How to Design a Multipurpose Tiny Living Room

My friend Kaitlynn recently reached out for a multipurpose tiny living room design! I was thrilled to get to work, especially after seeing the cute doorways (what can I say, I love doorways?!) and easy to work with space!

Before I dive in however, I must add a sweet preface. Kaitlynn and I grew up together from tiny kindergartners, running the neighborhood in our princess dresses, to high school graduates! We also both have little, crazy, cute boys around the same age.

So I totally understand her need for a functional multipurpose living room design.

cox's living room makeover

To begin our design process, I gave Kaitlynn my multipurpose room checklist. The goal is to assess what your room needs to do to properly fulfill your lifestyle.

multipurpose room checklist 

Kaitlyn’s living room needed to do the following:

  • Hosting
  • Playing
  • Relaxing
  • Exercising
  • TV watching
  • Folding laundry

When asked what is currently missing in her living room she answered:

  • Cohesive style
  • Visual space
  • Brightness
  • Storage
  • Natural flow

After taking the style portion of my survey I found Kaitlynn liked a mix of these styles:

  • Modern bohemian
  • Minimal shabby chic
  • Rustic beach house

Now that we had all the necessary information it was time to start designing this multipurpose tiny living room!

Step one: Gather inspiration!

My first stop is always Wayfair for the biggest selection and ideas.

accent chairDerryaghy Armchair // More Accent Chairsfloor lampRomanza Tripod Floor Lamp // More Floor Lampsflugh mountFlower Hill Flush Mount // More Flush Mounts
storage benchOpen-Top Wood Storage Bench // More Benchesthrow blanketHardwick Chunky Throw // More Blankets & ThrowssofaStoughton Sofa // More Sofas
flush mountRancho Cordova Flush Mount // More Rustic Flush Mountsbarrel chairLiam Barrel Chair // More Barrel ChairsbasketDeacon Wicker/Rattan Basket // More Storage Container
end tableMaja End Table // More End & Side Tablesarea rugMahn Tribal Blue Area Rug // More Area Rugsarea rugPeoples Blue/Beige Area Rug // More Area Rugs
coffee tableWitham Coffee Table // More Coffee Tableswall clockCoastal Wall Clock // More Home Decorside tableBluxome End Table // More End & Side Tables
toddler table setModern Kids Writing Table // More Kids Table & Chair Setshall treeFlatiron Hall Tree // More Hall Treesstorage benchWarwickshire Wood Storage Bench // More Wooden Benches

Step two: Sketch out a floor plan.

The living room currently has a large sectional against one long wall. In order to make it a multipurpose space I worked off a few ideas and came up with this!

The Living Room Plan:

Break the room into three areas: A cozy TV area, a small play or yoga area, and an entry nook. You can see a similar idea in one of our past houses that had an awkwardly long living room space.

Anchor the television area with a rug and coffee table.

Use a sofa and two small arm chairs to provide flexibility for hosting and add interest to the space. If they chose a sleeper sofa, this room could transform into last minute guest quarters too!

Add one to two floor lamps on either side of the TV stand for atmosphere. The rest of the room has two large windows and opens into the kitchen via a large open doorway which provide great natural light.

For the TV stand, guess what I have proposed? You know it! My favorite DIY Ikea floating sideboard! It would add much needed visual space for this small room and make the space look modern and fancy!

Create obvious flow and more visual space by leaving the kitchen side of the room open with only picture frames on the wall. This allows a perfect flow from the front door, past the kitchen, and into the back bedrooms without hindrance.

Simulate higher ceilings by adding floor to ceiling floating shelves and high mounted white curtains on the large bay windows.

Create an entryway with a shoe bench, coat rack, and catch all right next to the front door.

cox's living room makeover

Step three: Create three mood boards to narrow down style preferences.

*** You can find all the links to furnishings below on this Wayfair Idea Board! ***

My first board was neutral with a pop of mint. Are you more relaxed in a neutral room? This is a good example of mixing shabby chic with a bit of the beach house vibe. 

cox's living room makeover

Next I presented a rich room with mid century modern furnishings and industrial elements. The color scheme is still very neutral, but the warm wood tones draw the eyes from piece to piece.

On another note, I’m a firm believer in the Ikea Kallax as an amazing, inexpensive storage solution! Literally– my son has two in his room! 

cox's living room makeover

Lastly I made them a more colorful rustic beach house color scheme with navy accents. 

cox's living room makeover

Kaitlynn got back to me with her selection of favorite pieces and I’ve combined them below! I love how you can take three different styles and make a room that fits your personality all the while maintaining a cohesive look! 

A highlight during my design process is when my clients start finding their style in other people’s homes and share it with me. Kaitlynn and her husband noted that they really loved the look of a gray couch with a pop of color.

Finding an accent color you love will bring life to a room! Coral is always one of my favorites!

cox's living room makeover

I can’t wait to see this room head towards completion this next month!

*This post may contain affiliate links to products I use and love. Read more on my FAQ page.*

Petite Modern Life

Petite Modern Life

I'm Karisa. I live just outside of Seattle with my husband Michael {Mr. G}, our two cats, Rue and Archimedes, and our new Australian Shepherd pup in crime, Moose. We are do-it-yourself enthusiasts. I'm the dreamer, he's the strategist, and teamed up we get it done. In January 2014 we purchased our first house! The many adventures of remodeling, decorating, and inevitable redecorating will be documented here. I was born and raised in the PNW & I love the PNW life. Mountains, lakes, rivers, ocean, trees, rain, and sun: every sight & season has its own flavor & tune. It inspires in me activity, coziness, and sprees of creativity. I'm rather obsessed with white paint, natural light, homemade pizza, and a glass of red wine.

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