The kids have finally left the nest for their own homes and you have empty rooms that aren’t being used for anything but storage. Don't let them fill up with holiday ornaments, boxes of old clothing, and whatever else you’re trying to hide from the rest of the world, turn those spaces into exciting places you love to use!
Below are some ideas to inspire your renovation. If you don't decide to use the room for guests, start by clearing out the beds and any free-standing closets—this will give you a blank space to design the rec room of your dreams.
Are you an avid knitter? Do you enjoy making your own outfits? What about other crafts and hobbies like scrapbooking? Turn a spare bedroom into a craft or hobby room by replacing the bed and closet with shelving for supplies. Bring in a work table, add a chair or two, and hang some decorative artwork to warm up the vibe.
You’ve said for years you wished you had a place at home where you could exercise whenever you wanted instead of lugging yourself to the local gym. Turn your spare room into an exercise space and you'll find you're suddenly far more likely to get in the healthy workouts you know you should. Tear out any old carpet and replace with tile or wood floors. Add exercise equipment, a CD player and perhaps a mirror on one wall so you can watch your form as you get fit.
Are you an artist who paints, sculpts, or throws pottery on a wheel? A spare room can be instantly turned into a tranquil place for your media. Plan for some table space in addition to whatever specific structures you need to make your art. You can use an old dresser to store art supplies like brushes, paints, and fabrics. Save some space for a stereo system and candles to foster a relaxing, creative feel.
Bookshelves, plants, and tranquil art can turn any room into a distinguished study. For an added dash of class, install some recessed lighting to control the mood.
If you’re an old-school photographer who loves the craft of analog equipment, make a darkroom by covering any windows and setting up a row of tables for your chemicals and machines.
Some people like to set up a shrine for focus, and wind-chimes, bells, or gongs to help your mind drift away. A water feature like a small fountain is also a great way to nudge your consciousness into a state of open relaxation. Candles and incense are popular choices, too.
All you really need is space to sit or lay down in peace, and a mat or pillow to support your body. You'll quickly find that even a few minutes a day of this activity can change your mood completely, leaving you happier, calmer, and more peacefully open to the things going on around you.
Maybe there's a man in the house who needs a dedicated space for his model cars, gaming system, or elaborate hookah setup. Some guys like having a workbench in their home for tinkering on small projects, or a writers lounge for perfecting their screenplay.
There are as many kinds of she shed as there are kinds of women, so this is a wide open category. Comfy furniture, soft pillows, and pretty stand lamps can make a lovely space for journaling, reading, working on a laptop, or just enjoying a cup of tea, maybe with a favorite fuzzy friend.