Re-purpose a vacant room in your home into the room you’ve always wanted.

When kids move away or other life changes occur, you may find yourself with empty space in a home you thought was too small to create your dream room. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

Turn the unused bedroom into a luxury closet. It’s every woman’s fantasy. You walk into a room and it’s like you’re in a department store instead of a junky storage space. Your spouse probably will love it too, at least if you share. Create a center banquette for putting your shoes on. You can have shelves, racks, color, item or purpose-sorted clothes, a vanity table in a corner. Maybe a chaise lounge and a full-length mirror. And don’t forget to have great mood and task lighting. It probably will turn into your favorite room.

Hmmm, now what to do with your former bedroom closet? Turn it into an office or craft space. Take out the hanging racks, use existing shelves for supplies. Add 1 x 2s about desk height and place painted plywood on those to make a desk or work space. Genius.

Make a den from an unused bedroom. Have a hide-a-bed with shabby chic décor and a cozy couch, coffee table, TV and plants.

Turn a small unused bedroom into the gorgeous master bathroom you always wanted. This project is a little more expensive because of plumbing. If your house is on a raised foundation, the plumber can run pipes in the crawl space. If you have a slab foundation, the plumber has to cut cement and it will cost more. So depending on design, it might run from $20,000 to $75,000.

Turn a bedroom  into a guest room/home office. Add a day bed for guests. Now you can use the home office most of the time and when guests are there, just take the laptop into your bedroom or kitchen and still work.

Create a dream reading room. It’s like a man cave but tranquil. Cozy up with a book or newspapers. The critical component is an incredibly comfortable chair or sofa. Spend a little on an oversized and overstuffed leather chair with an ottoman. Add a small side table. You can even get a desk that turns over and faces you as if you are lying in a lawn chair. Hang your tablet or laptop upside down and relax your arms.

Turn a bedroom into a game room. No more kids taking over the living room or den. Make a place for video games, TV, music, board games, maybe ping pong or air hockey. Make a chalkboard paint wall or paint a wall with dry-erase board paint by Benjamin Moore. Throw a few bean bag chairs on the floor and put in a mini-refrigerator. Soundproof the door. Turn a dresser into a storage area.

And why should kids have all the fun? Adults need game rooms, too. Make the refrigerator a little larger. Add a billiards table.

Create a home gym. Build a squat rack built out of 4x 4s. Add a yoga mat, treadmill, TV and DVR player, sound system, a large mirror and a ballet barre. Paint the walls a vibrant color to watch yourself do fancy hip hop or martial arts  moves. Save space with a  dumbbell rack.  Use engineered wood flooring, which you can easily install yourself over almost any surface. Add a vapor barrier between the flooring and concrete. It will have give, sort of like a basketball court, and it’s inexpensive.

Make a dog or cat palace. Even animals need a place to go and hide. Have a soft place to rest, a cat tower in the corner. Put all your supplies, treats, feeding station in there.

Make your own home theater. A giant TV is a start, but a ceiling-mounted projection screen beats it all. You can find reasonable home theater packages for $1500 to $3000 with great engineered surround sound. THX surround sound.

Of course, if you are going to take over your kid’s bedroom when they head off to college, it’s important to discuss it with your child first. Reassure your child that this is still their home and they’ll always have a place to stay. And save, and maybe display, as much of their memorabilia as you can.

 Looking for more ideas? Listen In:

This post is adapted from the May 31, 2014 episode of Home Wizards that was released on iTunes June 4, 2014. You can find this segment during hour one of the podcast.

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