Having enough bedrooms for each of your children was a non-negotiable item when you bought your home. Now that they’re grown and out of the house you can use those rooms in new ways.
1. Hobby room
This is the number one room idea for people making the transition from parents with small kids to empty nesters. There are a variety of options, from a sewing room, to a scrapbooking room, to a video game lair, to an art studio, and even to a “man cave.” The biggest problem most couples face is whether this space goes to mom or dad.
A home museum is a room dedicated to storing and enjoying your collections. It helps clear out clutter from other parts of the house, while showing off your pastime. A home museum for music might include high-end stereo gear, while a display room for your collectible plates would be lined with shelves.
3. Home theater
There are two kinds of homeowners: those who admit wanting a home theater, and those who lie about it. Even the spouse who doesn’t watch TV would like one just to get the tube out of the living room. If you decide to go this route, for an extra touch, check in regularly with locally owned movie houses. When they replace their seats, they usually sell the old ones.
4. Recording or practice studio
Whether you opt for expensive acoustic paneling, or hang egg crate foam with a staple gun, soundproofing a spare room can make music practice or recording your podcast, more fun for everybody. Soundproofing a room is an especially good choice for a spare room that doubles as guest space. Even though they’re in an unfamiliar space, your overnight visitors will get a good night’s sleep.
5. Exercise room
Mat out your floor to practice yoga or Tai Chi. Install a weight bench or a treadmill. Hang a punching bag in the corner. Set the spare CD player in the closet for aerobics. No matter what your exercise choice, a dedicated space for it will help motivate you to stay fit and healthy.
6. Meditation room
A room in calming colors, with minimal art and lots of open space, can help you relax. Meditation means different things to different people, but whether you use a crucifix for prayer, a mat for zazen, or a comfy chair for woolgathering, this room will provide the quiet and comfortable space you crave.
Let’s face it, as much as any parent loves a child, there’s always a longing for a time when you can put yourself first. This is your time–enjoy it!
By Jason Brick