I recently had the fun of re-watching the 1973 movie edition of Tales from the Crypt. An absolute design gem in my opinion, you can find lovely mise-en-scenes in most old films (especially in Hitchock’s). Try watching some of your favorite old films for inspiration when designing anything. You’ll find as many tacky, funny goodies as you will absolutely sensational ones. Mind not the knives, terror-stricken faces and gore — as my grandmother LaVera once said, murder is necessary to tell a story.
Those of us who are fortunate to have a spare bedroom know that figuring out what to do with it can be tricky. More often than not, this room is a sight for sore eyes – full of random “keepsakes” and loads of junk. Either that or it’s a combination of an office and work out area (that just so happens to have a bed in it).
Here are a few ideas to help jump start your thinking process. See if any catch your eye!
An at-home Gym
How many times have you intended to work out after/before work but didn’t end up making it to the gym? Well, a home-gym is a great way to motivate you to work out. After all, it’s hard to get up early enough to drive to the gym and the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is head off to your local work-out facility.
An at-home gym is convenient for many reasons and you’re more likely to use the machinery if you’ve got a nice room designated for such activity!
A quiet/relaxation room
This room should whisper “serene” every time you walk inside it. Paint the walls a muted color that’s easy on the eyes. Fill it will soft, plush furniture, candles and lots of books or drawing/painting supplies. An indoor water fountain would be a great addition, too. Allow yourself to melt away in this sacred space with books, crafts, meditation and even sleep.
A toy room for children
If you have children who frequent your house, this is a great idea. Paint the walls a cheery color and even add some bright/child-like decals on the wall. I remember my grandmother’s playroom had several dresses filled with dress-up clothes, jewelry and accessories. Add a few books shelves and lots of stuffed animals/games. Another benefit of having a special room for children to play in (aside from you playing in the room and pretending you are a kid again) is that the mess stays there. Also, everything has its place so it’s easier to tidy up when they are finished playing.
A bar lounge
Turn your spare room into a bar/lounge, especially if you like entertaining company! It’s completely utilitarian and inspires you to invite guests, too! Make sure you have seating (be it around a table or casual lounge chairs/sofas) and plenty of sturdy tables to place drinks and food. Create a room that allows people to move freely, schmooze and relax. Avoid placing a TV in this room as it’s not conducive to conversation!
A gaming room
This is targeted to the gentlemen reading, but even a woman can enjoy a game room! Add a pool table, air hockey or a foosball table as your main feature and then add other games, too. Be sure to include a nice table for playing board games! You could go retro with arcade games or old Nintendo or you could jump into the future with more up-to-date gaming consoles (like the Wii). This is great for entertaining and sure to be a hit with friends and family.
A movie room
Whether you’re a movie buff or simply like to watch movies, go all out with this one! If you have the means, purchase a nice television and surround sound system. Add (really) comfortable sofas or chairs that are great for movie-watching and a few tables to set food/drinks. As for decoration, you could go with a genre theme. For example, a 40s theme with lots of movie posters, quotes, etc.
This is great for those of us who always have our nose in a book! It’s also nice for those who wish their nose was in a book more often! Make this room one that you can relax in. Soft colors, plush seating and great lighting. Then, add lots and lots of bookshelves and fill those babies with books! You can even organize the books however you like: by genre, by author, etc. One thing that may be interesting for decoration is framed book covers or pictures of your favorite authors!