What to Do with an Extra Room
There are a lot of reasons you might find yourself with an unused spare room. Maybe you’ve upgraded to a larger home, and have never had the luxury of having so much space before. Or perhaps your children have grown up and gotten houses of their own.
Often, these undefined spaces become impromptu storage areas where items are tossed inside and forgotten. But that extra room is a great opportunity waiting to be realized. With a little creative thinking, you can turn that spare space into your new favorite room in the house, and possibly free up other areas of your home at the same time.
No More Double-Duty
First let’s get the no-brainers out of the way. If you have any room that is required to awkwardly perform multiple and unrelated functions, consider splintering off the smaller activity and giving it a room of its own. Not only do you increase your enjoyment of your home, you also show consideration to other household members. One of the keys to blissful coexistence is to allow everyone their own space to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. Here are some examples of how to use that extra room to everyone’s benefit.
It’s a Gym!
Still moving the couch out of the way to exercise in front of the television? And tell the truth, sometimes you forget to restore it to its proper position, because, well, you’re tired from all that working out? Well, why not create your own home gym? Dedicating that extra room as a gym saves you from rearranging the area each and every time you want to squeeze in a workout, and with everything already at hand, you might just exercise more frequently, too.
It’s a Game Room!
Still reconfiguring the dining room for your Friday night card game? That sound you hear is your spouse’s grinding teeth as you drag chairs in from other rooms, and continue to ignore the lectures on the importance of coaster use.
Consider transforming that spare room into a game room. Furnish it with tables that have no use for coasters, and with chairs that you can joyfully prop your feet on. Hang your guilty pleasures on the walls without having to endure the raised eyebrows of other family members. They won’t care; on the contrary, they’ll likely be relieved that your memorabilia and hobbies are now out of sight and confined to a private area.
If games aren’t your passion, you can do the same thing for any hobby or private obsession that takes up a lot of room in common areas—or any hobby that vaguely embarrasses your kids.
It’s a Play Room!
Or maybe the kids need room for their own hobbies. On rainy days, and particularly in colder climates, kids are trapped indoors to play. However, their bedrooms aren’t always spacious enough to accommodate large play equipment, and anyway, bedrooms are for sleeping, not rambunctious behavior. In addition, designating that extra room as a child’s playroom keeps their bedrooms clean and organized far easier; you confine the madness to one area of the house, and you decrease the odds of twisting an ankle on the Buzz Lightyear action figure when staggering to the bathroom in the dead of night. It’s win-win all the way around!
It’s a Home Office!
If you still have a desk or secretary tucked into the corner of a living room or den, move that sucker into your new home office. You may only use it lightly to pay bills or do a little weekly organizing, but giving those tasks their own area offers fewer distractions while you do them. Plus, there’s more room to get things done more efficiently, and free up common rooms for others to enjoy.
It’s a Guest Room!
This is the most obvious choice, and is still a popular favorite. When friends or family visit, sure, you could make them sleep on the couch, but it feels good to offer them a room that is every bit as nice as your own. Not only are you a gracious host this way, but also you can still use your living room even if your guests choose to retire early or sleep late. This way, having guests come to visit is more enjoyable for everyone.
Another benefit of having a guest room is if you or your spouse falls ill, you have the option of retreating to another bed. This gives them added room to recuperate, and increases the odds of both of you getting restful sleep.
Finally, there is something decadent and luxurious about having a nap in a guest room, in much the same sense that dozing on a couch, a hammock, or a hotel bed feels delightfully lazy and indulgent. Somehow, actually sleeping in your own bed seems like it’s going too far, but the welcoming blankness of an unused bed is often the perfect invitation for a quick snooze.
It’s Whatever You Want it to Be
These are only suggestions to spur your own creativity. Look at your home carefully, and ponder about where you feel hemmed in. Then take that extra room, make it yours, and stretch out to your heart’s content. After all, that’s what homes are for.
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