There are a number of reasons why you may suddenly find yourself with a spare room. Perhaps a child has recently moved out, or maybe you’ve relocated to a bigger place. Regardless of the reason, many spare rooms tend to go unused. Often left completely empty or they inevitably turn into a dumping area for things no one really wants to deal with at the moment. While this is certainly a better problem than not having enough space, you shouldn’t let that room go to waste. This leads us to the big question: What are you going to do with your spare room?
Evaluate your needs
Before you start painting and throwing up shelves, take time to think about what you really need. There are likely to be several ways in which you could take advantage of the space, but consider which is most important to you. How do you spend your extra time? How would you like to spend your extra time? If you have a family or a flatmate, be sure to talk to them about their needs, so that everyone can benefit. Make sure that you consider all the options, and that you’re dedicated to completing the project; you don’t want to get halfway through only to find that you’ve lost interest.
There are several possible choices to consider for your extra space. Here are a few of the more popular options:
One solution is to use the space to help you get into shape. Gym memberships can be expensive, and by investing in a few exercise machines, you can save money in the long run. What exactly you include in your home gym will depend on the size of the room, as well as the strength of the floor and your own exercise preferences, but in all honesty, the possibilities are endless. A few machines to consider are treadmills, free weights, and rowing machines. Do some research and see what is available and fits into your budget, you could consider buying some items second hand to further reduce costs.
Meditation/ Relaxation room
The modern world can be stressful, and everyone needs a place where they can sit back and relax without any distractions. Did you know that spending some quality time alone is known to help you increase your quality of life? Scented candles, yoga mats, soothing colours, open windows, lush plants and flowers, and even an audio system can all help turn an ordinary space into a sanctuary for the soul. Leave television and other forms of distracting media out. Instead, focus on creating a room that can serve as a retreat from the hectic pace and noise of the modern world.
If young children are an essential part of your life, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or even an invested aunt or uncle, it’s always nice to have an area designated for the kids. Having a dedicated play area will ensure that toys don’t end up sprawled throughout the house. Install shelving in the room to store games and other playthings, and make sure that any items that children shouldn’t be getting into on their own are high enough up to be out of reach (or are kept behind sturdy locks). If there are free standing shelves, attach them to the wall to prevent the danger of them falling on a child. Also, be mindful of the paint colour that you choose; it’s been scientifically shown that green and blue colours will help children feel calm and relaxed, while bright colours like red will stimulate them.
Avid book collectors know that keeping their library organised can be a hassle. Books are easy to pull off of the shelf, annoying to have to put away, and can easily end up all over the house. Turning extra space into a reading room will reduce the clutter your books create elsewhere in the home. It will also provide a sanctuary for those who love to read and want to do so uninterrupted. Start by assessing how many books you have and what type of shelving you will require. It will help if you invest in a comfortable sofa or chair, as well as adequate lighting.
Spare rooms that tend to be a little smaller are great for home offices. And as more people are working from home than ever before, it’s a popular option. Even if you work away from home, a home office will still be useful for finishing big projects or getting ahead on daily tasks. Things you will need to consider for a home office are a phone line, good internet access, a desk and chair, shelving, and perhaps even a filing unit. The office may also benefit from subdued colors, which will help create a professional atmosphere and assist you with staying on task.
Arts & Craft Studio
Whether you like painting, sewing, or any other craft form, you’ll be well rewarded if you choose to transform your spare room into a private studio. It can be genuinely frustrating to work on projects at the kitchen table or in other areas of the home; constant interruptions, prying eyes, and the need to clean up quickly so that others can also use the area are all less then ideal. A room dedicated to your craft will allow you to leave projects out unfinished, without worrying about them getting in anyone’s way. To maximise the space, invest in a workbench, adequate lighting and any other tools you may need, and surround yourself with whatever it is that inspires your creative side.