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Functional and Attractive Home Decor Is Doable: Here's How

by DecorMatters|Feb 20, 2024
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Peta Nind

The art of functional decor creates a balance between beauty and practicality. It’s about making your space work for your lifestyle and needs.

You may be decorating a family home and want to divide the living room into two for an entertainment center and kids' play area. Perhaps you live alone and want to use your second bedroom as your home office with furniture that transforms into a guest sleeping area. Whatever your plans, it can be done with functional interior design and some easy storage solutions. 

Consider Your Lifestyle and Needs

What do you need to create a visually beautiful interior design and functional aesthetic? What works for you may differ for another household, so you must consider form and function and how you will use each space. Start by listing activities and estimating how much time you spend in each room, working from there. 

You may host dinner parties or have friends over often and desire an open floor plan with lots of seating. You may have an extensive library of books yet still want a living room that functions as a space for family time, so hidden storage may work best for you. Designing for function means your activities determine the layout and decor pieces in your home. 

Functional Home Decor by Room

Once you have determined what you need in each room, you can start the fun process of decorating an aesthetic interior. Here are a few functional design and creative storage ideas for small spaces.


design for function in the bedroom with easy storage solutions

Kaylee DeCollibus

Ditch the traditional nightstand and install wooden boxes on the wall beside your bed. Store books and journals on the open shelving and use decorative storage boxes or containers to contain loose items stylishly. The top acts as a table surface for a lamp and your jewelry or glasses, while the space underneath can feature a basket filled with linens or additional pillows. 

Install a desk next to your bed if you have a bigger room. The area closest to your bed works as a nightstand, while the rest of the table is a vanity. Add a mirror and a comfortable armchair as functional items.  

Nail stylish hooks into the sides of your bedside table or dresser to display necklaces, bracelets, and scarves. It adds color and texture to your room and prevents your jewelry from getting tangled. 

Kids Bedroom

functional kids' room with storage for toys

Kid of the Village

Instead of a nightstand, build a tall storage tower next to your child’s bed or in between two beds if your kids share a room. You can display your prized possessions or artwork in the upper section. Use glass to showcase them.

The cabinets below can be used for storing books, toys, or frequently used items. Another creative storage option for linens and bedtime necessities is a headboard with a front panel that flips open. 

Look for multifunctional items like a speaker lantern that gives off a comforting glow and plays rain sounds or soothing music before bed. Ensure you use sleep expert-recommended light colors for sleeping, like red, yellow, or orange, to support your kids’ circadian rhythm and prevent sleep disruption. Speaker lights come in various shapes and sizes, from vintage-style flameless oil lamps to tall floor lamps. 

Home Office Turned Guest Room

functional home office with multifunctional furniture to save space


Do you live alone? You may know the ottoman storage trick for living spaces, but you can also use it for your office. It works as comfortable seating against a wall for reading, but you still have room for a bed to accommodate a guest when needed.

That’s the good thing about multifunctional furniture. They give you two pieces for the price of one while keeping your space looking sleek and stylish. 

Instead of a nightstand, place a blanket ladder to hold a spare throw for colder days for yourself and a space for extra linen or clothes for your guests when they stay over.  

Living Room 

functional living room design with space saving ideas for small spaces

Kirsten Ashley

Layer your lights for functional ambient lighting that makes the room visually inviting and warm. You can use a variation of sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, and space-saving wall lights. Consider adding dimmers to fit the lighting to any mood or occasion. 

If you’re among the 50% of people who love to have a celebration, console tables or bar carts can be an excellent entertainment option. Consoles have a slim profile that you can slide behind sofas or against walls. Use the surface for drinks and snacks and the bottom as extra storage with stylish wicker baskets.

Stock your bar cart with bottles, serving utensils and other cocktail accessories. You can also use it as a coffee station with cups, various teas and coffees, and a stylish water carafe. 

For a functional living room, use side tables and a dresser instead of a regular TV stand. You can store books, games, toys, and consoles in the drawers and put the TV on top with other decorative items like plants and vases. 


functional bathroom decor with storage solutions for small spaces

Chloe Griffin

Smaller bathrooms tend to feel crowded with blinds, curtains or shades draped over the window. Save space and add a pretty design element with peel-and-stick privacy film. Most block over 90% of UV rays while letting natural light filter through. When the light hits the film, it creates a beautiful rainbow effect. 

Save space by using a Lazy Susan in a vanity cabinet instead of storing toiletries in rows and stacks. If you have extra space on the sink vanity, get a two-tier tray to put your rings, glasses and contact lenses in before your shower. 

Make use of every inch of space with a toilet paper holder with a mini shelf. You can store extra tissue rolls or wipes or leave it free for people to put their cellphones on while they use the loo. You can also hide hooks behind the door to hang towels or gowns for a clean, clutter-free look in your bathroom. 

Maximize small bathroom space with mirrored cabinets above the toilet that reflect light to make your bathroom appear bigger. Choose a wall-to-wall mirror above the sink and install smaller ones on cabinet doors to expand the room. 


functional kitchen interior design with open shelving and storage

Christine Han

One of the best ways to make your kitchen or dining room functional and stylish is to incorporate open shelving, magnetic shelves, and hanging racks. You can use the hanging racks for cookware, cooking utensils, or dish towels. Magnetic shelves next to a fridge can hold paper towels and other miscellaneous items that need a home. 

Use creative storage options on open shelves, like glass jars and ceramic crocks for cookies, rice, tea, and other foods. Find a stylish storage bucket for cake servers, rolling pins, and spoons. Add charm and character with matching wooden hand-carved utensils. Bring out your fine china and vintage pieces for a decorative element in your functional and attractive kitchen. 

Store frequently used small kitchen appliances in an appliance garage. Install a pull-out drawer in one of your cabinets for easy access and less effort in returning things. This makes it easier to clean. 

Make Your Home Work for You

Functional decor makes your space work while also adding beauty and style. Every piece has a purpose while adding character and charm to your home, making it uniquely yours.

Why not bring your dream home to life with a touch of your personal story and lifestyle today? The DecorMatters home design app is your go-to for playing with space-saving ideas, mixing in decorative objects, and creating spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

Explore various layouts, furniture, and functional decor pieces to craft your dream home. Download DecorMatters today and start transforming your vision into a functional design that's uniquely yours.

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