Young couple sitting on couch with a dog and cat

Non-traditional families are the new modern family, and they come in all shapes and sizes, so it makes sense that houses should be designed to accommodate them. Although traditionally a house includes several bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom or two, as well as some space for living and dining, contemporary properties are breaking the mold.

Here we take a look at some alternative ways to use your interior space. Whether you’re one of the many childless couples looking for fresh ways to use their home, or a non-traditional family that needs a non-traditional type of accommodation, we’ve got some great suggestions for you.

Repurposed Bedrooms

Who says that rooms on the first or second floor have to be bedrooms? Although it’s always nice to have a space available in case you have guests, what were traditionally “spare bedrooms” can be repurposed to serve a number of other functions.

Living Space Upstairs

Some non-traditional families choose to live upstairs, with sleeping rooms on the ground floor and space to entertain, cook, pursue hobbies or work up on the first floor. Depending on the structural constraints of your property, it may be easier (and cheaper) to arrange the layout of an upper floor, rather than attempting to remodel the ground floor.

A Home Office

It’s little surprise that many people are choosing to spend some (or all) of their working week at home. In these circumstances, having a room as a dedicated home office is invaluable.

Not only will you know where all your work-related materials are, having dedicated space enables workers to free themselves from the distractions that accompany work attempts in generic living space. A home office also provides a degree of privacy, which in many professions is essential.

A home office can be a repurposed bedroom or utilize space in what might have been another room altogether.

A Study

If you’ve always dreamed of whiling away the hours with a good book in your study, now’s your chance! A modern study isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to read, write, learn, or relax and enjoy the peace in the company of your favorite books.

Studies are also a great place to store and display your library, papers, magazines, and antiquities.

A Collector’s Room

Whether it’s stamps, oil lamps, teapots, or silverware, many people love to collect a particular item that gives them joy. One of the best things about having a collection is finding dedicated space to display it to its advantage. This is where a collector’s room comes in handy.

Delicate objects can be safely displayed in a collector’s room. It’s always a thrill opening the door to this special room and seeing your collection showcased in a dedicated space.

A Pet Room

Recent figures indicate that around 48 million households in the US own a dog (about 38% of the population), and nearly 32 million households own a cat (about 25% of the population).  What this means is that there are an awful lot of pet-centric homes out there!

For lots of pet owners, assigning a room as a “pet room” works really well. Not only can a pet’s belongings be stored in there, the room can also be made into a “play” space. Particularly if your pet has to be left to amuse themselves for an hour or two, whilst you’re out and about, a room full of toys and activities to keep them busy can be a good way to limit destructive behavior caused by boredom.

Floor surfacings, furniture, and wall decoration in the pet room can be chosen with a pet’s needs in mind. This should mean the room is easy to clean and allows pets freedom to use the space as they wish.

A Hobby or Work Room

Indoor hobbies tend to require a number of different tools and/or materials, as well as dedicated space to pursue them. If you’re an enthusiastic hobbyist and have a home that has spare space, a hobby room is a perfect solution.

Hobby rooms usually contain everything needed to pursue your chosen pastime. If necessary, it can be kept locked when not in use, ensuring pets don’t enter and accidentally cause damage to delicate model railways or other intricate crafts.

A hobby room can also be kitted out to ensure you’re able to pursue your hobby successfully. The addition of extra plug sockets, for example, or other fixtures needed to use specialist tools, can all be fitted into a hobby room, providing a customized space that’s exactly right for your needs.

For some hobbyists, a dedicated space adds to the sense of relaxation and escape they get from pursuing their passion.

A Home Gym

Not everybody wants to queue to use the cardio equipment during peak times. Nor to be forever wiping down the weights when someone else hasn’t cleaned up after themselves properly!

A home gym is a space you can make your own when it comes to working out. Everything you need to maintain and improve your fitness will be just a few steps from your bedroom. This helps remove the handy exercise avoidance excuses of “not enough time” or “the gym is too far away”.

Whether you choose to equip it with weights and a treadmill, for a conventional workout, or prefer a mat and a floor-to-ceiling window looking out into the garden, providing a tranquil space for yoga, tai chi, or mediation, the home gym can be tailored to meet your fitness needs.

There’s no such thing as a fixed-purpose room! Rooms can be designed for fluid use, with their purpose changing as time and circumstances dictate.

To find out more about living design options for child-free households and other non-traditional families, get in touch with the team at Budingen Architecture.