13 Unexpected Ways To Use Your Spare Room

Hanna KielarSeptember 09, 2019

Having an extra room in your home can be a great thing. However, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do with the extra space. Spare rooms are notorious for becoming dumping grounds for old unused stuff. It’s really a shame to let prime real estate go to waste.

The obvious answer is to use the space as a guest bedroom. But if you rarely have overnight guests or if you already have a guest bedroom, that might not be the best use of the space.

Take a look at your lifestyle and how you use your home. Is there a time when you feel crowded in the space you have? Do you have a large collection or stash of a certain type of supplies? That would be a great thing to move to your spare room.

Still stumped for ideas? Here are some great ways to use the spare room in your home.

1. Meditation Space

Everyone can use a calm place to retreat to when they need some alone time. A meditation room is perfect for that.

Marty Basher, home improvement/renovation and organization expert for Modular Closets, suggests that no two meditation rooms will look alike. “Know yourself and try to fit your space to your needs,” says Basher.

Whether you feel calm in a light airy room or a dark space filled with incense, design your meditation space in a way that makes you feel most relaxed.

2. Craft Studio

If you love crafting, a spare room is a fantastic opportunity to have a studiofor those hobbies. Setting up a craft studio allows you to work on complex, multi-day craft projects without having to clean up each night. According to Basher, “You want to be able to leave tools and projects out so you can pick them up again where you left off.”

To build the ultimate craft studio, the decor all needs to be very functional. You want lots of storage for the specific supplies that you have. For example, small items go well in bins, but tools are best hung on a pegboard. Functional craft rooms also have large open workspaces. Depending on the types of projects you do, consider putting a worktable on wheels so you can move it around. Also make sure your worktable is at a height where you don’t have to bend down to work.

3. Yoga Room

Love yoga? Ever thought about adding a yoga room to your home? Cate Griffing at West Magnolia Charm says, “Yoga is meant to be relaxing, and having a dedicated space to practice will keep your mind at ease.”

To get a functional and relaxing yoga studio, Griffing suggests selecting a calming paint color. Add room darkening window covers like curtains or blinds.

“Another must is mirrors. Install mirrors on one wall to really bring in that yoga-studio feel,” says Griffing.

Don’t forget to add yoga mats, blocks and other accessories. Bins are the easiest way to keep your gear organized.

4. Plant Room

If your spare room gets good light, consider turning it into a plant room. Once you start getting interested in house plants, it’s easy to get addicted. Set up an entire room to let your collection grow and prosper.

I’d suggest tiered plant stands to display your plants. Arrange them so plants with similar water and light needs are together to keep care easier. Finally, consider adding hanging or wall mounting plants for added dimension.

Set up a table as a potting bench where you can repot and work on your plants. Add propagation stations to really get into rooting cuttings from your plants, and you’ll end up with your own indoor jungle.

5. Walk-In Closet

If you have a huge wardrobe, you should definitely consider using your spare room as a walk-in closet. By adding efficient rods and shelves around the perimeter of the room, you can create a ton of storage space for all of your clothing.

John Linden of Mirror Coop says, “Add a few standing closets for garments and some shelving for shoes, and you'll have yourself a nice little closet area!”

If the room is big enough, consider adding an island in the center of the room with drawers for more storage or an ottoman as a place to sit while getting ready. You can also use this area to store off-season clothing in bins to keep things organized.

6. Storage Room

Have tons of extra stuff? How about using your spare room as a storage space? It might not sound glamorous, but a walk-in storage space is actually a huge luxury and a lot easier than going up a ladder to the attic!

To make the space efficient, add shelving to take advantage of vertical space. Store similar items together in large clearly labeled bins. And even though you have this fantastic space, still take the time to purge and donate unwanted items a few times a year.

7. Library

Book lovers won’t hesitate to make their spare rooms into a library. You can add floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for the ultimate reading nook. If you really want to take your library to the next level, consider adding a rolling ladder.

In addition to bookshelves, you’ll want a soothing reading spot. Pick something large and comfy enough that you can curl up and enjoy a good book. Basher says, “Make sure your lighting is adequate, and that you have several throws and perhaps a small side table for your coffee or tea.”

8. Playroom

Get your kid’s toys out of the middle of the living room by turning your spare room into a playroom. Your kids will love it, and you’ll love clearing some of the toys out of the rest of your house.

“A playroom is especially ideal for rooms that are small, irregularly shaped or just too far from the other bedrooms to be used traditionally,” says Erica Reiner of Eco Method Interiors.

Playrooms should be pretty open, especially for smaller kids. Be sure that you have a comfy rug that they can play on easily. Another important decor item for playrooms is storage. You’ll want cubbies or shelves perfect for storing your kids’ toys and books. Make it something that the kids can access themselves to make it easier on you. Low tables, chairs and shelves are ideal.

Playrooms are a great place to have fun with design!

9. Wine Cellar

If you love wine, there’s no better use for a spare room than turning it into a wine cellar! Wine doesn’t do so well with significant changes in temperature or humidity, so a wine cellar is best for spare rooms with no windows or exterior walls.

Not only can your room hold lots of wine storage, but it can also have space for a bar or tasting area.

When setting up a tasting area, think about how you prefer to drink wine. Would you rather have stools at a bar or comfortable armchairs to drink in? Set up the space to fit your exact preferences.

A wine fridge and shelving for all of your favorite stemware are the perfect decor touches for this type of space. Be sure to set aside a special shelf or display case for your most prized bottles.

10. Laundry Room

If you have a spare room, you might want to consider moving your laundry in there. Giving laundry its own room opens up a lot of possibilities. You can add a counter or tabletop for folding as well as lots of storage.

Basher says, “You can create a space for storing all your cleaning supplies and detergents, and even a folding area for putting the clean laundry!”

Does your laundry often pile up? Keeping laundry in its own room will help contain some of the chaos as well as keep the rest of your home clean, since you can always just close the door on the mess.

Depending on the location of your old laundry room you could turn it into a mudroom, pantry or closet.

11. Game Room

Love playing board games or video games? Why not devote a whole room to your passion? Linden says, “This is a perfect option for gamers who are married to non-gamers. That way, one person can play without hogging the living room TV.”

A game room can be decorated with posters or art reflecting your favorite games. You’ll also want comfy seating and plenty of side tables for drinks and snacks. Think beyond the television, too. If you have space, a ping pong or pool table is the perfect touch for a game room.

12. Recording Studio

Music lovers might consider turning a spare room into a music room. While that could be just a place to display and play your instruments, why not take it a step further and create an entire recording studio?

Russell Volk is a RE/MAX Elite real estate agent with many years of experience in the Bucks County, Penn. real estate market, and he’s noticed several homeowners turning rooms into recording studios. He advises, “To turn a room into a recording studio, it's important to soundproof the room and put up acoustic treatment. Once that's done, then you can set up your workstation and arrange the recording station.”

Even if music isn’t your thing, a recording studio could also be used for filming YouTube videos or recording a podcast.

13. Schoolroom

Whether you’re a homeschooler or your kids just have a lot of homework, a schoolroom is a great use of a spare room. Charlene Hess of Hess Un-Academy turned her spare room into a place dedicated to learning for her family. She says, “This room becomes a fun place to go and learn about the world in a comfortable and friendly environment.”

Hess suggests that your schoolroom has comfortable desks and chairs, bookshelves and a good seat for reading. She likes to decorate her schoolroom with maps, flags, globes and chalkboards. Any educational decor could work in this type of space.

There are tons of options for what to do with a spare room in your home. The most important thing is that you assess you and your family’s lifestyle and design the room in a way that’ll best meet your needs.

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    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is an Associate Section Editor for Quicken Loans focused on personal finance, recruiting and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.