Multi-functional spaces

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a second home for holidays, or you’re having extended family to stay over the summer, it pays to be able to ‘flex’ your interior set-up.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, you can’t move your walls in and out, but with some careful planning and lateral thinking you can accommodate more people room or space in your holiday home, without guests sitting on each others’ laps, or the floor.

Think about both ‘stretching’ your guest group across multiple spaces or rooms, as well as adding additional seating to fit more people into one room/space.


For example if you have an open plan kitchen/family room, can you extend the seating space out through bi-fold doors to the back garden?

On a beautiful sunny day you could have some people inside in the kitchen and others outside keeping an eye on the kids in the back garden.

By positioning the seating a certain way you can have a more sociable space from inside to out.

Create clear walkways and remove rugs or side tables if they are a potential trip hazard or pinch point.

Small, lightweight side tables or nests of tables can instantly create a new social zone and move easily in or out of the space as needed.

Can you create a semi-enclosed play area to be able to watch the kids indoors on a rainy day?

Using rugs, floor cushions or a teepee, positioned in the corner of an open plan space you can visually create a zone for them to play in.

For entertaining the kids on an indoors type of day, get an oilcloth table cloth with protector underneath so the kids can paint and scribble to their hearts’ content, without causing damage to the table. (Maybe move those upholstered chairs away, or ensure you buy ones in a ‘family-friendly’ fabric which will have built-in protection from stains.

Dining tables are generally about the same height as desks, and as many of us discovered during lock-downs, are a good space to set up a laptop, or homework space.

Consider the chairs you have here. You definitely won’t want a full-on office chair, but consider that a chair used for working for a few hours at a time will need to be comfortable.

Upholstered dining chairs, without arms are best for this, allowing comfort and the ability to pull in close to the table for typing at a keyboard.

How about dining for a larger group?

This is something we’re well used to thinking about at Christmas, and usually requires bringing in additional chairs and tables to extend the primary table, or if you have an extending table you’re all set to open it out. You can even get circular and glass extending tables as well as the traditional wood or contemporary ceramic surfaces.

And in summer we can extend the usable space outside. Perhaps have a buffet table for sauces, salads and burger buns inside if it’s sunny, and bring the dining table and chairs outside?

Throw a lovely table cloth on with a vase or pot of garden flowers for a relaxed summery feel and add outdoor cushions to a bench seat to accommodate extra visitors.

We hope this has given you some ideas on how to flex your home or holiday home to create multi-functional spaces.

Posted by Hayley Allen
6th July 2022

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