Did you know that people are living in increasingly larger homes? I sure didn’t know a big house is a trend! Apparently, the average size in 1973 was 1,525 square feet, but today, the average size of a new home, according to the US Census Bureau, is 2,457 square feet. That’s a lot of space to make use of.
What to do With a Big House
There are many reasons why you may have more space than you need. Maybe one or more of your children moved out, or you fell in love with a large house that had more rooms than you know what to do with. You may have opted for a big house because you don’t want your kids to feel crammed and freely move around. Perhaps you receive guests several times a year or have a live-in nanny.
I for one checked off a couple of those boxes and bought a big house. While my place is not as large as the average home at 2150 square feet without the basement (bringing it to 3150 square feet with the basement), I did have extra pockets of space.
If you find you have extra space, don’t just let them go to waste. There are lots of ideas for making great use of that extra space, whether your home is in Los Angeles, Ottawa, Miami, Detroit or anywhere else.
One of the most obvious ways to make use of that space is to turn it into a guest room. If you have frequent overnight guests, it’s going to be a big benefit, making things more comfortable for everyone. It’s not hard to do, all you need is a bed and linens, and perhaps a nightstand with a lamp. A simply and clean place where your guests can have their own private place to escape occasionally and enjoy a good night’s sleep definitely makes it less stressful on you.
Rather than re-accommodating the kids into each others’ or your room, or having your guests overflow on the couch, a guest room takes care of that. I know for me that was a problem until I created a guest space.
Having a private spot to clear your head, unwind and relax can make a significant difference in the overall quality of your life. If you’ve been dealing with a lot and thinking of seeking therapy, having a space where you can simply let go is a great compliment to professional help.
You don’t even have to have an entire spare room, it can an empty space in a corner or anywhere else. An attic can be ideal too as it provides multiple options for a cozy corner for reading and meditation. Keep it simple by adding comfy seating and perhaps some candles or even a small water feature that mimics the sound of a stream or waterfall.
If you enjoy working out regularly or you’re trying to motivate yourself to get started, turn that space into a home gym. When you have a convenient place to exercise and don’t have to worry about making a commute to a fitness centre, you’re much more likely to keep up that good habit. Add cardio equipment like an exercise bike or treadmill, some hand weights and a yoga mat. You might want a mirror and a little table for your laptop if you plan to use workout videos, or maybe an old TV with a DVD player.
Consider even adding a punching bag if you like boxing, martial arts or just get a cardio kick out of it. I know for me the home gym thing doesn’t work because I get motivated seeing others workout, but I am considering adding a punching bag once I finish my basement.
If you like to create, having your own art studio will provide plenty of space to bring out your best. Ideally it should be in a room with lots of windows for natural light. You can even turn a small space into a functional place for making those works of art. Add a desk and a storage cabinet, bookshelf or an old dresser for art supplies. Place an easel in a corner of the room near a window.
You can also use it as a craft room for sewing, quilting and the like. I’ve done that in a corner of my office room and it works out great. I added shelves and a cabinet to decoratively store the items.
If you have to bring work home occasionally or have your own side hustle, having a private space for an office where you can stay organized and prevent interruptions, may be your best option. This will also keep clutter out of the rest of the house. A laptop, printer, papers, mail, etc., can really uglify your place when it’s scattered everywhere.
You’ll need the obvious items like a desk and comfortable chair. Don’t forget to make it a pleasant place to be. Perhaps adding fun décor, motivational pictures, family photos and plants. I’ve added some nice yet functional decor that doubles as storage boxes or shelving in my office room.
If you have small kids, or a teen or tween, wouldn’t be nice to have everything in one space? Putting the toys or video games in one area where it doesn’t overflow elsewhere. Yup! I hear ya! You may not have enough space to put their toys in their room or family room. Maybe you just don’t want to have the toys in those areasa. Creating a play room can be a great solution. Adding a TV where the Xbox or Playstation can be hooked, shelving and storage for toys and craft supplies in the room keeps it tidy.
This space also works great when the kids’ friends come over because they play in one area rather than be everywhere.
The Gist of it
Having a big house is great but sometimes you’re left wondering what to do with the extra space. Transforming some of those rooms into functional spaces like an office, a guest room, gym, or even a play room can help you make good use out of it and stay organized.
How have you transformed your extra space in your big house?
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