If you don’t use a room for its original function, why not consider transforming it to serve a better purpose? This concept has become more popular than ever with the formal dining room. Think about your own home. When was the last time you used your formal dining room for a dinner? If you’re a dinner party host or hostess extraordinaire, this idea would not be for you. For others, it still may take some time getting used to thinking outside the box. In the end, the builder’s floor plan may designate the room for dining, but it’s up to you to assign a use for the space based on how your family lives.
The most common repurposing of a dining room is as an office, a library or a secondary living space. If you’ve thought to yourself how nice it would be to have one of these spaces, and you don’t really use your formal dining room anyway, here are some steps you can take to ensure the newly repurposed room becomes a showcase and doesn’t look like an afterthought.
Decide on the New Purpose
Carefully consider the way you live in your home and use the current rooms. Do you need a home office or a workspace? Are you lacking a great place to store your extensive collection of books, or have you always wanted a piano but just didn’t have room for it? Now think about that underused dining room. Will that space work for what you have in mind?
Consider Structural Changes
As always, the function of the room determines what you need in the space, so think about use and plan ahead accordingly. For example, storage is a big one. If you’re designing a library or home office, you may want to work with a cabinet maker to build bookcases or a desk storage system. You also need to think about lighting and electricity. Consider the layout of the new room and ensure that you have the proper type of lighting and access to power outlets in the right locations. And of course privacy is an important factor. If you’re creating a home office for your business, do you need doors for additional privacy?
Layer Decorative Elements
This is the part where you get to really have fun and infuse personality into your new space. Furniture, wall treatments (paint or otherwise), decorative lighting and window treatments all come into play to create the perfect environment. Consider how the look and feel of the room will coordinate with the nearby rooms. Select fabrics and colors that work with the overall decorative scheme of your home. Also, make the space functional with the correct layout and furniture plan. For instance, if you’re creating a movie room, how many seats will you need for your family and additional guests? And lastly, what other decorative elements will complete the look? You might want additional lighting or artwork. Because the room has special meaning to you since you’re creating it from something else, don’t hold back on doing what you want.