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Why multi-functional living is here to stay

Our houses are our havens but, with recent times calling for them to serve as home, office and social space combined, our tranquil, restful living spaces have been sorely tested. However, the truth is that even pre-pandemic, the way we live in our homes was changing.

Partly due to the gradual reduction of average house sizes, a preference for open-plan layouts was already well underway, replacing the traditional “one room, one use” approach as we sought to enhance space and flow. In turn, our desire for open-plan has evolved – thanks to the catalyst of Covid – into a need for more versatility and adaptability.

According to Ikea’s recent ‘Life at Home’ report, “60% of people agree that they have had to significantly change the way their home is organised to do the activities they wanted to.”

The many benefits of hybrid living

While we’d all love a dedicated home study, cinema room or games room, the reality is that many of us simply don’t have the space available. Enter multifunctional, or hybrid, living.

Truly multifunctional spaces offer many benefits to homeowners, chief among them being that, by having a room (or rooms) serve more than one purpose, you maximise space throughout the entire house without the need for costly extensions or conversions.

Not only this, but smart hybrid spaces allow you to cater for different needs, hobbies and interests with minimal fuss, offering more balance and wellbeing for the family as a whole.

“The activities we do for ourselves at home are particularly important for our wellbeing. They allow us to learn about ourselves, build our identities and engage in self-expression. Just over a quarter (26%) globally say that doing hobbies or personal projects is important for helping them maintain a sense of mental wellbeing at home.” Ikea’s 2021 “Life at Home” Report

In no way limited to large floorplans, clever multifunction is equally effective in smaller rooms, making the most of every available inch to add purpose and hide clutter. And best of all, increasing the flexibility of your home adds real value – not only to your family’s experience, but also to potential buyers should you decide to move on in the future.

Fitted furniture – the key to multifunctional living

Multifunctional spaces need multifunctional pieces. The real key to adding versatility to your home is choosing furniture that helps you compartmentalise your space – either by allowing more than one activity to occur at a time, or by letting you switch seamlessly from one use to another.

This kind of transformational furniture is illustrated beautifully by this stunning design from our Senior Designer, Jen Porter.

Home Office by day, stress-free sanctuary by night; our client asked for a study with a multifunctional purpose and Jen has delivered in true Neville Johnson style.

“The client wanted to go from laptop to conference call with ease, and then at the end of the day, relax to read under an illuminated area.” Jen Porter, Senior Designer, Neville Johnson

Maximising every inch

Even a small room can feel big if the space is well thought out. In Ikea’s “Balance Starts at Home” report, 28% of those surveyed said that space was one of the things that had grown the most in importance.

Without extending, the best way to create a sense of roominess is to ensure that you maximise every available inch, making the best use of both the floorplan and the ceiling height that you have available.

This is where our designers excel, and our bespoke furniture comes into its own. The beauty of choosing bespoke is that every element of it can be configured to work perfectly within the area you have available. For example, if you want to switch easily from work to rest, it’s important to ensure that the furniture doesn’t dominate and the desk itself doesn’t look too “office-y”.

In this beautiful room, Jen designed the cabinetry to wrap around, going high up the wall and over the door frames to save valuable floor space and make the room seem as big as possible.

Meanwhile, the desk, while expansive, is unobtrusive – with cabinetry in the same deep, restful tone for continuation and surfaced with a gorgeous dusted oak from our extensive choice of high quality wood finishes.

Colour lovers

It might seem tempting to shy away from bold colour in a small space, but don’t be afraid to be daring! Here, because the furniture has been carefully planned not to dominate the room, the homeowner was able to choose a colour-loving scheme that combines the deep, rich Charcoal finish of the cabinetry with a restful sage green and a brave pop of bright orange to stunning effect.

“The rich Charcoal painted finish adds a luxurious feel to the room and compliments to original Victorian period property perfectly.” Jen Porter, Senior Designer – Neville Johnson

Multifunctional living offers us flexibility, versatility and adaptability that greatly enhances how we experience life in our homes – and that’s why it’s here to stay! Why not discover how our expert designers could bring beautiful, bespoke multifunction to your home?

Book a free design consultation today, or request a Neville Johnson brochure for inspiration.

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Design visits are an opportunity for our designers to listen to your ideas, likes and dislikes and advise on the best way to unlock your home's potential. Whether your space is large, small or a little bit awkward, a design visit helps visualise the best solution that is unique to you and your home.

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“The craftsmanship is superb”

From the outset of our contract with Neville Johnson, we were supported with design choices, given expert advice and all deadlines were met. Everyone was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The craftsmanship is superb; our staircase is now an outstanding feature of our open plan lounge.

Judith Scorer, Stockport

“Utterly professional”

From the initial contact with the company to the completion and installation everything was utterly professional; we have no hesitation in recommending the company to anybody. We are so pleased, that Neville Johnson is returning to install a new staircase!

Mr and Mrs Thorpe, Radcliffe

“I cannot recommend this company enough”

I cannot recommend this company enough. From first contact we received very high quality service. We were informed as to everything that was going on, which was backed up by the necessary paperwork, plans and phone calls. The fitter was competent and the work he did we can’t fault.

Mrs K Holroyd, Wrexham

“Our new staircase looks fantastic”

Our new staircase looks fantastic. We’ve had lots of compliments and it has transformed our hallway. The whole experience was great from beginning to end, from discussing our requirements to the finished article.

Mr & Mrs Begbie, Hampshire

“Impressed by the whole process”

From contacting the company to the point where the cupboards were fitted I was impressed by the whole process. The initial salesperson that visited was knowledgeable and helpful. I would certainly use Neville Johnson again and highly recommend this company.

Mrs S. D, Lincolnshire

“The staircase has transformed our living space”

From our initial enquiry to the completion of our staircase, we have found all the members of the team at Neville Johnson to be very helpful, courteous and professional in all our dealings. The staircase has transformed our living space. We have been very impressed with this company from start to finish and would not hesitate to recommend them.

Pauline Treston, Northumberland

“Hugely admired by family and friends”

The room is transformed and has been hugely admired by family and friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive and courteous client care – everything went according to plan and nothing seemed too much trouble. They were in regular contact before and after the installation. I would highly recommend Neville Johnson to anyone wanting to transform a room.

Cherry Murdoch, London

“We would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation”

From the initial meeting with the senior designer to discuss our needs, to the surveyor and then the installer, we were extremely delighted with the end result. The installation process went without any problems. All the staff were very professional and we would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation.

Rosalind Tunnicliffe, Solihull

“I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone”

A real easy process, I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone. From the first phone call through to a very skilled fitter (who had to go above and beyond with our old house not having one straight line in it) it was all so easy. We couldn’t be happier that we chose to use Neville Johnson.

Richard Smith, Surrey

“Effortless from start to finish”

From the moment the brochure was delivered, I was optimistic that we were buying quality. I wasn’t disappointed. All contact made was courteous, polite and clear, with phone calls confirmed by email. In short, we’re really thrilled with our library and it was effortless from start to finish.

Alison Cole, Swinton

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