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Building in Flexibility

The COVID pandemic has changed how we live in our homes. The room with the best backdrop has become our Zoom meeting room, the dining or kitchen table may have become our office, the kids are attending school in bedrooms or dens, and the kitchen is once again the hard-working center of the home. For those fortunate enough to have retained their jobs and are working remotely, the pandemic is fueling a desire to improve or add space to adapt to the new reality at home. The question is: what will the reality be a year from now?

At Morse Constructions, we believe in building for the long term. A space created for today’s needs should be flexible enough to transition to a new purpose as the homeowners’ lives – and our world — evolve.

A Newton, MA client was thinking about flexibility even before we sat down with her. Working from designs from Maxwell Architects, she and her husband asked us to build an addition off of their dining room as a homework/arts and crafts/play space for their three daughters. “We wanted to leave the room an empty square box so it could be anything we wanted it to be,” says the homeowner. To maintain optimum flexibility, she used a removable storage system from The Container Store rather than built-in cabinetry.

When the pandemic hit, the room quickly transitioned to become a virtual school. Our client’s 10-year-old and eight-year-old twin daughters each have their own desk and workspace. “It was a real gift to have this space to accommodate them,” our client comments.

When the girls no longer need this space, our client envisions moving a third-floor home office and desks in the den into this sunny, first floor room. “Having children taught me that you can’t have static spaces. Children change constantly and spaces need to as well. You have to plan for flexibility,” she says.



As part of the renovation, Morse also tripled the size of the Newton home’s mudroom and created what the homeowner terms “cubby and storage heaven.” The mudroom currently corrals all the equipment associated with the girls’ passions for hockey and horses, but multi-purpose bins will enable the area to easily evolve to create storage for new passions.

For flexible spaces that can easily transition to new uses, consider

  • A room design that accommodates different types of furniture and layouts

  • Pocket or sliding doors to provide the option of opening space for entertaining or closing it off for privacy (glass doors are also a great way to create the feel of open space while allowing some privacy)

  • Storage that can be reconfigured for different purposes

Want to learn more? Please contact us to discuss your renovation project!

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