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How to Create a Functional Home as a Busy Professional

Castlery|May 28, 2024

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, our homes are more than just roofs over our heads. It's a sanctuary, a place to recharge and refuel for the demanding world outside.

However, striking a balance between work demands and personal life can often feel like an uphill battle. Amidst the juggling act of deadlines, meetings, and commitments, creating a functional home becomes paramount. 

But what exactly does it mean to have a functional home, and how can you create a space that works for you?

What it means to have a functional home

A functional home is more than just a space filled with furniture and decor - it's a carefully curated environment that enhances efficiency, productivity, and overall well-being. 

Unlike mere aesthetic appeal, functionality emphasizes usability and practicality, ensuring that every aspect of the home serves a purpose and contributes to your daily life.

Having a functional home is also highly dependent on your lifestyle - what might be functional to others might not provide the same use to you. That said, let’s take a look at some ways you can create a functional space to thrive. 

Tips to create a functional home

Pick the easy-to-clean materials

Busy schedules often mean less time for cleaning. So, opt for easy-care materials so you can minimize cleaning time and maximize relaxation time.

Consider stain-resistant fabrics for furniture and upholstery like performance fabrics that repel liquids and are easy to spot clean. Leather furniture is also a good option, as it wipes clean easily (despite what many people think!).

A mother and child playing on a performance bouclé sofa.

Sofas like the Marlow Performance Bouclé L-Shape Sectional Sofa are spill- and stain- resistant, making them easy to clean up. Picture credits: @skylandish

A white dog lying down on a leather bumper chaise sectional sofa.

Leather sofas like the Isaac Leather Bumper Chaise Sectional Sofa are actually easy to clean as they are inherently resistant to dirt and liquid penetration. Picture credits: @mensweardog

A person sitting on a rounded chaise sectional sofa placed over a large wool area rug.

@weecheryl opted for a low-pile rug like the Desi Wool Area Rug as they are easy to clean. Also pictured: The Sacha Performance Bouclé Armchair, Peri Coffee Table, and Hamilton Round Chaise Sectional Sofa.

Washable rugs are also lifesavers in high-traffic areas. Look for low-pile rugs that can be tossed in the washing machine for easy cleaning and maintenance. 

For flooring, choose scratch-resistant surfaces like laminate or luxury vinyl plank (LVP). These materials can withstand daily wear and tear and are a breeze to clean up spills from. 

Recommended read: 5 Best Family-friendly Sofas for Busy Households

Opt for multi-functional furniture

In a modern world where space might come at a premium, a key to creating a functional home is having multi-functional furniture - not just because the word ‘functional’ is in there - but because it helps maximize space efficiently. 

For example, bedroom benches with storage not only provide a space to sit, but they also allow you to store bulky items out of sight.

Modular sofas are great for small spaces, rental units, or if you just want more flexibility when it comes to arranging your space.

Reclining armchairs can act as makeshift daybeds, and foldable tables help to make the most out of limited space in your balcony or kitchen.

A fabric recliner armchair placed on a rug with a marble side table beside it.

The Dean Performance Fabric Recliner Armchair has three adjustable angles for the ultimate lounging experience.

A bedroom bench with its lid opened to reveal storage space beneath.

The Freida Performance Bouclé Storage Bench doesn't only have ample storage, it's stain resistant upholstery means easy cleaning!

A curved modular sofa with a chaise sofa extension.

Modular sofas like the Fable Sofa Collection gives you flexibility to arrange your seating area freely.

Create an efficient entryway

Because the entryway is the first place you walk into when you’re home, it’s often the place where clutter easily accumulates. Letters from the mail thrown on the entryway table, shoes scattered about the doorway, and umbrellas tucked in a corner because there’s no space to keep them.

If this sounds like you - it’s time to dedicate a designated drop-zone in your entryway to tackle the everyday.

A sideboard with tambour doors used as a makeshift bar beside the entryway.

@lonefoxhome creates a vintage makeshift bar by the entrance with the Harper Sideboard.

A TV console with its cabinet doors open to reveal multiple pairs of shoes tucked away inside.

Take a look at how @homeyohmy uses the August TV Stand as a storage cabinet for shoes!

An acacia wood console table placed near the entrance of a home.

Made from solid acacia wood, the Seb Console Table is not only functional - it'll last a long time too.

Include hooks for bags and coats, sufficient shelves for all your shoes, and a designated spot for mail and keys. This prevents clutter from spreading throughout the house and streamlines the entrance. A stylish tray or basket can house loose items like sunglasses or everyday essentials.

If you live in a place with more than one season, have a mudroom for bulky winter wear or raincoats to keep them out of sight.

Place furniture strategically

Furniture layout can be a game-changer in the functionality of your home. Consider your lifestyle and flow of movement within each room to arrange furniture in a way that promotes ease of navigation and accessibility.

A home separated into designated living and dining rooms.

In an open concept layout, @7interiorarchitecture creates a space that makes the most sense for the homeowners. Pictured: The Marlow Performance Bouclé Chaise Sectional Sofa.

An open concept apartment showing a walkway, dining area, living room, and kitchen.

@d_craft_studio uses furniture placement to create zones in this home. Pictured: The Sloane Dining Set.

A round swivel chair and a white 3-seater sofa in a living room.

Once again, @omsweethomesg uses the Hamilton Round Performance Fabric Swivel Armchair and Dawson Sofa to create a dedicated zone.

For instance, if you work from home most of the time, consider placing your workstation in a well-lit area with minimal distractions to enhance focus and productivity. Similarly, create designated relaxation zones away from high-traffic areas to facilitate unwinding after a long day.

Recommended read: The Best Ways to Arrange Your Living Room Layout

Pay attention to lighting

Often overlooked, lighting is another key factor that contributes to a functional home. Pendant lights above kitchen islands and lamps on desks are perfect examples of introducing task lighting to promote concentration in workspaces.

For relaxation areas, opt for warm ambient lighting that fosters unwinding. Floor lamps with soft diffusers can create an inviting atmosphere, while recessed lighting can provide general illumination in a living room that also has a floor lamp in the corner for cozy evenings.

A living room with lots of sunlight passing through sheer curtains.

@edwardleefilms ensures ample natural sunlight into the living room, making it more welcoming and functional. Pictured: The Lucas Performance Bouclé Sofa, Paloma Bouclé Armchair, and Harper Sideboard.

An armchair placed beside a sideboard with a red lightbulb.

Using colored bulbs can create a more playful and fun vibe, just like in @foongfamilyflat living room. Pictured: The Paloma Bouclé Armchair.

A floor lamp switched on in the night to illuminate a living room with warm light.

Using warm lighting can create a cozy glow in the living room. Pictured: The Fable Performance Fabric Sofa.

Don’t forget about natural sunlight as well! Opt for sheer curtains in the living room and blackout curtains in the bedroom to allow the right amount of sunlight needed for different areas of your home. 

Recommended read: What’s The Best Lighting for Every Room in Your Home?

Creating a functional home is an investment in your well-being. By prioritizing space optimization, picking easy-clean materials, and incorporating smart design elements, you can create a haven that supports your busy lifestyle and allows you to thrive, both personally and professionally.

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