Not long ago you had to queue to use your own shower, but now that the children have moved away from home, you suddenly have a surplus of space. So, why not make the most of it?
An old bedroom is a new opportunity. Instead of watching it collect dust, transform it into an extra space you can call your own. Here are a few ideas:
Take a look at your kitchen table. Is it covered with stacks of paperwork, bills and post? And up on the worktop, are there an array of devices—mobile, laptop, tablet—plugged into the wall, rubbing shoulders with the toaster and resting dangerously close to the sink? If this sounds like you, it might be time to consider using that extra bedroom as a home office.
Replace the bed with: A proper, wooden desk (no fold-up card tables allowed).
Design tip: Don’t shy away from colour. It’s a misconception that offices need a muted, monotone colour palette. But splashes of vivid red, blue or green will liven the space up and help keep you alert and inspired while working.
Don’t forget: A plastic chair mat, to keep hardwood floors scratch-free, or to help your new office chair roll smoothly across the carpet.
Exercising daily is difficult enough on its own, let alone when there’s bad weather. If you struggle to get motivated, a home gym might be the solution. The key to making a home gym work is making it feel as legitimate and purposeful as possible. That means enough space to stretch and move without additional clutter.
Replace the bed with: Exercise equipment—it can be as simple as a yoga mat and a few free weights to a high-tech tredmill.
Design tip: Build motivation into the design. Use a stencil to paint motivational quotes on the walls or frame posters of your favourite athletes.
Don’t forget: A big mirror. There’s a reason why gyms usually feature large, wall-to-wall mirrors. They allow you to monitor and perfect your form. From a design perspective, they’re also a great way to make the room feel larger than an actually is.
For so many years the creative energy you might have spent on hobbies is spent on raising kids and building a successful career. Once there are fewer children at home though, you’ll have more time to dedicate to creative pursuits. Whatever your passion—music, sculpture, photography, scrapbooking—a home studio will allow you to get creative whenever the inspiration hits.
Replace the bed with: An easel, drawing table, sewing table, recording equipment or whatever you need to practice your craft like a pro.
Design tip: Your studio should reflect your aesthetic. Fill it with artwork that excites you. Update it often to keep the space interesting and inspiring.
Don’t forget: Shelves! A cluttered studio is all it takes to stop your creativity in its tracks. Avoid a messy workspace by installing plenty of shelves to openly display all the bits and bobs that go into your creative work.
Do you have an old bedroom you’d like to transform?