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Tips for converting idle space into just the right place

Barre Room

Having a barre in your home can help release your inner ballerina.

The kids have flown the nest and now a bedroom sits empty – waiting for a transformation. Could it be a ______________?  Why, yes, it could.

Homeowners are filling in that blank with fun ideas for creating the perfect haven. Whether it’s a sewing room, a yoga destination, a ballet studio complete with a barre, or a more traditional library or den – transforming an unused bedroom offers a variety of benefits.

But, deciding on how to use the new-found space may be the biggest challenge.

A list of favorite activities ranked in order of preference will help narrow the possibilities. Think about how the room might save travel time to the gym or be re-energized as a place for meditation or simply make a hobby more accessible. Delete the impractical possibilities – a basketball court will not fit in the former nursery.

Then, review the remaining choices. Are there plumbing, electrical or technical installations required? Is a sink needed for easy cleanup? Additional outlets for musical equipment or a media system for work-outs are common additions.

If the room will serve more than one purpose then integration of its uses must be taken into account.

When designing the perfect space, don’t neglect what is underfoot. The room’s flooring selection will depend on it’s purpose. Tile is well-suited for spaces that have high foot traffic and heavy furniture, but a softer material, like wood, cork or commercial-grade carpeting, is better for acoustics.

Color can signal action, influence mood and cause physiological reactions. Yellow grabs attention, while blue calms the nerves. Red evokes intense feelings and green represents tranquility. Picking a wall color to complement the room’s use is a good idea.

Likewise, it’s important to match the room’s lighting to its function. Recessed and task lighting are efficient alternatives, and if relaxation is the goal, wall sconces add a subtle touch of class.

In a space reserved for sewing, storage and task lighting are important must-haves.

In a space reserved for sewing, storage and task lighting are important must-haves.

Thoughtful storage also is necessary to keep the room organized. Removing closet doors opens a new dimension for a desk or sewing table, file cabinet, or shelves and containers to help reduce clutter.

Multiple-drawer cabinets are perfect for stowing media gadgets as well as art and sewing supplies.

New floors, fresh paint and convenient storage always provide a good return on investment. With careful planning and attention to detail, that once dormant bedroom can become just the right place to unwind.

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