Most homes have one: That room where unwanted things go to die—or at least to be hidden from sight for a while. Maybe it was a kid’s room at one time. And maybe it’s not really a “junk” room, but it’s certainly not living up to its potential. How can you get the most out of that extra room? Sometimes homeowners look at remodeling as a way to expand their living space. But sometimes the real issue is extending the usability of the space that's already there.
So before you just close the door on that unused room, let’s take a look at other options that could enable you to enjoy your home even more.
Yoga Room/Home Gym
Lots of people like the idea of working out regularly—but don’t really relish the idea of driving to a health club, gym, or yoga studio to hang out with strangers. So if you (and maybe a close friend) want to work out regularly without some kind of membership, you could consider turning your extra room into a yoga room or a home gym. Unless you’re really planning to bring in heavy lifting equipment, you probably won’t need to worry about any structural changes (confer with your remodeler first, just to be safe). You could also consider adding some additional storage space at the same to so that the room performs double duty.
Not everything is online, and some people simply love the feeling of being surrounded by books in a comfortable and quiet environment. Think about how to set up the room so that you can make the most of the natural light that's available. You'll also want to talk to your remodeler about different kinds of lighting for the room. You'll want some for ambiance and some lights specifically for reading. And you might even want to consider built-in bookshelves that leave you with more floor space.
A variation on the concept of a library is to create a sitting room. It may sound like a bit of an old-fashioned idea, but a lot of people like having a room that’s set aside for conversation where there is no television, music or other distraction. A nice feature (if the structure of your room permits) is to add a larger window—or even a window seat—so you can simply sit and enjoy the views.
Increasing numbers of people enjoy the benefits of a home office. Whether you work full time or simply want to work a few hours without disruption, having a dedicated home office can really be a nice option. Of course, there's more to it than simply installing a desk and an office chair. You'll want to think through what you'll need for equipment. And you may want to give your home office and office-like feel so that you "feel like doing business" when you're in there. That might involve different flooring, wall treatments, and lighting.
Maybe you have a spare room that you were using for some other purpose. Perhaps you had a craft or hobby room that you no longer use because you’ve moved on to a different hobby. Those rooms can easily turn poorly organized storage rooms. Instead, you could turn it into a new, updated, and very comfortable guest bedroom. To do it right, however, you’ll probably want to do more than simply clean it out and bring in a new bed. Make it fun and intriguing. Maybe you’ll want to even give it a theme (such as a country or a part of the world you’ve enjoyed). Maybe you could make it a music-themed room or decorate in with theater items. Make it a place that guests enjoy staying in.
Speaking of theatre, you might want to turn your spare room into a home theatre for watching movies or television. A lot of homeowners don't like to have their televisions be the dominant feature in the family room or living room. Move it to a room of its own. It can make it easier to control the lights and set up furniture to enhance your viewing experience. You can even make it look and feel like a theatre. If you're looking for more ideas on creating a home theatre, here is a helpful post that can provide some inspiration.
If you have a passion for creating your own art, you could make your spare room into an art studio. Whether your interest lies in painting or perhaps pottery, you can create a small studio where you can be alone with your art. One nice thing about having a dedicated room is that you don’t have to clean up everything perfectly when you’re done for the day. Painting and pottery are often processes that take days (or more) to complete. One thing you’ll probably want to do, however, is to remove carpeting. Both of the art forms mentioned here can be messy—and hard on carpets.
In-home storage is something that most of never seem to have enough of. But rather than just store stuff in stacks in an unused room, think through the kinds of things you need to store and create storage space that really fits your needs. You might want to expand a closet in an unused bedroom and turn it into a linen closet where there’s room to adequately store everything you need to store. We talked about built-in bookshelves above, but you could also build in storage cabinets and shelving for storage. That way you won’t encroach on floor space in the event that you need it for an emergency guest room.
Private Bar/Tea Room
Sometimes it’s nice to have a small, cozy, private place to sit with a friend or two and have a drink of tea (or something a little stronger) and chat. There are times when conversation in the kitchen or family room just doesn’t feel private enough. You can create a small, private bar or lounge or a “tea room” that’s ideally situated for quiet talks—or just as a place for you to slip away and read.
Spa Room/Master Bath
There are also times when you might consider actually giving up a room in order to make it part of a larger existing room. We’ve had clients who really wanted to expand their master bathrooms and add more features, but just didn’t have the space to do it. Depending on the location of your spare room, you might be able to take out a wall and expand your master bath into that space. That might enable you to install an oversized shower or a soaking tub. Or it just may give you more space in which to get ready for work every morning.
Master Bedroom SuiteAnother option involving incorporating existing space into a bigger, more useable room is to turn two adjoining bedrooms into a master suite. That might enable you to create that spacious walk-in closet you’ve always wanted. Or it might allow you to have a sitting/reading space within the sanctuary of your bedroom. Here’s a post that looks at some of the reasons master suites offer so much more than normal bedrooms.
You may have your own ideas about how to better use the existing space in your Naples home. What you might be struggling with is how to make it happen. That’s where involving an experienced design-build remodeler is a huge benefit. Here is an article that explores how to take advantage of your remodeler’s knowledge and experience to turn your dreams and ideas into reality.
Of course, the challenge that remains is figuring out which of the options mentioned here (or others that you’ve thought about) make the most sense for your specific situation. We’ve got some help for you there, as well! Take a look at this post that covers how to identify your next remodeling project!
You don’t have to let valuable space in your Naples home go unused. With some thought—and some help from your professional remodeler—you can turn your unused space into a room that can make your home more comfortable, special, and enjoyable.