What’s the top thing you look for when shopping for a home? For many people, the answer is, “something that will grow with us.” You might be planning to start or add to your family, or perhaps you’re anticipating the kids going off to college in a few years.
You may have heard that flex space can help accommodate your changing needs over the years without requiring you to uproot your lives and move into a new house. But what is flex space, and how can it help you? Flex space is just what it sounds like: flexible square footage in your home that can be used for whatever you need. It can change with your needs over the years, or even serve two purposes at once.
How Flex Space Serves You
Flex space can be anything from a little nook or alcove, to an entirely separate room or even a basement. This space is specifically designed to work for almost anything you might need. An open area on the second floor might serve as a:
- Home office
- Craft room
- Workout space
Open space in a finished basement could be used as a:
- Media room
- Rec room
- Workout area
- Hobby room
Enclosed rooms can be flex space too, as a:
- Guest room
- Home office
- Craft room
The beauty of flex space is that it can change with your family to serve your needs, often with only minor changes to the room. Flexible fixtures and plenty of storage will ensure that the space can be used for a variety of uses over the years.
Two Birds with One Stone
Another feature of flex space can be is that it can frequently meet two or more needs at once, making the most of your square footage. Here are some popular two-in-one uses for flex space:
- Office + Guest Bedroom. Your home office or library can easily serve as a guest bedroom when you have friends or relatives in town. A day bed, Murphy bed, sofa bed or futon provides guest sleeping quarters, but folds away to conceal the room’s dual purpose when you have no one visiting.
- Play Room + Media Room. Built-ins perfectly enable a rec room or finished basement to do double duty as a kids’ playroom during the day, and a media room in the evening. Cupboards, shelves and drawers enable toys to be put away at day’s end, freeing the space for movie watching or family game night.
- Mud Room + Laundry Room. Another popular combination is the entryway, usually off the garage, that doubles as both a laundry room and a mudroom, usually with a utility sink and adequate space for dropping off wet or dirty clothes, kenneling a wet dog or leaving out wet athletic equipment to dry. Built-in storage provides space for shoes, coats, gym bags and anything else you might need.
Flex space is becoming more common in new and remodeled homes; builders and homeowners alike have realized the value of including these spaces in the floor plan. With flex space, you’ll no longer feel like you have to “level up” to a bigger house as your family grows or downsize to a smaller house when the kids have moved out. Your flex space can flow naturally over the years between a nursery, kids’ room, playroom, craft room, home office and guest room as you transform it into exactly what you need, when you need it.