Fun, useful room remodels for when the kids leave

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Once the kids leave the house, it can feel overwhelmingly empty and quiet, like something’s missing.

While it may take some adjusting to recreate the spaces your kids once occupied, a remodeling project will help you start to feel like you’re gaining something — instead of losing it.

When deciding how to best use your new, empty space, you may want to first consider the classics. A guest room, home office or gym is an excellent option if that suits your immediate needs.

If you already have a guest room and adequate work spaces, then you may want to consider something a bit more out of the ordinary.

Home Theater

With Netflix, binge-watching and on-demand movies, a home theater is a great way to get maximum use out of your space.

It’s perfect for a quiet, cozy night in, yet it’s just as useful when the kids — and grandkids — come for a visit.

Everyone wins with a home theater, which can be created with some recliners, a big screen, candy station, surround sound and blackout curtains.

Framed posters from your favorite flicks are also a nice touch, and you may want to consider taking measures to soundproof the room.

Arts and Crafts Room

For the artistically inclined, an art studio or craft room can be a space of great relaxation, creativity and expression.

Whether you’ve always wanted a painting room with windows and natural light, or a craft bench that stretches across an entire wall, filling a room with your most treasured creative hobbies will make your home feel simultaneously like an escape and a place of respite.

When designing an art room, you can create spaces for each part of the creative process. Set up a whiteboard for brainstorming, a desk for creating and a gallery wall to display your work.


If you’re not a lover of fine arts, but are still looking for a stimulating and creative haven, a new trend has popularized the perfect room for you: makerspaces, rooms dedicated to playing with technology, and sharing ideas to build something new.

These design studios vary widely, but they can be decked out with tool benches, computers and technology, such as a 3-D printer, screen printer, laser cutter and more.

Spend time thinking about the hobbies you’ve always dreamed of taking up, and start there.

Meditation Room

A spin-off the classic home gym, meditation rooms are a new way to help you prioritize your wellness, now that you have the house to yourself.

Choose neutrals or pastels for wall colors, and keep the furniture comfortable yet simple. Add some candles or aromatherapy, and you’ve got the perfect space to unwind and reflect.

If meditation isn’t your thing, but you still want a place to prioritize your health and wellness, there are a couple different takes on this room. You could build a home yoga studio, or if that doesn’t interest you, simply create a space for quiet contemplation.

Home Library

For book lovers, the obvious choice is a library and reading room, but the more difficult decisions come in the details.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is how you’re going to shelve and arrange your books. Wall-to-wall built-in units are perfect for a traditional look, while bookcases in different sizes and colors will have more of an eclectic feeling.

Next, design the sitting space with enough coffee and end tables for a warm cup of tea or some snacks, while you sit for a long read. And don’t forget to layer your lighting, with overhead fixtures and more intense desk lamps.

Dressing Room

luxury wardrobe in modern style. 3d illustration.

If you’ve always dreamed of having the kind of lavish, sprawling walk-in closet that includes a sitting area and walls of mirrors, then a dressing room might be the choice for you.

To start, break down your closet space into major categories of dress, such as clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, ties and other accessories. Design your closet space according to what you have and what needs organizing.

Then layer in the details. You’ll need a well-lit, floor-length mirror that allows you to see all the angles. Consider different levels of lighting, such as floor lights and white beauty lighting.  And don’t forget a luxe vintage ottoman, a trademark of the modern walk-in closet.

Tea Room

If you love tea — sipping it and serving it — a tea room is an easy way to dedicate space to slowing down with a nice, piping hot cup.

Depending on the type of tea you love, and the design styles that speak to you, there are a few different options.

In a traditional Chinese tea room, the furniture is mostly wood and the room is kept simple, which is best to savor and enjoy the tea. A traditional English tea room, however, often has a more feminine, flowery style with antique furniture and a Victorian aesthetic.  

Regardless of the style you choose, you’ll also want this room to be functional, since it’s also a serving space.

Music Room

For musicians and music lovers alike, a room to jam and create can be a priceless outlet for creativity and expression, especially once you have more time on your hands to do the things you love.

The extent of this project really depends on how far you want to take it. If you’re serious about your passion, you could install a small home recording studio, complete with a sound booth and the technology to mix music.

If you’re looking for more of a hobbyist’s experience, aim for a gallery wall where you display your finest instruments, and include plenty of seating. You’ll want to include some soundproofing measures regardless, so as not to disturb the rest of the house.

Home Spa

A luxury tub, shower and dry sauna make for the perfect home spa.

If spas are your happy place, a home spa may just be your greatest escape, especially if the room you’re remodeling has an en suite, or attached bathroom.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is updating your tub and shower to include all the bells and whistles: a rain-style shower head, steam shower, powerful jets and built-in waterfall. Dry infrared saunas are also a popular addition.

Next, move on to the decor. It’s important to declutter and keep the space minimal, which allows the mind to calm. You’ll also want to stick to neutral color palettes, and increase the storage space.

Make lighting adjustable, so you can create a calming atmosphere, as well as a bright sitting area to get ready for the day.

Pet Room

Today, many people think of their pets as a member of the family, and that feeling only intensifies when the kids leave the house. One way to increase the time you spend with your furry friend is to create a pet room.

This room could vary wildly depending on the type of pets you keep, from an aviary to reptile terrariums. If you’re a simple dog or cat person, however, you’ll want to create a space that’s enjoyable for both of you.

For your pet, add extra storage for lots of toys, and have proper cleaning supplies on hand. For you, include some comfortable furniture and maybe some floor seating for extra cuddles.

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