5 rules for creating flexible spaces

Article by Homes to Love

With ANZ, Homes to Love is exploring the ways we live now, under the theme of ‘Flexible Spaces’ – and how this trend allows us to live and build today.

Half a century ago, rooms in houses were tightly defined by function, strung out along a hallway and sharply divided into public and private zones. In the 21st century, the opposite is true: families have evolved and changed – and they go on changing. Accordingly, houses need to be able to adapt to their owners’ varied needs.

flexible living

A modern, flexible living area out the back of the home of architect Jack McKinney and Tracy Lunjevich that can be used for guest accommodation, a music room or studio.


The 5 rules:

  1. Build less but build better: a small house with clever spaces is better to live in than a house with redundant square metres.
  2. Be, um, flexible: sometimes the most beautiful spaces have no fixed purpose, as with Jack McKinney’s studio.
  3. Choose furniture that is light and easy to change around.
  4. Build cabinetry or bookshelves instead of walls. You might need a home office now, but will you later?
  5. Not every function needs its own room – maximise your use of space with similar purposes, such as den and spare room, or put a home office next to the kitchen.



Flexible spaces need clever planning to make them work. For example, the use of furniture that is light and easy to change around in the McKinney studio.


If you’re thinking about building, buying or renovating use the ANZ home loan calculator to work out how you can achieve it. Visit for more information.

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