The new university or college term will soon be upon us, and if you have a child preparing to move away to study, then you may be wondering what to do with the space they’ll leave behind.
This depends to some extent upon the space you already have in your home. If you already have a guest bedroom or home office, you might want to do something fun or indulgent with the room.
Or... you might want to reassure them they’ll always have a room under your roof, whilst being aware that it could do with some reorganisation after years of teenage habitation!
Here are some ideas for your new spare room, from the most simple to the more unusual…
1) Increase the versatility of the room whilst ensuring it is still ‘their room’
The likelihood is that they will only have taken the belongings they really want with them to their new life, leaving behind old clothes, books, games etc. If you can’t persuade them to sort through all of this before they go, you may want to box some of it up, or you might prefer to leave it somewhere accessible for them. Either way, some extra storage would be very useful.
Have you considered installing some fitted bedroom furniture? Because bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, specialist Kbsa retailers will work with the room’s features to realise its true potential. Fitted furniture will make the most of the space you have, whereas free-standing furniture does not. Individually designed fitted furniture transforms even the most irregular bedroom.
You will be offered a variety of external and internal colours and finishes, so if you’re trying to keep the colour scheme appealing to your son or daughter, you’ll have no trouble finding something that will complement the rest of the room.
Another way of creating versatility without making huge changes would be to add some low level fitted cupboards and a desk in one area of the room. This would create a useful area for you to work or catch up with home administration, whilst maintaining the feel of a bedroom.
2. Add value to your house with another Bathroom
Adding another bathroom to your house may seem like a costly and intrusive procedure but it will add more value to your property than it costs to install, especially if you only currently have one bathroom.
It is true that turning a room into a bathroom is easier if the room is close to the soil stack, but if it isn’t close by, the problem can be overcome, it may just prove to be a little more expensive. You plumber will instead look into fitting a Saniflo unit, or similar. You also need to ensure that an upstairs room can take the weight of the bathroom fittings.
If the room is large, then you could think about partitioning off one corner for a bathroom to create an en-suite guest room. You don’t even need that much space - a toilet, sink and shower can be fitted into 25 square feet, and you can even fit a sliding door! With a room like this, you could even consider taking in a lodger if your offspring plan to be away for extended periods of time
3. A Home Office for the whole family
A home office isn’t just for the ‘breadwinner’ of the family to hide away with the door shut for hours on end. Most family members need some space and peace to get on with work away from the chaos of the main living areas of the house or the digital distractions of their bedrooms.
Somewhere to store and file bills, receipts and important documents is incredibly useful. As is somewhere to make phone calls and send emails, also known as the never-ending stream of life admin.
Younger teenagers may find it easier to concentrate on schoolwork somewhere quiet with a designated space of their own - and you can keep an eye on them while they do it!
If you give each family member their own shelf/cupboard/drawer space, you’ll give the clutter that has spread across kitchen worktops and coffee tables a home of its own. Hopefully, with a home office, you’ll never lose that all-important insurance certificate ever again!
4. Create the Dressing Room of your dreams
We all need somewhere to hang up our clothes and check our appearance in the mirror.
If the empty room in question is next door to your bedroom, then it would be really simple to put in an interconnecting door, or even create an open archway to make one large space. However, there is nothing to stop you from having a dressing room away from where you sleep.
Consider the following when designing the layout of your dressing room:
- Fitted furniture will make the best use of your space and create the best storage for an array of items, from shoes to winter coats and suitcases.
- Add some seating if possible - somewhere to relax or try on shoes! An ottoman will look stylish and create even more storage.
- Place a dressing table somewhere with good access to natural light, and ensure there are plenty of plugs nearby.
- Install lots of mirrors (either free-standing, on the wall or on the cupboard doors) to make the room appear larger and lighter.
You may even wish to put a sofa bed in this room for guests if you have the space.
5. A room that reflects your interests
If you feel that you spend too much money on a gym membership each month, or too much time driving backwards and forwards to it, why not create a home gym? You’ll find you can pick up essential equipment quite easily on sites like eBay, and then build up your kit as you go along. It may be prudent to ask a builder to check the strength of the floor if you’re planning on putting in especially heavy equipment, or doing a lot of cardio. The floor will then need covering in commercial-grade foam flooring squares. You could add some mirrors for motivation, and an air-conditioning unit for the days when your workout is really tough!
If the gym isn’t your thing, you could transform the room into an art and crafts room. If your hobby is painting, dressmaking or photography, then having the space and peace to really indulge in these activities could be wonderful.
Finally, for the big kids out there, or simply for the whole family to enjoy, you can’t beat a games room. Go old school, with a table tennis table and a Pac-man arcade game! Alternatively, install a big screen for the games console and home cinema screenings. There are some great home cinema seating ideas on Pinterest.