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5 tasteful ways to transform a spare room

Hands up, who doesn’t make good use of their spare room? Or perhaps you call it something else… ‘dumping ground’, ‘hoarding site’, ‘generally useless, full-to-the-brim, anxiety-inducing rubbish tip’?
Hints & Tips Lifestyle

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us, through no apparent fault of our own, end up with a spare room that’s so overrun with stuff (ironing boards, computer screens, coats, unidentified cables etc.) that they cease to be useful in any way. Despite our best intentions, this extra space turns into a sort of eternal black hole, eating up everyday items, never be seen again. But it doesn’t have to be this way. All it takes is a little imagination, and a shift in attitude – it’s time to stop thinking of your spare room as ‘spare’. The minute you stop referring to it as an extra bit of space in your otherwise useful home, it will cease to be the no man’s land that it is, and turn into something genuinely useful instead. Here are some of our favourite ways to turn your spare room into a purposeful, tastefully revamped, and definitely not spare room.

1. Second living room

A second living room… upstairs? We know, it’s an ‘out-there’ concept, but trust us, adding a second living space to your home can be a revelation. Not only does it give you an extra chillout zone, it alleviates some of the pressure when it comes to fighting for the TV remote – particularly useful for big families or for the relationships in which somebody wants to watch all the latest sport and their partner, well, doesn’t. If the room is small, invest in a super slim-fit sofa and a wall mounted TV (there are some great budget options on the market). That way you’ll make the most of the space while ensuring it’s genuinely useful too (goodbye piles of tangled coat hangers, odd socks and unread books). Add a couple of small side tables at either side of the sofa, plus lamps a-plenty and a coffee table if it’ll fit, and voila – you’ve turned that useless space into a cosy, very useful snug.

2. Dressing room

If your bedroom wardrobe is overflowing with clothes, turning your spare room into a dressing room can be a godsend. Use open clothes rails instead of wardrobes for an eclectic, laid-back vibe, and shop around for a chic dressing table, complete with mirror and handy drawers for all your beauty bits and bobs. Invest in a decent sized, full length mirror (a major part of the outfit-decision operation), and brighten the room with plenty of fresh flowers. Install spotlights to ensure there’s plenty of bright light for make-up application, and remove all unnecessary clutter and furniture for a calm and restful room with a feeling of spaciousness – the perfect place to prepare for the day… or glam up for a big night out.


3. Guest room

Of course, you could go down the traditional route and transform your ‘wouldn’t-let-a-cat-sleep-in-here’ spare room, into a stunning, ‘actually-for-guests’ guest room. Invest in a beautiful set of bedding or, better yet, a brand new bed, to give the room the overhaul it needs. Again, if the room errs on the cosy side, explore adjustable guest beds as an option – that way you can leave it as a more spacious single guest room day-to-day but extend to a double if need be.

Decorate the room with all those chic finishing touches you’d find in a boutique hotel – plump cushions, luxurious throws, and cosy nightlamps for reading. If you need guest bed ideas, explore sites like Pinterest to get inspiration, or flick through interior magazines for the season’s latest trends. It can be a good idea to pick one item you love – as simple as a cushion or a rug – and decorate the room around this, using it as a base for your colour scheme and style. And don’t worry, if you like the idea of having a second living room or dressing room, but also need a place for people to stay, you could go for a futon or folding guest bed to create a multi-purpose room. That way, you can have your cake and eat it too.

4. Studio

Whether you’re an avid writer, love to paint, read up on history or make music, you’ll find yourself much more likely to participate in the interest you ‘never have time for’ if you create some physical space for it. It can be tough trying to pursue something outside our often all-consuming work and family lives, but by dedicating a room to your hobby you might find yourself sneaking up there more often than you think. Declutter the space and set it up for the thing you love to do – easels for the artists, tall lamps and comfy chairs for the readers, instruments and recording equipment for the musicians. You get the picture. By giving yourself a clearly defined space for your favourite activity, you’ll be able to set aside some real time in the week for it. Now doesn’t that sound appealing?


5. Library

If your house is plagued by random piles of books which are forever getting lost under beds and down the sides of sofas, why not create your very own library? With a few tasteful bookshelves and a cosy armchair or two, you’ll be set with a restful room just for reading. Deck the room out with lots of lovely finishing touches too, making it the kind of space you actually want to spend time in as opposed to a dumping ground for books. Think candles and warm, welcoming lamps for a cosy vibe, plus lots of squishy cushions and a footstool for when you’re settling in for the long-haul with your favourite book.

So, there you have it, there are plenty of ways to get out of ‘spare room limbo’ when you put your mind to it. It’s all about giving the space a clear sense of identity and making sure you stick to it. Grab some bin bags, ditch that miscellaneous stuff, and get to work on putting the room back to good use. Goodbye broken lamps, old hair dryers and ancient clothes, and hello brand new, actually useful room.


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