Spare room ideas

Bespoke Home Cinemas Home cinema room

Picture this. Your spare room is no longer used to store all your junk. Instead you’ve transformed it into a space with a purpose. Believe me, I’ve got plenty of spare room ideas, which can help you make the most of an unused area in your home. Think stylish home office, functional gym, personal home library, the ultimate games room and more. The key is to design this extra room to serve your needs. So, follow my guide on spare room ideas with advice from a whole host of experts. This way, you can really make the most of that extra room. Then, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the benefits it brings for years to come…

The home office

A permanent study area

If you’ve got an additional space where you don’t need to accommodate guests, why not let work be the focus? This way, you can design and create a gorgeous home office. As working from home continues to dominate many lives (I’ve been a convert for years) as the pandemic continues, it makes sense to convert an additional room in this way. A more permanent study area will create the perfect place to work without distractions. In fact, this could double up as homework space for those with kids, so what’s not to like?

New Darlings Home Office spare room ideas
I absolutely adore this home office, which is ideal for all the family. From the tan chairs and gold accent accessories, to the stepped shelving and greenery, I think these spare room ideas have created the perfect space for working from home. Image: New Darlings

So far, the husband and I have painted one of our spare rooms off-white and we’ve installed a desk with storage. Now, I have my own studio in the garden. However, he wanted an area in which he could work distraction-free for the foreseeable while working from home. We’ve still got a lot to do on this room as we stopped everything to create our patio, which we felt was more pressing as summer approached. We’re continuing to entertain al fresco anyway, so it made sense. Of course, once we return to work on our study, I will show you the results. I’m planning to use this beautiful office above for my inspiration – I think the tan colours and the plants add an earthy element to this design, which has masculine undertones and will suit the husband (and I on occasion no doubt!) perfectly.

The dual-purpose home office

If space is at a premium, you may want to create a dedicated study area in your spare bedroom. This way, it can double up as a home office. This is one of those multi-functional spare room ideas where your office space doesn’t have to dominate the room.

If you’re looking for a room with more feminine vibes,I suggest you consider pretty patterns and, for me, florals immediately spring to mind. Choose a bold wallpaper print with plenty of colour and pattern. Then take an accent colour, which you can repeat on furnishings and furniture in the room. Look for a slimline, floating desk if you don’t want the ‘working from home’ element to dominate your room. Make sure you’ve got drawers in which to hide your Mac Book Pro from view when not in use. You could add a shelf for books and soften the look with velvet seating and plumped up cushions. Last but not least, don’t forget to add some plants!

Spare bedroom ideas with a home office
With autumn already approaching (after the awful summer we’ve had?!), I love this Graham & Brown Glasshouse Flora Amethyst wallpaper. It’s certainly got a cosy feel with a gorgeous purple berry hue, £65 per roll

The functional gym

Blue home gym with black and yellow fitness equipment
This home gym with punching boxer, bicycle and other fitness equipment looks like a great place for a workout!

Creating a home gym is probably one of the most useful spare room ideas out there right now. After all, I hear more than 40% of adults in the the UK have gained an average of half a stone. And this is as a direct result of the pandemic. So, if you’re embarrassed about a return to your local gym, or perhaps you just feel safer working out at home, your own gym could provide the perfect solution. After all, it will help you maintain an exercise routine, especially if it’s on your own doorstep.

Designing your gym

I recently spoke to Michael O’Rourke, managing director at Morpheus Gym Design about this spare room idea. Morpheus provides bespoke home gym design and fit-out services for home, offices and residential developments. In short, I mean luxury gym equipment, which sounds idyllic. He tells me: “If it’s a spare bedroom you decide to repurpose as a gym, then there will be some limitations on what you can achieve. But, with the right layout, smart storage, proper gym flooring and strategically placed mirrors, you can create a space that works just like your local gym. 

Micheal offers some top tips on what to pick to create the perfect home gym: “Choose bright dedicated gym flooring which will help get you in the right frame of mind and feel great underfoot. You could add some inspirational and motivational messaging on the walls. These can be easily transferred onto walls. Ensure you have quick access to motivational music to help create the right atmosphere. ” 

He adds: “If you like using gym machines and don’t want the inconvenience of loading and unloading weights on bars, then a multi-gym machine would be a sensible choice for home gym equipment. These offer multiple gym exercises all in one compact, tidy machine. There’s no need to put weights away when you’ve finished your workout. And if you don’t like working out on your own then invest in a Peloton-style bike so you have an instructor to guide you on the way to achieving your fitness goals!”

Morpheus home gym spare room ideas
I think this home gym by Morpheus Gym Design demonstrates just what can be achieved in a loft room. I’ve already got my eye on using that Pilates reformer and I know the husband would love the free weights!

The dressing room

Well, who on earth wouldn’t consider transforming your unused space into the best dressing room ever?! When it comes to spare room ideas, this is high on my wish-list. I think it would be bliss to dress and pamper myself in my own personal walk-in wardrobe. Of course, I would ‘allow’ the husband to have his own space too. Not too much, mind you..! I think this could also be the perfect transformation for that box or ultra-narrow room. You know, the one you never really use.

If you decide to splash out on a dressing room, I’d consider how you plan to store everything, from clothes to shoes. In fact, this is where internal storage solutions should come into their own. Choose shelves for jeans and jumpers to start. And ensure you’ve got plenty of hanging space of varying heights for dresses, blouses and shirts. Also, don’t forget to count all your shoes. If you’re anything like Imelda Marcos with her reported 3,000 pairs, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room for them…

Strachan Ultimo Pearl walk-in wardrobe
From the Ultimo range, this bespoke white walk-in wardrobe showcases a beautiful pearl finish. Every section of this contemporary furniture from Strachan will be tailored to suit your needs, such as creating hanging space for formal wear

I spoke to Sarah Bramhill, Senior Projects Manager at Strachan to find out why she feels dressing rooms make the perfect choice for a spare room. She tells me: “Transforming a spare room or an area in a larger bedroom to create a luxurious bespoke walk-in wardrobe has huge benefits. It maximises and optimises all available space and can be tailored to your exact requirements. Imagine stepping into your dream walk-in wardrobe, to choose your outfit for the day. Pull-down hanging rails make it effortless to select the right pieces, while slide-out shoe racks perfectly present your footwear collection. You can choose from a range of finishes, design the layout to suit your personal requirements and add integrated smart lighting and speakers to create a beautiful space to kick start your day.”

Personal home library

A reading room would be fantastic wouldn’t it? A place to retreat to after a hard day’s work. Of course, this would mean that you’d need open shelving to display all those must-read and prized books. In this situation, I believe bespoke is the best way to achieve this. After all, the furniture will fit into every nook and cranny. So there will be no wasted space and you’ll achieve an exquisite finish.

Don’t forget to invest in a good-quality sofa and/or chairs. After all, comfort should be key, so you’ll really want to spend time in this room. Lighting will be crucial too – I would suggest positioning a lamp with light directed straight onto the pages of your book. And, during the day, plenty of natural light flooding into the room will be important. You could also organise your books – arranging them alphabetically is bound to be a practical solution.

MTD bespoke bookcase for reading room
This room design by Mark Taylor Design and interior designer Caroline Senley takes inspiration from traditional libraries with secret panelling and doors. Gorgeous isn’t it? The beautiful, bespoke bookcase cleverly conceals a television from view when it is not in use. All bespoke furniture is POA from Mark Taylor Design

The ultimate games room

Looking for some fun from your spare room? Then why not turn this into an epic entertainment space?! I can’t help thinking I wish I’d had something like this to get me through every lockdown. However, this room can also be super fun if you enjoy entertaining, especially in winter. Start by investing in a retro juke box, which plays all your favourite old-school classics, and this will instantly help to set the scene.

Spare room ideas - the games room
This new Rock-Ola Vinyl Bubbler jukebox in walnut, £15,000, offers 200 45rpm record selections and bluetooth connectivity. Add a bespoke 8ft American pool table, POA, and a fully restored Jelkes oak bar billiards table, £5,000, with a comfy sofa and you and your guests will be occupied for hours. Complete the look with a fully-restored Original 1930s Budweiser neon sign, £15,000, all from The Games Room Company

In terms of actual games, I am rather partial to ping-pong. In fact, I’ve seen these tables accommodate large groups of people for dinner parties. Just throw a tablecloth over the top and no-one will be any the wiser! If playing pool is more your thing, I suggest you make the table the focal point in your design. A beautifully-designed piece will look exquisite and will instantly draw the eye. Don’t forget you’ll want plenty of space to move around with your cue.

The Games Room Company’s CEO Alexander Walder-Smith tells me: “One of the few upsides of lockdown was that families were forced to find new ways to entertain themselves as they had much more time together at home. So, many discovered that physical games like pool and table tennis not only provided a relief from screen time, they were also multi-generational in their appeal. This way, it allowed family members to start reconnecting with each other in ways they’d completely lost over the years. Even teenagers found themselves drawn back into the fold, especially when they found that such games were the perfect outlet for competitive instincts and family rivalries!”

Home cinemas

I must admit I used to love going to the cinema so why not bring this into your home? There are plenty of ways and means in which to enjoy this experience. This is one of my spare room ideas I think you’ll find you will use quite regularly, if you’re somewhat a film buff. You could even set up your own popcorn machine to make the room feel more authentic.

Melanie Malcolm, director at Bespoke Home Cinemas says: “Bespoke, dedicated cinema and media rooms make the perfect choice for a spare room as these can enable you to enjoy high-end audio visual entertainment in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking for a dedicated cinematic experience, tiered seating featuring an ultra-high definition projector and screen will help to create the look. However, you may prefer a media room, which can be used as an additional living area during the day. So tiered seating will no longer be a suitable option. If this set-up appeals to you, I suggest adding super comfy sofas, foot stools, wall lights with a dimmer switch, art work and bookshelves. Then, at night, you can watch the same room transform thanks to a strategically placed drop-down projector and automated blinds. 

Bespoke Home Cinemas Home cinema room
Bespoke Home Cinemas offers design and installation for home cinema, multi-room media and even smart home automation systems. I love this room, which demonstrates how to transform a spare living area into a media room, designed and created by Bespoke Home Cinemas. Home cinema rooms start from £30,000 upwards

Melanie says each home cinema room one is bespoke and clients are often seen spending up to £200,000 for their custom cinemas. This, she says, is because there is no limit in what can be achieved. Melanie adds: “Once you’ve chosen the room you would like to use, it’s important to consider the screen size. Also, think about where you’ll place the seating. Do you prefer a television or a projector? The latter will work particularly well in a dark room and you’ll need to consider the type of TV, which will work in this capacity, too. Are you looking for surround sound? This will be important if you want to fully immerse yourselves in the home theatre experience. Where you position the speakers can also be crucial if you want to produce the best sound.

“There are several elements to consider when creating a room – design, construction, electronics such as a projector, screen, speakers, amplifiers, media players etc. You’ll also need to take aesthetics, such as furnishings, seating, fabric, walls, lighting, carpets etc. into account, too.”

Guest bedrooms

Perhaps the most obvious of all the spare room ideas is to change this space into the perfect place for visitors to stay overnight. After all, guest bedrooms are highly useful for all sorts of reasons. For example, if the husband decides to snore, you can always banish him to this room for some peace and quiet! I spoke to Adam Black, co-founder at Button & Sprung, who says: “Earthy, neutrals shades are perfect for homeowners looking to elevate their spare room into a guest bedroom. These modern hues introduce a feeling of calm and tranquillity whilst creating a feeling of spaciousness. In addition to an upholstered headboard, look at introducing cushions, bed linen and other soft furnishings through a muted colour palette – you can then accessorise with wall art, a plush rug and other tactile textures to create a cosy ambience perfect for guests.”

Spare room ideas Cowslip Bed in Pebble _ Clay for guest bedroom by Button & Sprung
You can upholster this gorgeous bed in a pure linen or a cotton and linen mix fabric in any colour you choose. The Cowslip bed from Button & Sprung, from £1,375, shown here features a beautiful pebble colour. Simply remove and wash the slip cover when necessary

Are you working on an open-plan kitchen project? Then read my blog about why the central island lighting should never be an afterthought here.

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