Congrats! You’ve managed to acquire a spare room in your house!
Whether your millennial child has finally moved out or you’ve just discovered a secret room behind a pile of old TV Guides, you’ll need to determine what to do with this new area.
While the possibilities are figuratively limitless, here are eight good ideas for this room along with four not so good ones. Let’s start with the good ones.
Let’s say you’ve moved your family into a new home with an extra bedroom. If you have kids and your idea of home décor does not involve toys strewn across your living and dining room floors like a Jackson Pollock painting, a play room might be a good idea to keep your children’s chaos contained.
While this change would most likely not require a major overhaul, a new, bright coat of paint can help make your new play room more kid-friendly.
Perhaps your kids have moved out or you just want a little more grown-up space for yourself in your home. Either way, turning an extra room into a home bar would provide a great spot to entertain guests or for you to get away from it all.
Your new home watering hole could be as low-key or lavish as you want. Maybe you just want a few barstools, some decent counter space and a flat screen TV in the corner. Or, maybe you prefer large dark oak cabinets, a billiards table and some leather lounge chairs. Depending on your budget and timeframe, a home bar can be a great addition to a home.
If you’re so inclined, a space devoted to your creative outlets might be ideal for your home. Besides the artistic or musical gear housed in this studio, you might want to look into soundproofing the room or installing a skylight or new windows to flood the room with natural light.
Office, Library or Study
Do you have a large collection of leather-bound books? Do you enjoy a good green felt-topped desk? Do you work from home often but rarely get anything done from the couch? A home office, library or study might be a great fit for your vacant space and a great place to get some work or reading done. For bonus points, add in some stone or bronze busts of philosophers you’ve never read. Also, make sure to add a lot of bookshelves or even a secret bookshelf door that leads to your home bar (see above).
Gym or Yoga Room
If you like to work out but hate going to a gym, why not bring the gym to you? Throw together a weight bench, some dumbbells, a treadmill, all the inspirational posters your walls can hold and you’ve got yourself a home gym worthy of Jack Lalanne. Also, if yoga is more your speed, an extra room can easily be converted to a yoga studio too. Plus, if you have a yoga room, you can always decline an invitation out by stating, “Namaste in here instead.”
One note for a home gym: if possible, it’s recommended that any room that houses heavy weights be on the ground level of your home. Otherwise, one misplaced kettlebell swing and you might need to fix a hole in your floor (or wall or ceiling).
While not as exciting and self-fulfilling as the other room suggestions, having a second bedroom is practical and great for people who love to host visitors from out-of-town. For those with less than agreeable in-laws, however, disregard this suggestion.
A game room is a surefire way to ensure that your house is known as the “cool” house by neighborhood kids and, let’s face it, adults. Skeeball, foosball, bumper pool and vintage arcade games are a must-have for a proper game room. Quarters and a creepy guy standing in the corner are no longer necessary.
Look, it’s not the room your house needs, but it’s the room your house deserves right now.
Now, here are some really bad ideas as to what to do with your spare room.
Unless you already have a room to stockpile EpiPens, this spare room project is ill-advised. Urban farming may be all the rage nowadays, but maybe stick with tomatoes and rutabagas. Stick to outdoor farming too.
Celebrity Stalking Shrine
It’s fine that you’re Dax Shepard’s number one fan. It’s not fine that you’ve been stalking him since 2007 and now have photos of his face plastered all over your walls along with a candle-lit shrine to a recovered coffee cup he dropped in 2008.
Your cats don’t need their own room. As far as they’re concerned, every room is their own room and they’re only allowing you to live there temporarily.
Cat rooms are a gateway to cat houses. Just say no.
Portal to A Lovecraftian Nightmare Horror Dimension
The brochure from that Cthulhu cult made it look beneficial, but turning your extra room into an interdimensional pathway to the nightmare city of R’lyeh is just opening your home to trouble.
That’s how you get ants.
There you have it. Eight great uses for your spare room besides storing holiday lights and four ideas that would most likely result in your eviction, arrest or loss of sanity. An empty room is a blank canvas for your ideas, so feel free to provide your own concepts in the comments below.