A sociable home that thrives on flexible space


When designer, painter and piano teacher Justin showed us round his apartment, he explained that he likes every room to be multipurpose. "I sometimes eat at my kitchen bar or use it for snacks when I have friends round," says Justin. "It also doubles as a workstation. Every space is an opportunity to create and to share. If your home is flexible, it gives you so much more."

IKEA Ideas - A sociable home that thrives on flexible space

Justin’s home truths
My home is an 83m2 apartment in the centre of Guiyang. I work from home but it’s a sociable place too. I love to entertain friends.
Every space is versatile. I don’t want every room to have a clearly defined function. I like to have the freedom to do what I want where I want.
An organised home is important but so is a taste for life!
My kitchen is for everyone to use and enjoy. I enjoy cooking with friends so they are always welcome in there.
My dream is for an unfettered life – casual, creative and beautiful.

Create multifunctional zones

"I want my apartment to be a home without boundaries," says Justin. "My living room doubles as a dining room; it’s a place where I can relax and paint, but it’s also a place where I can hang out with friends."

Enjoy a themed colour scheme.

"Not many people would paint their walls black. But it’s a simple way to create a good backdrop to show off your things. A blank canvas doesn’t always have to be white."

Encourage a sociable spirit.

"I do everything I can to make my apartment feel relaxed, open and sociable. I want all my friends to think of my home as theirs."

Make lighting versatile.

"I like lighting that is flexible and functional so I can control the feel of a room or light up my art displays in different ways. It makes my apartment feel like an ever-changing gallery."


Open up your storage.

In a small kitchen, open storage saves space and makes it easy for everyone to find their way around. "I love that guests can see where everything is so they feel at home and help themselves," says Justin.

"I want a home where I can work, rest or eat in any room and a kitchen that’s open to visitors instead of being a private space."

Justin, designer, China

Set up a mobile studio.

"I like to paint in every room of the apartment. My painter’s trolley has wheels which make it easy to move and means I can work wherever the light or mood takes me – like a quiet corner, or out on the balcony."

Make the most of a hallway.

"I like to use every space so my hallway provides me with a handy corner for extra storage. I keep all my shoes in a shallow cabinet, which doesn’t take up too much room, and I have a hanging organizer for slippers that my guests can wear when they visit. My dog, Hero, also likes to eat his dinner here!"