Flex spaces in a home can be tailored to your personal preferences for how that space will be used. A common example is seeing a home that features a dining room off the front entry, but you don’t want a formal dining space in addition to the casual eating area, so you re-purpose that space as a den. That’s relatively easy, with no changes needed, except that you may add walls and a door for privacy.
Haskell - #42006_4 Bed, Den

Sometimes re-purposing rooms requires subtle floor plan modifications. Opting for a fourth bedroom in lieu of the den in the Haskell (plan #42006) deletes the larger linen closet to provide more private access for Bedroom 4.

​We want your home to work for how you live. That’s why we’ve labeled some rooms as “Flex Space” instead of a bedroom. At times, it can be difficult to envision something other than what is directly shown. But the power of a Flex Space let’s YOU envision how you want to utilize that space. Whether it is a natural space for an additional bedroom, home office, or craft space, you get to choose. Take the Connick Chase (plan #42465) with its 8’-6” closet and adjacent bathroom, the front room makes a natural bedroom. But we chose to label this as a Flex Room because our research told us doing so gave people the freedom to envision that space however they might want, such as a home office. 

Sometimes you will see the term “Bonus Room” on floor plans; often, these are spaces that could be finished off as living space if you desire. An example is Plan #55886, with a possible bonus room just off the entry from the garage, alongside the laundry room. Five steps down from the main floor, this location provides excellent privacy as a den or home office or could be left unfinished as storage.

When you see square footage called out for a bonus room as seen here on plan #55886 (143 sq. ft.), it's because that footage is not calculated in the home as originally designed; and if you were to have that space finished off, you would add that number to come up with “total finished square footage.”

Accessible unfinished space over a garage can make wonderful storage, especially if you are not building on a basement foundation. But finishing rooms over garages, affectionately referred to as “FROGs”, is another classic example of flex space. We’ve seen awesome home theaters, fitness rooms, and even delightful creative studios for writers and artists. But perhaps most common is to turn that flex space into a kids’ play area, especially when there is adequate sunlight!

The space over the garage in the Cedar Glen II (plan #42229V) was enhanced with a pair of VELUX® brand skylights, providing the natural light that makes this space an ideal playroom. Photo courtesy of VELUX.


Upstairs lofts are also common flex spaces. Due to their design, some plans’ loft spaces are more closed off and make for natural reading, study, or game spots; while some are open to living areas below. Prized for their flexibility, loft uses are sometimes limited by sound transfer between floors.

The Mariposa (plan #42237) is mostly closed off; thereby, limiting sound transfer from one area to another.

The loft space in the Gretna Mills (plan #42250) is open to sound from the entertaining area and vice versa, noise from the loft potentially interrupting conversation downstairs.

Some loft spaces can be reconfigured, as the Gretna Mills shows the option of a third bedroom in lieu of the loft space.

Fiala - #42281 Signature SpaceBecause flex spaces are critical to how you want to live in your home, some Design Basics’ home plans show a Signature Space® – literally, a small space that you can put your signature on! Among the more common uses are Pocket Offices, extra bathrooms, Pet Centers, and specialized storage such as a super-pantry. We’ve also seen these turned into safe rooms, wine rooms, and even a home elevator. The Signature Space’s location may further suggest possible uses. The Fiala (plan #42281) has a Signature Space just off the patio doors leading to the covered porch. Some homeowners, particularly households with pets and small children, prize such a space for coats, boots, pet sundries, etc., because of all the traffic to and from the back yard.

Ideal for corralling boots, coats, and gloves after building a snowman, a Signature Space near your backyard access is a handy space. Or do you have dogs? What a perfect spot for the Pet Center complete with shower for washing off those muddy paws!

Finally, some people prefer to convert outdoor living spaces into flex spaces. For example, the Palmer (plan #42057) has a covered porch that the buyer wanted to turn into an inspiration room. Windows lined two walls for connection with nature, a wall fountain added the sounds of gently falling waters, twin fireplace tubes anchored each end of the built-in bookcase, and there was a traditional work area as well as another, more comfortable chair plus table for storage and work surface.
Coming next week: Flexible spaces that serve multiple purposes.

Livability at a Glance™ is our proprietary color-coded floor plan system that highlights four different lenses especially important to women: Entertaining, De-stressing, Storing, and Flexible Living. Discover your Lifestyle Profile by taking our Livability at a Glance Quiz.

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Cover photo courtesy of VELUX.

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