3 Multi-Use Residential Design Trends to Inspire Your Next Project

The residential world is experiencing a multi-use renaissance as the endemic period of the pandemic brings in the idea of hybrid functions to the home space. As people emerge from homebound isolation spent working from home, attending school online, and periods of downtime spent browsing Pinterest boards, their over-exposure to internet and social media trends has led to a mixture of design trends within each space of the home. This post-pandemic phase creates exciting opportunities for residential designers and their customers searching for design inspiration that opens up novel uses of more traditional rooms – for example, an area of a kitchen that doubles as a functional study station and as a place to prepare or serve meals. Just in time for the back-to-school season, here are three of the latest post-pandemic homework zone trends we’re seeing right now.

Double kitchen islands create spaces for the entire family

Kitchen islands as workspaces are nothing new. We’ve been seeing the single island in this space for a long time now. When you have a large, open culinary paradise, like the room in the photo above, two islands are always better than one, especially when there’s enough storage for homework supplies, art supplies, and cooking supplies in drawers on either island. Parents can cook meals while the kids do homework, draw, or color at the second island. Moreover, unlike permanent, dedicated use areas of the past, a second island allows homeowners to simply put books and pencils away and add candles, nibbles, and wine to entertain guests.

To create the kitchen in the image above, Wilsonart® designers used Solid Surface in Metro Concrete to create the carved waterfall countertop on the main island. The hard surface is ideal for both vertical and horizontal surfaces and made of materials perfect for a variety of fabrication techniques and specialized applications. Choose from stone and woodgrain-inspired designs and a huge variety of colors. The second homework zone island employs Wilsonart Solid Surface in Ice Statuario for the main countertops. The LUJO® Collection’s White River Forest TFL narrow shaker cabinets and open shelving throughout the room tie everything together with a natural warmth.

The return of bright colors and nature-inspired blues and greens

Elegant luxury, designed to perform

If the all-white kitchen trend that’s been going on for a long time now doesn’t inspire you, color is on the horizon. Nature-inspired blues and greens are all the rage this year in brighter and more subdued dark tones, if not on counters, for wallpaper, cabinets, or furniture. Either way, you can add contrast with a Wilsonart® HPL countertop in a crisp white or sleek black. And for the more adventurous, the blues of HPL in Admiral and Catalina. And if it’s greens you prefer, Wilsonart® HPL in Chutney and Cricket (not pictured) for bold cabinets are ideal ways to get on trend.

Wilsonart® HPL




Wilsonart® HPL




Wilsonart® HPL





Wilsonart’s High Pressure Laminate is sustainable and made of double the amount of post-consumer recycled material than any other laminate. It looks fantastic, is easy for your customers to clean and maintain, which makes it ideal for use in kitchen areas that often double as homework zones.

Is it a breakfast nook or a homework zone?

No matter which trends in color, tone, or texture you follow for your homework station, it may still need to serve multiple uses. With space at a premium, not every kitchen has room for a double island. A peninsula with built-in seating on one side, like the one pictured above, creates a banquette and table for afterschool homework or online schooling during the day that can still be used for breakfast, snacks, or lunch.

To capture a similar look and feel to the kitchen pictured, use Wilsonart® THINSCAPE® in Taj Mahal for the countertop and backsplash and TFL in for the upper cabinets. The bench for the seating area and pantry countertop are also from Wilsonart – Avondale Ash HPL.

For medium-sized kitchens, a larger island with a sink on one side and seating for meals or homework on the other is shown in shades of white. Wilsonart® designers used TFL in Pepperdust for the cabinets and Solene Marble THINSCAPE® for the countertops and backsplash. The pantry cabinet interior is Heathered Tabby HPL. Wilsonart’s THINSCAPE is ultra-thin and strong, combining beauty and toughness in a hard surface that slots into multiple residential designs.

Regardless of the homework zone trend your client embraces, Wilsonart has the engineered surfaces for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and multi-use areas.

The Wonder of Walnut.

Walnut TFL helps the kitchen, office space, primary and secondary bathrooms at Fairview Slopes speak a uniform design language. In the kitchen, white upper cabinets pair effortlessly with customized TFL panels that conceal appliances. During broad daylight, the nature-inspired glow of TFL wall panels results in an office that seldom needs indoor lighting.


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