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Room to spare: Four uses for a spare room

A few of us are lucky enough to have the problem of simply having too much space in our homes, with spare rooms whose only function seems to be gathering dust. Just because you have more rooms than bodies though, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to downsize.

Room to spare: Four uses for a spare room

A few of us are lucky enough to have the problem of simply having too much space in our homes, with spare rooms whose only function seems to be gathering dust. Just because you have more rooms than bodies though, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to downsize.

If you don’t need the extra bedroom, spare rooms present the perfect opportunity for adding a luxurious amenity to your home that can completely enhance your way of day-to-day life. We take a look at some spare room transformation ideas that could help you use a surplus sleeping space to create the home of your dreams.

Fit in Fitness

Fitness fanatic but finding it difficult to squeeze your workouts into your everyday life? Having a gym right on your doorstep (well, in your spare room) might just be a game changer.

When it comes to equipment, don’t get caught up and buy every piece of gym paraphernalia that you’ve ever heard of. The likelihood is that you’ll never use it all, and you’ll end up overspending and overcrowding your precious exercise space.

Stick to what you already know you’ll use on a regular basis, like a running machine, a weights bench or even a large flat screen television if you’re more of an exercise DVD kind of person. After a few months, you can always build it up gradually if you feel the need – if you have the room to do so that is! 

Whether you need a full set of machines and weights to workout, or just a yoga mat and some relaxing music – make sure to decorate your gym in a way that motivates you to be there. Focus on what it is that drives you to keep fit and use that as your inspiration, it could be anything from framed photos of your favourite sport stars, full length mirrors so you can focus on your form, or even a decent sound system so you can surround yourself with music to spur you on while simultaneously doing away with the need for pesky headphones! The opportunities are endless.

No (house)work and all play

If you live in a house with small children, you’ll know how difficult it can be to enforce the “one toy at a time” rule. Despite best efforts, the entire home can sometimes end up looking like an explosion in a toy factory within just one rainy afternoon.

A spare room could be the perfect chance to contain all of that disorder to just one part of the house – while also giving the kids a special space to call their own.

First up, make sure to turn the space into somewhere kids will actually want to spend time, otherwise they’ll be prone to wander out trailing all of their belongings with them. Use bright colours to decorate the walls, maybe incorporating some wall art of favourite cartoons using either mural wallpaper or stencils. 

Once you’ve decided on the layout, the only thing left to do is fill it with all your kids’ favourite things: dressing up boxes, board games, soft toys – or whatever else you normally spend your time picking up off the floor of the living room! If your children are particularly into arts and crafts you can always put mats down in a dedicated area so as to make any necessary clean-up as easy as possible.

One of the best things about a play room is that you can adapt it over time to grow at the same rate as your kids. It could be introducing a television and a couch so that video games don’t commandeer the family viewing programme, or even a ping pong or pool table to keep teenagers and their friends amused over the summer holidays.

Shower yourself in luxury

Less competition for the shower in the morning? A place that you can truly sink into a relaxing bath without being interrupted by someone that needs their toothbrush? Yes – an extra bathroom would be a spare room put to good use for many of us.

However, changing a bedroom into a bathroom requires a bit more consideration that most other transformation projects – notably because once it is changed, it is far more difficult to change back. Sacrificing a bedroom can sometimes reduce the market value of your home, but if you have plenty of other rooms and plan on being there for a while longer then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Before you begin, check to make sure that the room has access to plumbing, and if not – find out how much it would cost to rectify this. It might be a quick fix, but when it gets more complicated the price can quickly mount up above and beyond your budget. You will also have to consider waterproofing the walls and floors – so that they can withstand the steam and dripping which are inevitable for any washroom.

Once you’ve taken all of that into account you can start with the exciting decisions. For example, will you go all out and have a luxurious spa style wet room? Or will you simply create the perfect space for that old fashioned free standing tub that you’ve always dreamed of?

If your spare room happens to be next to your master bedroom then why not think about turning it into a handy and spacious en-suite? As well as giving you the luxury of your own bespoke bathroom, it could also add value to your property when the time comes to think about selling.  (Remember that some of this may need Building Warrant, so go through the process in a correct way.)

Wardrobe Wonderland

If you’ve ever fought over hanger space, or gone into a frenzy looking for a long forgotten summer top – then the idea of a walk-in wardrobe will probably be one that will pique your interest.

Having all of your clothes together in one place and giving yourself room to look through them is an undeniably convenient concept. It can help you know exactly what you have, as opposed to wearing whatever is on top of your overstuffed chest of drawers to avoid the dreaded rummage – something we can all be guilty of…

As far as spare room transformations go – this one is comparatively easy to put into play, with a wide spectrum available between keeping it simple or extravagantly going all out. Examine the space and budget that you have available to you and build the closet of your dreams around that – whether it’s a simple case of wall to wall rails, or built in wardrobes to display your prized shoe collection.

A walk-in wardrobe has the added benefit of not necessarily needing a window – so if your third bedroom is more of a box-room, then this could be the ideal opportunity to put it to good use.

While a lack of natural light might not be a deal breaker, it’s important that your walk-in wardrobe has good lighting so that you can see everything that you have clearly. Lots of little spot lights would, in most cases, be preferable to one big main light – as it would ensure even distribution of light across the whole room.

If you have enough space it would be the perfect spot to install some full-length mirrors and a dressing table, so that getting ready can be a leisurely experience all be contained to one spot – as opposed to the mad dash from room to room looking for everything that you need! 


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