Over the last several years, we’ve seen a near constant evolution of the technology needs and desires of homeowners. One area we continue to see pop up across projects is the multi-purpose space. While the multi-purpose space may not have the same tech appeal for integrators at a dedicated hi-fi listening room or a Dolby Atmos Home Cinema, it represents a fantastic opportunity to get creative. Let’s dive into a few key pillars that can help guide the approach when designing a multi-purpose space.
Think Outside a Room’s Assigned Function
During the pandemic, how many dining rooms were repurposed as conference rooms? How many people with beautiful, open-plan homes retreated to “cloffices” to get a little privacy for remote work? Necessity is truly the mother of invention. Now, homeowners are primed to reconsider the rooms in their home: the functions they serve and if they meet their needs. Going through the discovery process with homeowners and asking the right questions can open the doors for new considerations. Perhaps your clients have a deep love of vinyl but have never considered that the awkward sitting area off their kitchen that collects shoes could be transformed into a listening space with some great in-wall speakers.
Consider Long-Term Needs
So often, it’s easy to forget that history isn’t destiny: a room’s use and purpose can evolve to fit the clients’ current lives. For example: if you don’t host dinner parties, maybe a dining room that seats 15 would be better utilized as a permanent home office. Consider these evolving, long term needs in your technology choices. For those spaces that will flex between home and office uses, incorporate components may be lesser known to your clients but will make a big impact on the usability of the space. For example: a high-end HDMI extender with KVM capabilities can reduce cord clutter while allowing a space to seamlessly transition from meeting room to family movie night.
Blurred Lines Can Work
Open concept homes have been popular for years, so the concept of letting the lines blur between spaces may not be new to your clients. That said, educating them about how technology can further enhance the spaces is a great way to help your clients make the most of every room.
Audio adds a heartbeat to the home – and while wireless audio products are praised for ease of use and set-up, there is no comparing a wireless system to one that has been strategically installed, wired and set up so that residents can enjoy the experience throughout blended spaces. Look for In-wall and in-ceiling products that create uniformity in sound. Some speakers even pull double duty as outdoor products, creating a seamless audioscape throughout all entertainment spaces, inside and out. We continue to see growth in the outdoor segment: You may be surprised at how these spaces are joining the ranks of multi-purpose spaces with more requests for outdoor-rated displays, shading and even connected landscape lighting.
There is a veritable treasure trove of solutions available. Homeowners just don’t always know what to ask for. Thinking creatively with multipurpose spaces requires everyone to think about the whole picture. What does day-to-day life look like in the home? What’s missing? What is a someday dream scenario? Asking these questions will ensure your clients have a space that works for them now and can grow with them in the future.