What to do with that Extra Room
Sometimes in life you get a little more than you bargained for, and it works out to your benefit. When it comes to renting, or buying a home you could find yourself with an extra room you never counted on before. This could happen later in life when the kids move out too. Either way, between the spouses there could be an argument brewing over who gets to use the space and what the space is going to be used for. How you settle that question is completely up to you, but consider your decision carefully and make it benefit the house instead of tearing it apart.
Men like to have their own space, and while many times they pay for everything and the entire home is their space, sometimes they just need private space. This space is a guy’s room, and it could be where they hang out with their buddies, drink beer and just be guys. It could be a gaming room, with billiards or video games, or a large television and fridge for sporting events. It could be a bar with lounge chairs as well. It all depends on the guy and what he wants to add in his private space. Some guys are hunters, making it the perfect place to store the guns, and trophies. Some are athletes with trophies of a different kind. Some are collectors and just want a space to show off their collection, even if it is just shown to the family. Some guys are into hobbies such as miniatures, train sets and models. While these spaces are not solely for the guys anymore, it gets the name from the fact that it was a male dominant place for a long time, and with everything becoming more equal, even a man wants a space of their own.
Most ladies enjoy having space of their own as much as the guys do. This doesn’t mean that they want to do crafts so it could turn into a yoga room or private space for themselves to relax in. Something my mother always had, (and my wife wants when we get a house), is a craft room. This doesn’t mean they are going to be making crafts on a constant basis, but for those men and women that are involved in school programs such as PTA, it comes in handy. Here is where they will store many of the decorations for different times of the year. Not outdoor decorations mind you, but birthday supplies, wrapping paper, a sewing machine perhaps and other items if they are into crafts. There is going to be a table in them to work on, and at least a chair or two as well.
You will want to be organized with this space to limit how long it takes to get everything together, so make use of the closet and get some chests of drawers to store things in by category or holiday. The table is perfect to work on, making it easier to lay everything out on when working on a project, or wrapping presents. This room could be off limits to the children, making it a great place to keep presents, at least until they start sneaking around for them.
When kids dominate your life, they need to have some space of their own. By giving them a playroom and filling it with toys that they love and enjoy, you can keep them busy and let them have their space. It keeps all the toys in one room and teaches them independence. You can even give them little desks to color on (with their coloring books of course). You might want to organize the room to have storage for the different types of toys, perhaps a couple of chairs and desks and any playsets that you might want to add. There are slides and other types of toys that are safe enough to be in the house, with smaller children. Of course, as they grow older the room will need to change with them.
Families get bigger and kids like to come home to visit. So, do parents. If you need a place to sleep for those guests, and seem to have them over more often then you thought you would, a guest room might be the perfect use of that extra room. Here you will want at least a queen-sized bed, a dresser and nightstand, a lamp, and a closet. While the room might already have a closet, be sure to keep some extra hangars in the room. Keeping an extra set of bath towels in this room is a great addition and time saver for when guests arrive. You can keep them wrapped in plastic to keep them fresh, stored in the closet and ready to use. You might even add television and movie player (DVD or Blu-ray) to the room.
The decor should be friendly and inviting with a neutral color or tone to it. The same goes for the mattress and the pillowcases too.
For those that love to work out, but want to do so in the privacy of their own home, a gym might be in order. This extra room is the size of a bedroom though so you won’t be able to completely fill it with workout gear or machines, but there is room to make a small gym. A treadmill or elliptical machine are great starts. You can add a stationary bike, and a workout bench with the amount of space that is left, giving you enough room to work out in the comfort of your own home. Just be sure you keep the room well-ventilated so you don’t overheat in there.
If you have a home business, then the decision is already made for you. A home office where you can work and make money from is a great place to separate business from family. It acts as a personal space so long as work is getting done. You will need to have everything you need in it to make it into a proper office though. This will include a desk, computer, perhaps a filing cabinet, bookshelves and storage. You will need to have space to hold your supplies to run your business, whatever they might be. (I run an E-bay business and use my computer for writing. I use an armoire to hold collectibles I sell, and the drawers hold movies and games that I sell. My unit has two shelves, allowing me to access everything quickly. I also have a filing cabinet to keep track of sales, and purchases along with contact information for other sellers. My desk has enough space for the computer, multi-function printer, a desk lamp, and writing supplies. I have a separate bookshelf in a closet that holds various books I sell, plus shipping supplies.)
Keep in mind that your office might need its own phone lines, and if you have home security with video surveillance, this is the perfect place to have it connected to. Those phones lines are for the fax machine if you need one, and for all your internet needs. Of course, this all depends on who sets up your system, and what you need it for.
Take note of the size and space of the room. If your office is making you enough money to report on your taxes, the space that you use can be deducted on your taxes. Consult with your tax preparer for more information.