When you strip away the labels of your home’s original floor plan, anything is possible. For instance, just because you have a designated dining room doesn’t mean it has to be reserved for special occasions, especially if it would benefit from a new identity.

While flex rooms are often found in new construction, anyone can tweak an existing footprint regardless of its initial intention. Even though our condo is close to 30 years old, it features a few rooms that can easily adapt to different situations.

In fact, the configurations I’ve seen in our neighborhood have shown that anything goes.

One area in particular has been everything from a dining room to a den. For us, it went from a guestroom to a bedroom over the years, while our new neighbors made theirs a home office space.

Since our home doesn’t include a designated dining room, we chose to dedicate a portion of the living room to serve this purpose and I’ve noticed we’re not the only ones. Eventually, we added a modest TV to the unique setup that might seem odd to others, but it fits our lifestyle and that’s what counts.

That spot has also become my favorite workspace because I like to be in the heart of the home as opposed to being tucked away in a spare bedroom. Instead, I gravitate toward the location with the best views and the most activity.

Anyone who wants to reinvent a room doesn’t have to wait to become an empty nester. That’s because it’s easy to get creative with what you have simply by considering your current and future needs.

For instance, if you have a growing family or a small business you’ll want to incorporate enough storage for at least the next few years. On the flip side, too much storage space can lead to clutter later down the line.

Sometimes all it takes is a flexible piece of furniture to redefine your room or divide it into different sections, making it a multifunctional space. For example, a decorative desk can occupy a corner of a rarely used living room, making it a regular destination.

The same can be said for a comfortable daybed in a multipurpose room that provides a place to sit, take a nap or accommodate overnight visitors. The best part is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

For the hub of the home, a kitchen table might be more adaptable for some than the typical kitchen island.

As for improving your current configurations, you don’t have to leave your dining room in the dark with the exception of the occasional holiday celebration. Take it for a test drive as a craft room or a place for casual entertaining like game night and other gatherings.

The truth is that you can make the most of any layout. For, it’s not the intended purpose of the room that matters, but your desire to create your dream space that counts.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

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