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2007-05-03 13:35:00

Turn Empty Rooms Into Useful Spaces

What Kind of Room Do You Want?

Use your imagination. Create a multipurpose room and make it as informal or as formal as you want. Here are a few ideas:

Den/Guest Room

Turn the room into a guest room, reading room or den.

A den can be a small, comfortable version of a living room. Family and guests can play games or watch TV while everyone else relaxes in the more formal living room.

A reading room allows you to close the door and read in peace and quiet. Use task lighting in the room for different activities.

To create a guestroom, simply add a twin or double bed to your den or reading room. Turn the bed into a comfy reading area by adding pillows. Your guests will be more relaxed having their own room and your family will have privacy when visitors spend the night.

Hobby/Craft/Storage Room

Sewing room, craft room or indoor potting area? Any of these (or a combination) would make a great addition to your home.

For the creative side in all of us, wouldn't it be great to have a room dedicated to crafts? The room should be complete with a worktable and should be multifunctional for activities throughout the year. During the holidays, use the room as a gift wrapping station.

If collecting is your hobby, turn your spare space into a memorabilia room. Let your friends get the full effect of the extent of your collections. All of your items can be neatly arranged and protected in one room.

More storage space — we all need it. Organize your spare room using the many storage systems available. Storage boxes combined with wire shelving will leave your home clutter-free.

Bring your favorite outdoor hobby indoors for the winter. An indoor potting room allows you to re-pot your overgrown plants and keep the re-potting mess out of the kitchen. Make sure your floors are water and stain-resistant.

Home Office

Convert the entire room or just the closet into an office.

Now is your chance to move the computer out of the kitchen and into an office. Whether you work from home on a daily basis or you just want a quiet place to work on occasion, a home office is a nice addition.

Use stock kitchen cabinets to create lots of storage space for your home office.

Be sure to add a comfortable chair and appropriately sized desk or table. For more information, check out Setting up a Home Office.

Recreation or Music Room

A recreation room is a great place to entertain. Add a bumper table, beanbag chairs and a small refrigerator. Decorate the walls with your favorite posters and neon lights for the ultimate party atmosphere.

Have you always wanted to have your own personal space to practice your music? With your own music room you can have privacy and isolate the noise.

Here are a few tips for inexpensively absorbing sound in a recreation or music room:

Use heavy carpeting and padding in the room to help keep sound from escaping through the floor. If you have hardwood floors and don't want to cover them, add rugs to absorb sound.
Pad walls with blankets, 1/4" thick carpet (applied with mastic), heavy fabric or self-sticking cork tile squares.

If you don't like the idea of hanging blankets or fabric on your walls, plain fabric wallpaper or heavy wallpaper will help to absorb some sound.

If possible, install and weatherstrip a solid wood door.

Planning and Arranging

When you've chosen the type of room, go through the design process and choose everything you want to include in the new room, from paint to light fixtures. Planning ahead will save you money in the long run.

Changing the color of a room can give it a facelift. If you aren't adding sound-absorbing material to the walls, paint the room a color to fit the atmosphere. Choosing the color scheme may be one of the most important decorating decisions you make.

Use one of the many faux painting techniques for a textured look and to hide minor damage to the walls.

Determine the focal point of the room. Find the dramatic element that draws your immediate attention. No matter what type of room you choose to create, there will always be one central focus. Whether it’s a bed in a guest room or a desk in a home office, these items define the space. Arrange the furniture based on the focal point.

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