Unfortunately a lot of spare rooms in people’s homes are vacant the majority of the time. This just seems like a huge waste, especially when you have spent all the money buying your house. Why not make good use of the room when you don’t have guests staying in it. Not only will this make you feel better, using all the rooms in your house, but it could even impress potential buyers should you ever intend to sell, as they will see how versatile the room, and your home, can be.
So how do you go about deciding what to turn the room into and how do you make sure you can convert it back to a guest room easily?
What extra space do you really need or want?
This is a really important question because it is your house after all and if you are going to convert the room into something else, you need to make sure it will be used in its new form.
Think carefully about what would give you the most value. For instance, do you work from home a lot but currently work off the dining room table? Would you therefore benefit from having the room as part spare and part office?
Or do you have a lot of media taking up space in your living room or bedroom, such as a PlayStation, a Wii console, DVD player and countless DVDs? An unused spare room would make an excellent part time entertainment room.
Or would a playroom be more suitable for you? If you have young children you probably have lots of toys taking up valuable space in your living room. Therefore, why not make the spare room into a part time playroom?
All of these ideas are more than viable as all you generally need are some clever furniture choices, good storage capabilities and a bit of vision as to where everything will live in the room. There are some ideas below to help you out a bit.
1. A home office
As flexible working becomes ever more popular and the number of self-employed people working from home continues to rise, the need for home office space does too. Not only can you therefore sell the point of your house having a ‘study’ but you can also say ‘or additional bedroom if required’.
You don’t need too much space to make this work either, provided you make the right choices as far as storage is concerned. Here are a few must haves for a home office:
- Phone/internet access – If you have WiFi this isn’t too much of an issue, however, having a phone line connected to your spare room is generally worth doing anyway, especially if you want something like Sky TV in there!
- Corner desk – these take up less space whilst making the most of awkward, often unused corners.
- Chair – Be sure to check your chair fits under the desk, otherwise you will waste valuable space and the office won’t look as neat.
- Storage – If you want a filing cabinet, choose one that fits under your desk so as not to waste any floor space. Otherwise, put up shelves above your desk, as this will leave more room for a bed/ sofa bed.
2. An entertainment room
If you have a lot of media, i.e. console games, DVDs, Wii components it can make a room look very messy and cluttered. Therefore it is a great idea to use the spare room to store all this in instead of your living room. However, you need to think carefully about storage and how you can keep things together, tidily.
Look for cabinets which can be shut, therefore hiding your music or other media paraphernalia. If you are going to be making a lot of noise, it is also worth considering laying a nice thick carpet down, so as to protect the rest of the house. It will also be nice and comfy for your guests to walk on.
Think about putting up shelving on one side of the room, taking care not to obstruct any floor space which might be needed for a bed. It’s also worth considering getting a sofa bed instead of a traditional one, simply because this will give you space to relax and somewhere to sit when playing games etc.
3. A children’s playroom
Anyone with young children will appreciate just how much space they take over in your home. They can’t help it; they just come with a lot of paraphernalia. However, there is no reason why you should have to have their toys littered everywhere throughout your home.
Turning your spare room into a playroom can be really easy. One of the most important things for a playroom is storage. You can put up lots of shelving and organise their toys, taking care to make sure things they use regularly are within reach.
You can, once again, use a sofa bed instead of a traditional one, which will give them more space to play and somewhere to sit and read nicely, off the floor, if they want to. To protect the floor of the room, why not buy those foam alphabet or number tiles. Then spillages and dirt won’t mark your floor and the foam tiles can be easily removed whenever you have guests.
Laura writes for Jaga Home Heating. When not blogging about Jaga valves, she can often be found ordering spares.