If you had a spare room, what would you do with it?
If you’ve ever been house hunting, you’ll know that the formula used by estate agents to advertise the number of bedrooms a property comprises is: ‘number of actual bedrooms + one’. That ‘+ one’ room is always referred to as a "bedroom" but is actually too small to contain a bed. Most people call it their box room - because they use it to store stuff in boxes, usually. It’s glorified storage space.
But your spare room could be put to really good use! Here are our 12 ideas for what to do with your spare room that doesn’t involve using it for storage.
1. A craft room
Are you a crafter? Does your other half complain about tripping over your equipment, or give you a sideways look when you bring home yet another bag of wool? Using your spare room as a craft room/hoarding space will give you a nice serene place to work and keep your stash out of sight and out of mind for the rest of the household.
2. A sauna or en suite
If you have the luxury of being able to sit in a room and relax for an hour or so (i.e. you don’t have children), why not make your spare room into a sauna/steam room? You can buy pre-built kits or build your own. If your spare room abuts a bedroom, you could convert it into an en suite - very useful if you plan to have guests staying over.
3. A mini-gym
Exerciting during the warmer months is relatively easy because you can go for nice walks, but in the winter it’s a bit of a pain to keep fit. If you transform your spare room into a mini-gym, by installing just two pieces of equipment (e.g. a treadmill and a rowing machine) and a set of free weights, you can exercise all year round in the privacy of your own home. The money you spend on your equipment would be more than offset by the gym fees you’d save.
4. A library
Bookworms rejoice: you could turn your spare room into your very own sanctuary, lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a comfy chair and a side table on which to put your cup of tea and piece of cake. Bliss!
5. A relaxation room
Perhaps you use yoga or meditation to chill. If so: declutter; install a mat; decorate your room using neutral colours and add a few carefully chosen plants to create a feeling of tranquility. Add a beanbag or futon if there’s room and you have the ideal place to unwind.
6. An office
If you work from home regularly, having your own office space is a good idea. Equipped with a desk, comfortable chair and computer/printer, you can get your work done with minimal distractions, and at the end of the working day, you can close the door and ‘switch off' properly.
Additional Reading: How to organise your eBay Home Office
7. A home cinema
For cosy nights in, why not set up a large-screen TV (or, if you’re really into it, a projector and screen, plus surround sound), comfy chairs and a table for snacks, and use your spare room as a mini-cinema?
8. A music room
Whether you enjoy listening to music or playing an instrument, you could transform your spare room into a music room. Depending on your proximity to neighbouring houses, you might want to consider soundproofing it so that you can relax and enjoy your music without disturbing others.
9. A playroom
If you have young children, your house probably contains an awful lot of brightly coloured plastic. Rather than spending a lot of time tidying up at the end of each day (or at least when expecting visitors), use your spare room as a playroom filled with your children’s toys. Install a comfy chair for yourself, or at least fit a nice thick carpet to sprawl out on and enjoy time playing with your children without worrying about the mess.
10. An ironing room
This is boring, yes. But having the ironing board set up in there with a TV or radio might make ironing slightly less onerous than usual. Add a clothes rail and plenty of hangers so that you have somewhere to put your beautifully ironed clothes as and when they’re done.
11. A walk-in wardrobe
With a full-length mirror and fitted wardrobes for your clothes, shoes and accessories, you will free up a lot of space in your bedroom and have plenty of room to try on clothes and choose your outfits.
12. A games room
If you enjoy playing board or card games and play regularly with friends or family, having a dedicated room to enjoy doing so would be ideal. Make sure you have adequate lighting and room for several chairs as well as your table and add shelves on which to keep your games.
Once you’ve decided how to use your spare room, you’ll need to clear out the boxes that are already there. Your spare belongings that don’t really fit anywhere else in the house could be put into self storage so that they’ll be kept clean, safe and dry: you can still access them whenever you need, but they won’t be taking up valuable space in your home.
Duly de-cluttered, your spare room will be a blank canvas for you to give it an entirely new purpose!
Other articles of interest: Move rooms, not home
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