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5 frugal ways to expand your living space

Make rooms do double duty
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Put finances on autopilot

Late comedian Mitch Hedberg once quipped, "I bought a house. It's a two-bedroom house, but I think it's up to me how many bedrooms there are, don't you? Real estate lady, this bedroom has an oven in it." While Bankrate.com doesn't endorse installing kitchen appliances in your bedroom, making rooms serve multiple purposes is a great way to make the most of your living space.

Yip says that many rooms don't necessarily need to be used exclusively for their intended purpose. With office electronics such as laptops and printers shrinking every year, that formal dining room you rarely use for dinner has the makings of a perfect home office or study, Yip says.

A simple futon, ranging in cost on Amazon.com from $79 to $309 for the frame and $81 to $1,490 for the mattress, can turn your living room into a guest bedroom within minutes, which in turn could free up a seldom-used extra bedroom for a game room or office.

"What are your functional needs? Take a step back and look at your house accordingly," says Yip, who demonstrated a room's versatility by repurposing a garage to double as a child's playroom on his show, "Deserving Design." In the episode, he used heavy-duty porcelain floor tiles, closed storage, and lightweight, easily movable furniture.


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