Many homeowners have grand designs for that extra room in the house. At the start, the possibilities seem endless, but many are daunted by the prospect of what they think will be a huge project. Time passes, and the lofty intentions for that extra room fall by the wayside. It could have made a great home theater, personal gym or comprehensive library, but far too often these blank canvasses ultimately become mere storage space- more like mausoleum of odds and ends than a movie room. It’s time to reclaim your extra space and transform it into something beautiful. Whether you have some extra space due to an empty nest, or if you’re finally fed up with that glorified closet of a room, here are a few pragmatic ideas on room design to get you started, and show you that you don’t need to embark on a total overhaul to create a beautiful and livable space.
If your extra space is a small bedroom, then a home office is a classic and sensible option that requires little remodeling. The problem with most home offices is that they feel tiny and constrictive, but not to worry, the overbearing executive desks and dark wood features of the home office have evolved. Therefore, the first step to create an office that is a viable workspace, and doesn’t seem crowded, is to minimize the furniture. The bare necessities to designate a room as an “office” merely consists of a desk and chair. The sobriety of a dark, “serious” office can be oppressive- a home office filled with light and air is a more bright and cheery atmosphere, to calm the stress of those looming deadlines. Here’s one suggestion: French country décor, with whitewash and distressed wood furniture, would create an atmosphere of cozy sophistication. If possible, incorporating a pair of French doors beneath an arched doorway can immediately transform the look of your room, and create the illusion of more space. Depending on the layout of your home, your doors may open up to the rest of your house, or to the outside. You may be just one wall demo away from a practical home office.
If your indoor space is all occupied, consider expanding outward! A porch or deck, extending into the natural setting of your backyard, can be enclosed with wide and elegant windows to create an enchanting and multi-purpose sunroom. Such a space is ideal for a room filled with natural light, and it can be a luxurious enclosure for entertaining or relaxation, regardless of the weather. Sunroom spaces offer a versatile environment, which, once constructed, can be quickly adapted by a simple change in furnishings. With a little effort, even in a single day a sunroom can transform into so many potential spaces: breakfast nook, reading room, meditation space, play room, gathering area (perfect for summer parties), and even an extra bedroom in a pinch. Once the surrounding walls and windows are erected, the sunroom can become anything you can think of.
If you have a loft area or den that is going unused, transforming that space into a personal yoga studio/meditation room is more stylish and requires less equipment than turning it into a traditional home exercise room. This transformation may be the easiest of all- at a minimum, all one needs to do is clear out any distracting furniture or possessions, and lay down your yoga mat. If you want to go a little further, painting the walls can immediately define the room as a tranquil space. Getting even more bold, changing the surface of the floor to suit your needs can cement the purpose of the room. No matter how much you are willing to physically alter the room, décor and furnishings will Adding natural elements, perhaps a landscape painting or a small decorative fountain can add to the atmosphere of the room. A simple sound system can provide a calming audible backdrop for your yoga practice or meditation. The permanent features can also be easily altered to fit the room’s new purpose. Does the room have a closet? You can store your equipment, hide the sound system, and create a sense of calm by re-imagining the closet doors to fit your own personal style. Light colors, linen, or frosted or milky glass maintain a soothing atmosphere. Windows can be always be re-dressed- sheer white curtains allow maximum natural light without sacrificing privacy. Going even bigger, if it is within your realm of possibility, installing a skylight would be perfect for bringing natural light into the room.
With a little creativity, any dormant space can be transformed in ways both big and small, to suit your needs and budget. Don’t let that space go to waste!