friendly finds that you won’t feel bad about swapping out when the time comes.

 

Step 2: Making Some Changes

Congratulations, it’s time to transform this space into a nursery for your little bundle of joy! Don’t sweat the details, we know that not everyone has the time or resources to completely start from scratch. That’s ok! Repurpose the investment pieces from your office and look for new pieces that will work beyond the baby days.

Here’s where to start:

  • A dresser… with a changing table topper is a great option if you are looking for pieces with longevity.
  • A crib… that converts into a toddler bed is also a great way to stretch your budget to cover more than a few months.

 

Step 3: Think Long-Term

Whether it’s a big kid room, a guest room, or back to an office, down the line you can still use the same investment pieces to transform the extra room into something else.

What to consider:

  • A Sofa Bed… is a great space-saving option that gives you the flexibility of using the extra room as a space for guests, but also lets you use it in other ways. Turn it into a craft room, a workout space, or even back into a home office, but quickly transform it back into a bedroom when guests visit or the kids come home for the holidays.
  • The Same Rug… that you invested in before. If you are deciding whether to skimp or splurge, think about how you will use the space. If this is a high-traffic area, maybe a cheaper option makes more sense in the short-term. If not, maybe spending a little extra now is the better option to save you more in the long-term.
  • That Dresser… without the changing table topper. Remove that piece and you are left with a quality dresser that will last you years. Great storage pieces, dressers can be used in many spaces, not just bedrooms. Consider repurposing it as storage for a craft room or guest space. You can even swap your credenza for a dresser in the living room.

However you decide to use this room, you now have some great pieces to use as the building blocks of any space.

 

 

Need a hand designing for now and later?

 

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