If you’re lucky enough to have a bedroom that’s not needed for snoozing — if you’re an empty-nester or your teen moved down to the basement — you have an excellent opportunity to create a haven that caters to a hobby, wish-list item or practicality.
How to decide what to do with the spare room?
“Consider how the space would most improve your life and follow that instinct,” says Lori Weatherly, an interior designer from Maplewood, New Jersey. Here are seven possibilities:
1. Walk-in closet
This is the dream: a dressing room that’s dedicated to storing and organizing all your clothes,
shoes and accessories. The basics include rods for hanging items of different lengths, drawers of different depths and open shelving.
“It might be worth the expense to have a closet pro trip out the room,” says Weatherly. “I would leave space for a chair or two, a makeup table and a full-length mirror.”
2. Yoga studio
How does a tranquil space for your morning Ashtanga practice sound? It’s easy to turn the spare room into a yoga sanctuary. The first step is removing everything that doesn’t have to be there, including any furniture from the room’s previous life.
Outfit it the way your favourite professional studio does: sparse with just a few essentials such as a mat, towel, candles, essential oil diffuser and calming music.
3. Home office
Do you work from home most or all of the time? Then consider using the spare room as the place to get the job done. Having a space that’s all yours, where everything from laptop to file folders stay just where you left it, will be a life changer. Watch your efficiency rise.
4. Guest room
If you have frequent out-of-town visitors, having a room dedicated to them is something nice for you and them. It means no one who lives in the house will be temporarily displaced from their room to a sleeping bag in the attic when Grandma visits. Make it as comfortable as your own bedroom with extra pillows and blankets, a pile of bath towels and a small plastic water glass.
5. Play room
This can be tricky: If the children are very young, the room needs to provide a view for adult supervision, but if they’re older and more independent, it can be the perfect place to lay down miles of train tracks or keep up with a hobby like coin collecting.
6. Reading room
Create a quiet place complete with comfy club chairs and excellent lighting that’s a combination of wall, overhead and table lamps, says Weatherly. Add bookshelves to make the space more like a home library.
7. Crafting studio
Get out your glue guns and move into your new studio. Imagine having all your supplies within arm’s reach, undisturbed. Install shelves to store fabrics, ribbons, paints, scissors, etc. and the rest of your needs. The room’s focal point will a large, sturdy wood or metal table where all the crafting magic can take place.