Every homeowner grapples with trying to make their home feel beautiful without sacrificing function in their spaces. But while you can get decor inspiration from everywhere from Pinterest to wandering the home aisles at Target, achieving function can be difficult because it's not as simple as following the trends of the seasons. Functional design must be personalized to the individual needs of the household, so what works for some may not work for others.
Magnolia Network's Fariha Nasir believes function and pleasing aesthetics can live simultaneously. "Letting the space guide the design is a very important thing," she told House Digest in an exclusive interview. "Walking into a space, seeing what the homeowners want out of it, and then letting the shape and the light and the size of the room direct the rest of the decisions is really important."
Nasir recommends allowing the features of your home to help inform your design and storage decisions, whether a room has to pull double duty or you're wanting to make a space more usable. During our conversation, she shared tips that can help any homeowner make it work.
Unless you live in a very large home, there is a good chance that some of your rooms are going to have to play double duty, since it's difficult for every hobby, interest, and activity to have its own dedicated space. Still, these rooms and functions can flow seamlessly.
"I see that so often now with people working from home more often — rooms having to perform multiple functions," Fariha Nasir explained. "Keeping the rest of the design of the house in mind is really important because, especially if it's an open space, [you have to make] sure that that room doesn't clash with the rest of the house, the design flows together, and to minimize clutter and unsightly objects like gym equipment, [which] isn't necessarily the prettiest to look at."
When it comes to making a space work, you might have to get creative with concealment. "Figur[e] out ways to conceal things that aren't pleasing to the eye and mak[e] them appear beautiful from the outside." For example, on an episode of "Problem Spaces," Nasir creates a cabinet that hides an exercise bike when it's not in use. "Hav[e] things be dual purpose, like the cabinet, for example, that hides the bike in the office. It's something that's functional, but it still works as a home office and it also functions just as well as a gym when the homeowner needs to get their exercise in," she said.
Storage is essential for making your home more functional — but Fariha Nasir recommends being strategic about what you use for storage. Consider alternatives to shelves that can quickly look messy.
"A lot of people think open shelving is a great way to use wall space, but in the case of a multipurpose room, where you have kids' toys and you have office supplies and you still want it to look presentable and beautiful, cabinets that are not glass, cabinets that you can hide things in using baskets or bins and containers that eliminate that visual clutter [are] a great way to maximize functionality in a space and still have it look beautiful," Nasir said.
She also suggests using decor to help hide all the little things that are difficult to keep organized rather than constantly stressing about clutter. "Instead of putting toys or office supplies out in the open on open shelving or [in] a glass cabinet, homeowners can try using cabinets with a shutoff cabinet, like a traditional cabinet, or baskets that have tops or cubbies that can organize and declutter at the same time," she said.
"Problem Spaces" airs on Magnolia Network on Saturdays at 1 p.m. ET.