Chromatin marks are recognized by distinct binding modules, many of which are embedded in multidomain proteins. How the different functionalities of such complex chromatin modulators are regulated is often unclear. Here, we delineated the interplay of the H3 amino terminus– and K9me-binding activities of the multidomain hUHRF1 protein. We show that the phosphoinositide PI5P interacts simultaneously with two distant flexible linker regions connecting distinct domains of hUHRF1. The binding is dependent on both, the polar head group, and the acyl part of the phospholipid and induces a conformational rearrangement juxtaposing the H3 amino terminus and K9me3 recognition modules of the protein. In consequence, the two features of the H3 tail are bound in a multivalent, synergistic manner. Our work highlights a previously unidentified molecular function for PI5P outside of the context of lipid mono- or bilayers and establishes a molecular paradigm for the allosteric regulation of complex, multidomain chromatin modulators by small cellular molecules.