Many of ICI Homes’ floor plans come with what’s known as flex space or a bonus room. Whatever you call it, the home buyer decides its ultimate function and those choices can be endless.

Home offices, kids’ playrooms, craft rooms and home theaters all are examples of what you can do with your own flex space. Its usage depends on your household, your seasons of life, and the How to Design a Flexible Flex Spacelifestyles you lead.

So, what do you do when your flex space needs to make everyone happy?

You get creative. Here’re our tips to planning a flexible flex space.

Decide who’s using it

Maybe it’s a party of one — you.

If so, you don’t have to share. Since many of us live with at least one other person, however, let’s establish there are other members of the household under consideration here.

School-age children might need a place to do homework and play with friends. One or more adults may need a home office or to work from home.

Family fun and entertaining friends may be important. That makes a home theatre or man cave a must-have.

Decide how many activities it must accommodate

Once you know who’s using your flexible flex space, you’ll also know how to outfit it.

Small kids require kid-sized furniture or pieces that can grow with them. They’ll need a spot just for them, such as an easy-to-reach activity table and chairs.

A home office (usually) requires office equipment. This means printers, computer monitors, an adult-sized table or desk and ergonomically correct seating.

Entertainment spaces require that modern necessity, the giant TV with surround sound. A small refrigerator with a few cabinets and a sink is a great idea no matter who’s using the flex space.

Keep the decor neutral

Inviting friends over to watch the big game? You probably don’t want to do it in a room wallpapered by toddlers’ chalk drawings and accented by toys. Instead, designate an area where kids’ art-of-the-week can star, and toys can live in toy boxes or cubbies.

You also don’t want personal and professional business items on view for the world to see. Sensitive stuff should be stored in filing cabinets or lockable drawers. Don’t worry: office furniture and accouterments are stylish these days.

Consider solid, adjustable bookcases or shelves that corral everyone’s “stuff” in an attractive manner. Younger family members use bins, baskets or lower drawers. Adults claim the ones out of reach.

Think double-duty

This is a great way to be creative with your existing and/or future furniture. A freestanding table or desk can double as a buffet, bar, craft table and kids’ homework station.

Be sure to plan comfortable seating for everyone — bonus points if you choose upholstered pieces that can move in different configurations. And don’t forget equally shiftable ottomans, side tables and folding trays that serve as inanimate butlers.

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