The 20 Best Spare Room Ideas for Any Purpose

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Maybe you recently moved into a bigger home, or a roommate or child has moved out, and you've found yourself with an extra room. Or perhaps you've long had a spare room and you've finally decided to transform it into a useful and productive space. Whatever the reason may be, there are virtually endless possibilities for unused rooms. From an inspiring office to a fully-loaded gym, trust us, you really can't go wrong with a spare room makeover.

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Aside from the obvious bonus of simply having more space, there are many reasons to celebrate having an extra room. It affords you the opportunity to limit certain activities to one area as opposed to having work documents and exercise equipment strewn all over the house. Plus, the separate space allows for privacy and focus — two things that might be difficult to achieve otherwise.

Reimagining a spare room doesn't have to involve a lot of time or money — it depends entirely on its function. For example, are you creating a relaxing studio to level up your yoga or mediation practice? If so, a soothing retreat void of clutter might simply require a fresh coat of paint and a mat or bolster. However, if you're dreaming of something more involved, like a laundry room, your spare room design is going to be more costly. Be realistic about how much time, money, and energy you want to invest in order to convert your extra space. The last thing you want to do is create a new room that goes unused because you don't like it or it's not functional.

Looking for creative ways to transform that extra space? Here are 20 inspiring design ideas worth considering.

20 Spare Room Ideas For Any Purpose

1. Create a space for fun and games.

Encourage family time and togetherness with a game room that's all about fun. Include an expansive table where you can puzzle or play, along with comfortable chairs and adequate storage for neatly stowing board games, cards, or video games. This charming setup by Chango & Co. features a muted color palette and simple furnishings that are reminiscent of a beach-chic cottage.

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2. Set up a movie theater.

If you're a movie buff, or even if you just enjoy a good flick now and then, it's hard to beat watching them on a big screen in the comfort of your own home. Go for a real cinematic experience by splurging on a projector (or you can make one with this DIY project), and then maximize those comfy vibes with a deep sofa, plush area rug, and blackout curtains, like interior designer Tracie Butler did in this contemporary home theater.

3. Tackle a home gym.

Excuses be damned. With a home gym, you'll keep your workout routine on track. Protect the floor with a high-impact rubber mat and then add your favorite exercise equipment. Drive home the ultimate gym experience with a TV, expansive mirror, and ballet bar, as the McCann Design Group did in this efficient space.

4. Build out a library.

Let your love of books envelop you in a room dedicated to the art of the written word. Line walls from floor-to-ceiling with built-ins or, as Lauren Liess did in this approachable space, bookshelves to display your collection of tomes. A window seat and sofa for two make ideal perches for settling in with a good book.

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5. Earn a little extra cash with a rental.

Depending on the size and location of your spare room, you may be able to turn it into an income property, replete with a kitchenette, petite dining table, and a large bed. Ideally a space like this would have a separate entrance.

6. Set up a proper home office.

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

There are so many creative ways to integrate a WFH setup into just about any part of the house. However, if you have a spare room and are working from home on the regular, a dedicated office space that will accommodate an ample desk and proper storage will help boost productivity and organization. Add personal flair by adding a unique rug, one-of-a-kind artwork, and interesting lighting.

7. Bring out your artistic side with a craft room.

Turn a spare room into a dedicated studio for art, crafting, and DIY projects. Keep supplies within arm's reach by sorting pens and pencils into desktop holders and a stack of paper into trays — it's a creative space, so there is no need for it to look perfect.

8. Turn it into a playroom.

A playroom that can house all (or most) of your children's toys will go a long way in keeping clutter at bay in the rest of your home. Add shelves and bookcases (secured to the wall to protect curious climbers), throw in a comfy chair or two, and incorporate plenty of bins and baskets to make clean-up a cinch for little ones. Keep it fun with lots of color and childlike accessories.

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9. Discover a music room.

Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

Jam on — without disrupting the whole house — with a room that's just for making music. Use instruments as decor and make it practical with the addition of a table and computer to write down lyrics, as well as edit creations. If you're a serious musician, consider soundproofing the walls with added insulation to improve recordings ​and​ to keep your housemates happy.

10. Make a gift wrapping station.

This space by Grace Hill makes a pretty compelling case for converting a spare room into one dedicated to the art of gift wrapping. Now, while this idea might feel a bit indulgent, being organized and having all of your gifting supplies for every occasion easily accessible will ultimately save you precious time and frustration.

11. Set up a peaceful sanctuary.

Nourish your soul with a quiet space dedicated to yoga and/or meditation. You really don't need much to pull off this decorating idea: Just minimize the clutter, paint the walls in a soothing color, and stash any regularly used equipment such as yoga mats, blocks, and bolsters in attractive baskets or storage bins.

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12. Install a proper laundry room.

We know a beautiful laundry room won't diminish the amount of washing and folding you need to do, but we bet it'll feel like less of a chore and, bonus, you'll have plenty of space to sort, pretreat, and even line dry clothes and linens. Make like Meghan Carter did in this refreshing space and paint the walls an unexpected hue, install a graphic floor tile, and include a hanging bar and a sink.

13. Treat yourself to a dressing room.

Give your belongings some breathing room (and finally see what you actually own) by converting a spare bedroom into a walk-in closet that dreams are made of. Follow the lead of Kira David and include plenty of lighting, a floor-length mirror, and a plush ottoman.

14. Build a home bar.

Flex your entertaining muscles by morphing a spare room into a space that caters to hosting friends and family. Include an island bar with plenty of seating, a mini-fridge, open shelving to display spirits, and even a few interactive games (like darts or pool) as the folks at Black Band did in this industrial-inspired hangout.

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15. Consider a workroom.

Tap into your inner builder with a room centered around building and fixing things. Take inspo from this charming space by Rachel Bishop, who designed a decidedly rustic workshop with plenty of natural light. Abundant storage space, constructed from simple brackets and wood planks, is a practical solution, while a reclaimed wood ceiling and board and batten walls impart a warm and welcoming vibe.

16. Set up a homework station.

A quiet workspace void of distractions and clutter is just as important for little ones who need to tackle homework as it is for grownups. Collective Studio upped the ante on this work station by making it suitable for two, and included plenty of storage solutions and wall-mounted accessories to keep things organized and tidy.

17. Design an oasis for your plants.

If you have a serious thing for plants, carve out a slice of your abode just for your verdant friends. You'll relish having your very own oasis chock-full of lush greenery to enjoy a few quiet moments of reflection, dive into a good book, or jump on a call with friends. Take a page out of Hilton Carter's design handbook and weave in a few pieces of furniture and decor to make it extra relaxing and cozy.

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18. Include a mudroom.

Mudrooms help bring order to homes by creating a designated drop zone, but just because they're practical doesn't mean they can't also be beautiful. Studio McGee knows that the secret to a functional and sophisticated mudroom is in the custom built-ins. Opt for cabinetry with a streamlined design to distract from the chaos that could be lying in wait behind the closed doors.

19. Create a loving nursery.

Welcome the newest member of your family with their very own safe haven by transforming a spare room into a nursery. Include whimsical wallpaper, colorful accents, and eye-catching decor, as Studio DB did for a perfect balance of age-appropriate yet sophisticated design.

20. "Settle" for a guest room.

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

When all is said and done, there's nothing wrong with using a spare room as an actual bedroom. Make it an escape that overnight guests will look forward to by springing for some home-away-from-home necessities, like bedside lighting, fluffy pillows, and high-quality sheets. Remember, a clutter-free environment makes for a better night's rest.

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Jaclyn Schatzow is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA