So, you have extra space but you don’t know what to do with it. While bonus rooms are a great commodity to have, many homeowners struggle to make good use of the space. If this sounds like you, there are many ways you can turn your unused area into a room you’ll never want to leave.
The first step is evaluating your priorities and constraints. If space is limited, a home office or wine cellar are great options. However, if you have the extra space, consider adding the ultimate game room or an in-home photography studio. The possibilities are endless. Now that most of us are spending more time at home, you may be itching to update your bonus room into more usable space or possibly the space of your dreams. Check out the following ideas and get inspired.
1. Get work done in the ultimate home office
Now that work from home has become a normal part of many people’s lives, creating a dedicated home office is the perfect solution to all your privacy and productivity needs. Home offices can provide that much-needed peace and quiet to increase focus and get work done. The latest design trends include bright, clean, sleek, and modern fixes. Installing bookshelves can add depth and character and bringing in office chairs, throw pillows, plants, and rugs can complement your desk to add a splash of color and texture. Of course, you are going to want to make it your own by adding personal photos and small mementos that keep you inspired.
2. Design an arts & craft room that inspires
For the creative in you, an arts and crafts room can act as a sanctuary to fuel inspiration and innovation. Every artist knows the key to a solid art room starts with good organization. Begin by adding built-in shelving and fill them with different-sized storage baskets to fit artist supplies of all shapes and sizes. For spare walls, a mounted pegboard is the perfect piece to keep tools such as scissors, wrenches, or hammers within arms reach. If you love to paint or make pottery, reserve a corner with natural light as you create on your easel or wheel. As you clean up your mess, installing a sink will help wash away all of the extra paint strokes or clay that may have been left behind. Finally, tying the room together with a statement wall can showcase the art you are most proud of.
3. Get creative in an in-home photography studio
From self-portraits to macro photography, having a home studio can save you a lot of money because you won’t need to rent out professional space. If you are a photographer that needs a creative outlet, consider turning your bonus room into a photography studio. Every photographer knows the importance of using natural light. To make your photos pop, installing big windows to let in the sunshine can create the perfect light effect in your photos. If windows aren’t nearby, adding photo umbrellas and softboxes is an innovative way to cast shadows and light contrasts while bringing in that studio feel. For portraits and photoshoots, installing colored backdrops can add a variety of textures and perspectives to your shots. If you are looking for some fun, add a prop bar with masks, wigs, and signs to bring out the wacky and playful side during a photo shoot. To tie the extra space together, creating a photo wall can showcase the shots you are most proud of.
4. Snuggle up with a good book in a cozy home library
If you ever want to get immersed in a story, a home library is a perfect place to do so. There are many different ways to create a reading sanctuary no matter how small or big your extra space is. Built-in shelves can add depth and storage for you to display all your favorite books. If you are looking for a cost-effective alternative, multimedia shelves designed to hold DVD and Blu-ray players can easily hold both hardbound and paperback books. If you don’t have many books, consider supporting your local bookshop and selecting 1-3 of your favorites monthly to begin building a collection.
Once you have organized all your books, adding a reading chair or loveseat can keep you cozy and comfortable as you read the day away. Lighting is a crucial part of any library. No one wants to have a hard time reading. Considering a room with a large window or great task lighting can solve this problem. For some green details, bring in some plants to keep you company.
5. Create tunes in a modern music room
Maybe you want to someday be in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN? If so, a music room is a practical bonus room solution. The number one recommendation when creating a music room is soundproofing your walls. Using insulation between drywall and adding acoustic paneling can serve as a noise buffer and improve acoustic quality. Once you’ve got the foundations set, bring in your favorite instruments. Adding a piano in the corner can be a beautiful statement piece. Showcasing your string collection of guitars, violins, banjos, a harp, and a ukulele can reveal the inner rockstar in you. Bring it all together with a drum to create catchy beats.
When designing your space, using musical note wallpaper, dark color tones, and even brick can help you achieve a classic recording studio feel. Posters and records of your favorite bands can double as tribute pieces and inspiration. When you are all done playing, installing hooks to the wall can both maximize storage and showcase your favorite instruments. If you are looking for something more sophisticated, add a home music studio to record your own music.
6. Center yourself in a peaceful zen room
Yoga and meditation can be a great way to recenter the mind and focus on your goals. Not to mention, it’s an easy extra space renovation. If minimalistic is what you are going for, consider adding a zen room for all your meditation and yoga needs. To calm the mind, soft colors and pastels can bring about soothing effects that help you focus. Also, bringing in Himalayan salt lamps, air humidifiers, natural wood floors, plants, mirrors, rugs, and cushions can provide comfort and serenity as you take in all the sights and smells. If you want to go all out, a small indoor water feature can create white noise as you mediate the day away.
7. Watch a movie in a stylish home theater
From thrillers to comedies and everything in between, turning your bonus room into a screening room is a wonderful idea for family movie nights, big sports games, or binging your favorite tv show. When creating a screening room, there are many factors you must control. Insulation is key to limit how much sounds travel through the walls. Restricting ambient light is also important so that it does not interfere with video projection or glares onto a flat-screen. If there is a nearby window, installing blackout curtains can solve this problem. For good audio and video quality, surround sound speakers and high lumen video projectors can bring out the best scenes while you watch.
To really bring the movie theater experience into your home, use red velvet wallpaper, sconce lights, and stadium seating with comfy recliners to mimic that environment. Adding a popcorn machine and snack bar will always leave you munching while you immerse yourself in your show.
8. Entertain in a decked-out game room
Having a dedicated space to play is every gamer’s dream. Creating a game room is a relatively easy project that can be customized to fit your preferences. To host a competitive game night purchase shuffleboard, table tennis, or billiards. If you are into the classic arcade feel, pinball machines and old arcade games like Pacman can give your space a retro vibe. For the modern gamer, setting aside an area for a couch and TV is the perfect use of extra space to connect to their favorite video game console. Lastly, who doesn’t love a board games night? Make sure you set aside a corner for chess, Monopoly, or Catan. To really decorate the place, adding neon lights, video game posters, or even license plates can elevate the classic game room experience.
9. Work out in a functional home gym
Gym memberships can be expensive or you may not be able to go to the gym due to the pandemic. Installing a home gym is a great and convenient way to stay active. To create a safe home gym, start by adding large mirrors against the walls so you can check your form and improve technique as you work out. The best thing about home gyms is that they are customizable. Depending on what you need, you can bring in different types of equipment such as squat racks, a dumbbell rack, weight plates, or a weight bench. If you are doing cardio, a stationary bike, treadmill, and jump rope can help you burn off some extra calories. If you are the type of person who gets sweaty easily, install a small air conditioning unit and a towel rack to keep you cool and sweat-free.
10. Relax in a personal massage room
Need a place to go after a stressful day of work? Consider adding a massage room to unwind. Creating a space where you will feel relaxed and your masseuse will feel equipped is key. Add built-ins to store accessories such as towels, stones, cups, and oils. Decorate the space with neutral tones and low lights, and consider adding a noise machine to drown out the world.
11. Preserve your favorite bottles in a wine cellar
For sauvignon blanc, merlot, and chardonnay lovers, a wine cellar is a perfect place to store your wine collection. Depending on the size and technology, wine cellars can range anywhere from $40,000-$100,000. For best wine preservation results, install a system to keep room temperatures cool at around 56 degrees Fahrenheit and slightly humid at around 55 to 70 percent humidity. Systems will vary based on what you are looking for. Top it off with a large double-pane glass-encased wall and a wooden or steel door to showcase your most valuable bottles to all your house guests.
12. Let your kids have fun in a playroom
Ditch the amusement park and create a playroom wherein your kids can let their imagination run wild. Kids playrooms are a versatile option wherein you can create a space that fits their likings. Maybe your kid loves nature? Add an indoor treehouse with a swing and slide so that they can imagine themselves in the jungle. If your kid is into space, decorating the room with stars, rockets, and astronauts can really make them feel like they are on the moon. To complement, small tables are a great addition for toys such as building blocks, cars, as well as coloring books and crafts. When clean-up time comes around, add a cubby bench with boxed storage to hide all unused items. For walls, consider using bright colors, playful wallpapers such as animal or plant prints, or you can even install a mural to draw attention.
13. Create the ultimate teen hangout
As kids grow older, they seek out a place where they can have some privacy and go hang out with their friends. Creating a teen hangout space is a great way to solve this problem. For entertainment, adding a TV and couch can be useful when watching a favorite show or streaming a new movie. If your teen is someone who always gets hungry, consider creating a snack bar filled with their favorite healthy (and unhealthy) treats to satisfy their late-night cravings. One design trend that is becoming popular is a chalk wall. Painting a small wall can serve as a place to draw and sign their names.
*Consult with a professional before attempting to pursue these projects in your home