Inspire | 7 April 2022

Create Your Own Multi-Purpose Study & Activity Zone

by Carlisle Homes

A gamechanger in a busy family home. Here’s how to style your activity zone.

If you’re looking to get the most out of every space, an open-plan room that incorporates a casual lounge where the kids can relax or play, and a study area for homework time is one of the most popular options.

You can see a fantastic example in our Scarborough Grand 40 display home at Smiths Lane, which boasts a multi-functional lounge and study area in our stunning Nordic interior style. Read on for more how-to tips and to watch a short step-by-step video on how to recreate the look in your new Carlisle home.

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Make the most of your space! A multifunctional open-plan activity room can act as a casual lounge and study area. Featured here: Scarborough Grand, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.

Consider function

The first step when planning a multi-purpose room is to consider the layout and what activities you want it to be used for.

The lounge/study in our Scarborough Grand 40 display home is large and connects to the bedrooms. As well as being somewhere for the kids to relax and hang out with their friends, it also needs to foster a sense of calm when it comes to study time.

Our designers have created separate zones for the lounge and study areas, positioning them away from the thoroughfare so that people can move comfortably through to the bedrooms.

 The furniture you introduce should suit the room’s functions. Our designers have added a generous L-shaped sofa with deep seats in front of the television to create a comfortable spot for movie nights, and a space-saving, built-in desk at the rear of the room for homework time.

Smart zoning

A deft touch is required when decorating a dual-purpose room; you want the overall space to look cohesive, while at the same time delineating the individual zones.

The key is to be consistent with your colours and finishes but use them in different ways. In our display home, our designers have used a fun, graphic wallpaper to highlight the built-in study areas, but in the same earthy neutrals as the rest of the room so it feels connected.

You can also use rugs and room dividers to zone out the different functions in an open-plan room.

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Be consistent with colours and finishes throughout the room, but don’t be afraid to mix them up and use them in different ways. Featured here: Scarborough Grand, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.

Opt for bright, calming colours

With more than one activity happening at once, multi-purpose rooms can get busy. Look to minimise visual clutter so it feels comfortable and calm. The Nordic decorating theme, with its soft pastels, clean-lined furniture, and natural timber, sets the perfect, Zen-like mood.

Opt for light wall finishes and sheer linen curtains to make the room feel bright and spacious. Introduce touches of timber with your built-in desk and joinery to bring in some warmth. You can then soften the look with textured upholstery to your sofa, topped with a medley of cosy scatter cushions.

Open shelving is a classic feature in Scandinavian design; consider adding it above and around your built-in desk. Then decorate the shelves with organic-shaped vessels in tones of clay and white, and a few indoor plants. 

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Make your space exude a comforting feel by incorporating light wall finishes, sheer linen curtains, touches of timber, and textured upholstery. Featured here: Scarborough Grand, Smiths Lane Estate, Clyde North.

Make it comfortable

In a room such as a lounge that’s all about relaxation, make comfort a priority. Carpet feels soft and cosy underfoot and is a clever way to connect the space to any adjoining bedrooms.

Seek out generous sofas and armchairs with deep, comfortable seats. Dial-up the comfort factor further with scatter cushions in a range of different textures and complementary tones like a classic Cream, Rust, Olive or Slate Blue.

Ensure your desk chair is ergonomically designed and comfortable enough to allow for extended periods of study.

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When deciding on side and coffee tables, look for lightweight, easy-to-move tables that adapt to the room’s current function.

Use flexible furniture

Most likely, your multi-purpose room will be used in many different ways; as a retreat space for your children to read and relax, somewhere to play and spend time with friends, and as a quiet place to study. When it comes to pieces such as side tables and stools, seek out styles that can adapt to the room’s different functions.

Look for a lightweight, easy-to-move coffee table that can be repositioned to make more space for playdates, nesting side tables that can be used to pop nibbles and then stacked out of the way when not required, and storage ottomans on castors that give kids somewhere to put up their feet and store an extra blanket or two for sleepovers.

Follow these tips and you’ll create a space that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

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Pick up more styling tips in our step-by-step video here.

Come and see our Nordic-inspired study/activity zone for yourself at Scarborough Grand 40, our new display home at Smiths Lane in SE Melbourne.

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