20 Alternatives for a Spare Room to Unlock Your Home’s Potential

Last updated on November 14, 2023

Transform your spare room into a useful space with these 20 creative ideas that won’t break the bank. Read on!

As a home decorator, one of the most common dilemmas I hear from my clients is what to do with their spare room. Many homeowners, with their busy lives, don’t have time to transform this particular space.

And often, it becomes a storage area for belongings with no use or things that don’t complement the home’s design. Over time, it can turn into a neglected space that may become intimidating or unwelcoming, especially for younger family members. On the flip side, why not unlock its potential and convert it into a functional and beautiful space?  

However, whether it’s an extra bedroom or a small space that’s not being used, finding the right use for it can be challenging.

But fear not, my fellow budget-conscious decorators! I’ve compiled a list of 20 creative and practical alternatives for your spare room. From turning it into a home office to creating a cozy reading nook, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.

So please sit back, relax, and let me guide you through some exciting ideas that will transform your unused space into something functional and beautiful!

Home Office

Home Office room

One of the most popular uses for a spare room is as a home office. With more people working from home than ever, a dedicated workspace can be essential for productivity and focus.

One alternative to creating a traditional home office is to use modular furniture that can easily transform into different configurations depending on your needs. For example, you could have an adjustable desk that converts into shelving or storage when not in use.

Another option is to create an “office nook” within another room, such as the living room or bedroom. This can be achieved by using dividers or screens to separate the space and adding functional elements like shelves and lighting.

The advantages of these alternatives include flexibility in terms of space usage and cost-effectiveness compared with building out an entirely separate room just for work purposes.

However, it’s important to consider potential disadvantages such as lack of privacy if sharing space with others at home or limited storage options if using modular furniture solutions.

Yes, converting your spare room into an office will benefit your health. This will also work if you have a thriving business. You can manage your dealings while at the same time looking after your family.

However, note that some of those who have their offices inside their bedrooms can’t draw the line between work and relaxation, affecting their mental and physical health. Often, they can’t sleep well, and their stress isn’t reduced even if they’ve been resting because they still feel and imagine their work while at it.

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom at home

Include one of these pieces of furniture to make a guest room from your spare room:

  • Sofa bed: A sofa bed is a great option as it serves two purposes – seating during the day and sleeping at night. However, they can be uncomfortable for long-term stays.
  • Air mattress: An air mattress is an affordable option that can easily be stored away when not in use but may not provide enough comfort for some guests.
  • Murphy bed: A Murphy bed folds up into the wall when not in use, freeing up floor space during the day, but it requires installation and may still take up valuable wall space.
  • Daybed with trundle: This provides extra sleeping accommodations without taking up too much floor space but may limit other furniture options due to its size.
  • Couch or futon with storage underneath: This allows you to store bedding or other items under your couch/futon while also providing additional seating/sleeping arrangements

Each of these alternatives has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your specific needs and budget constraints, so choose wisely!

Home Gym

gym room at home

One great alternative for a spare room is to turn it into a home gym. With the rising cost of gym memberships and the convenience of working out at home, this option has become increasingly popular.

The advantages are clear: you can exercise whenever you want without leaving your house, saving time and money on transportation.

However, there are also some disadvantages to transforming your spare room into a workout space. Firstly, setting up equipment can be expensive if you choose high-end machines or weights.

Secondly, depending on where your spare room is located and how soundproofed it is (if at all), noise from exercising could disturb other members of the household or even neighbors.

Despite these potential drawbacks, creating a home gym in your unused space can be an excellent investment for both physical health and mental well-being – not to mention adding value to your property should you ever decide to sell!

Art Studio

Art Studio room in home

If you’re an artist or enjoy creating art, turning your spare room into an art studio is a great idea. This space can be used to paint, draw, sculpt, and create without worrying about making a mess in the rest of the house.

However, before diving into this project, there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider.


  • A dedicated space for your artwork will allow you to focus on your creativity.
  • You’ll have all your supplies in one place, making it easier to find what you need.
  • The privacy of having an art studio means you can work at any time without disturbing others.


  • Additional lighting may be necessary for optimal working conditions depending on how much natural light enters the room.
  • Fumes from paints and other materials could become hazardous over time if not adequately ventilated or cleaned regularly.
  • Turning a spare room into an art studio may limit its use as a guest bedroom or office if needed in the future.

Converting a spare room into an Art Studio has many benefits but also requires careful consideration before taking action.

Playroom for Kids

Playroom for Kids

When it comes to creating a playroom for kids, several alternatives can be considered. One option is to convert the spare room into a dedicated play area for children.

This allows them to have their own space to let their imaginations run wild and engage in various activities.

Advantages of having a separate playroom include keeping toys and games organized, minimizing clutter in other areas of the house, and providing an environment that encourages creativity and learning through play.

A designated space for kids’ activities can help keep them entertained while parents work or attend to other tasks.

However, one disadvantage of converting the spare room into a playroom is that it may limit its use as an additional guest bedroom or home office if needed.

It’s also important to consider safety measures such as childproofing outlets and securing furniture so children don’t accidentally tip over shelves or bookcases.

Creating a dedicated space for kids’ activities has many benefits but requires careful consideration before making any permanent changes to your home’s layout.

Library or Reading Nook

Library room in home

One of the best ways to utilize a spare room is by turning it into a library or reading nook. This option is perfect for book lovers who want to create a cozy space to relax and read in peace.


  • A library/reading nook adds value to your home, especially if you have built-in shelves.
  • It provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • You can customize it according to your preferences, such as adding comfortable seating or installing dim lighting.


  • If you don’t already have bookshelves, this option may be costly since buying new ones can add up quickly.
  • Depending on your many books, storage could become an issue if not appropriately planned.
  • Overall though, creating a library/reading nook in your spare room is worth considering for those who love books and need some quiet time away from distractions.

Music Room

music room in home

If you’re a music lover, having a dedicated space to practice and play your instruments can be a dream come true. A spare room can easily be transformed into a music room with simple additions.


  • Having all of your musical equipment in one place makes it easier to practice regularly.
  • You won’t have to worry about disturbing others in the house while playing loud instruments or singing.
  • The acoustics of the room can be adjusted for optimal sound quality.


  • Soundproofing may require additional expenses if you want complete noise isolation from other parts of the house.
  • If you live in an apartment building, neighbors may still hear some noise, even with soundproofing measures taken.
  • Depending on how much equipment and furniture is needed for the space, costs could add up quickly.

To create an ideal music room on a budget, consider purchasing used or refurbished musical equipment instead of brand-new items. DIY acoustic panels made from materials like egg cartons or foam insulation boards are cost-effective alternatives to expensive professional options.

With these tips and ideas at hand, creating an affordable yet functional music room is definitely achievable!

Craft or Hobby Room

hobby Room in home

If you love to craft or have a hobby requiring space and organization, turning your spare room into a craft/hobby room might be the perfect solution for you.

This type of room can provide ample storage for all your supplies and equipment while giving you enough space to work on projects comfortably.


  • You’ll have a dedicated space solely for crafting or pursuing hobbies.
  • You can customize the storage solutions according to your needs.
  • It’s easier to keep everything organized when it’s in one place.


  • Depending on how many supplies and equipment you have, it may take up more space than other alternatives.
  • If not properly organized, it could become cluttered quickly.

Home Theater

Home Theater Room

One of the most popular uses for a spare room is to turn it into a home theater. With technological advancements, creating your cinema has become more accessible and affordable than ever before.


  • A home theater provides an immersive movie-watching experience that can’t be replicated by simply watching on a TV screen.
  • You can customize the seating arrangement, lighting, and sound system to create the perfect atmosphere for enjoying your favorite films.


  • The cost of setting up a home theater can add up quickly if you opt for high-end equipment or professional installation services.
  • Depending on how often you use it, dedicating an entire room solely to movie-watching may not be practical or necessary.

If budget is a concern, but you still want to enhance your viewing experience at home, consider investing in some quality speakers or upgrading your TV instead of creating an entire dedicated space.

Meditation and Yoga Space

Meditation Room

Creating a meditation or yoga space in your spare room can be a great way to promote relaxation and mindfulness. This can be your peaceful retreat to connect with your inner self and focus on your mental and emotional well-being.

To create this type of space, you’ll need to consider the lighting, flooring, and decor. Adding a few beautiful touches and elements that can help with your meditation would also be nice, such as Himalayan salt lamps, aromatherapy candles, and lovely plants.

Soft lighting is ideal for creating a calming atmosphere, while hardwood floors or yoga mats are perfect for practicing poses.

The advantages of having a meditation/yoga space include practicing at any time without leaving your home and having complete control over the environment.

However, one disadvantage could be that it may take up more room than other alternatives, such as an office or guest bedroom.

If you’re not committed to using the space regularly, it may end up going unused, making it less cost-effective in decorating expenses.

Walk-in Closet or Dressing Room

Walk-in Closet

One of the most luxurious and practical uses for a spare room is to turn it into a walk-in closet or dressing room. This option is perfect for those with an extensive wardrobe and needs more space to store their clothes, shoes, and accessories.


  • A dedicated dressing area can help keep your bedroom clutter-free.
  • You’ll be able to see all your clothing options at once, making it easier to put together outfits.
  • Everything in one place will save you time getting ready in the morning.


  • Converting a spare room into a walk-in closet can be expensive if you need custom shelving or storage solutions.
  • It may feel like wasted square footage if you don’t have enough clothing to fill the space.
  • It’s important not to let this new space become disorganized, as that would defeat its purpose.

Gaming and Entertainment Area

gaming room

There are plenty of options when creating a gaming or entertainment area in your spare room.

One popular choice is setting up a home theater with comfortable seating and a large screen for movie nights or gaming sessions. However, this can be pretty expensive and may require professional installation.

Another option is creating a dedicated space for board games, card games, and other tabletop activities. This can be done on a budget by repurposing an old table or purchasing one secondhand.

The advantage of this setup is that it encourages social interaction among friends and family members.

For those who prefer more active forms of entertainment, consider turning the spare room into an indoor sports area with equipment such as ping pong tables or dart boards. This option may require some investment in equipment but can provide hours of fun physical activity without leaving the house.

Ultimately, the best game/entertainment area depends on your preferences and budget constraints. Consider what types of activities you enjoy most before deciding how to use your spare room space effectively!

Greenhouse Plant Sanctuary

Greenhouse room

If you have a green thumb and love spending time with plants, consider turning your spare room into a greenhouse or plant sanctuary. This is an excellent option for those who want to bring the outdoors inside and create a relaxing space that promotes wellness.

The advantages of having a greenhouse/plant sanctuary include improved air quality, reduced stress levels, and increased productivity. Plants purify the air by removing toxins and adding moisture to dry indoor environments.

Being surrounded by nature can also help reduce stress and improve overall mood.

However, there are some disadvantages as well. Maintaining plants requires regular watering, pruning, and fertilizing, which can be time-consuming if you have many different types of plants in your space.

Depending on the type of plants you choose to grow in your greenhouse/plant sanctuary, it may require specific lighting conditions or temperature control, which could add additional costs.

Overall though, creating this type of space is an excellent way for homeowners looking for alternative uses for their spare rooms while promoting health benefits at home!

Photography Studio

Photography Studio room

Turning your spare room into a photography studio can be an excellent idea if you’re a photography enthusiast or professional. You can create stunning images without leaving your home with the right equipment and setup.

However, before diving in headfirst, it’s essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this option.


  • Convenience: Having a dedicated photography space means you don’t have to worry about booking external locations or setting up temporary studios.
  • Cost-effective: Renting out studio spaces can be expensive in the long run. By creating one at home, you save money on rental fees.
  • Customization: You have complete control over your studio’s appearance and feelings since it’s in your house.


  • Space limitations: Depending on how much space is available in your spare room, there may not be enough room for larger shoots with multiple subjects or props.
  • Noise issues: If soundproofing isn’t done correctly during construction/renovation of the spare room turned photo-studio, then the noise from outside might interfere with recording audio
  • Lighting challenges – Natural light is always best when taking photos, but if natural light doesn’t come through well enough, then artificial lighting needs to take its place, which could lead to additional costs

Overall, having a dedicated photo studio at home has more benefits than drawbacks, especially if appropriately planned!

Personal Bar Lounge

Personal Bar at home

One of the most popular alternatives for a spare room is to turn it into a private bar or lounge. This option is perfect for those who love entertaining guests and enjoy having their own space to unwind after a long day.


  • A personal bar/lounge can add value to your home, making it more attractive if you ever sell.
  • It provides an excellent opportunity for socializing with friends and family in the comfort of your own home.
  • You have complete control over the design and decor, allowing you to create a unique atmosphere that reflects your personality.


  • Creating a personal bar/lounge can be expensive, depending on how elaborate you want.
  • If not adequately managed, alcohol consumption could become excessive, leading to health problems.
  • Turning your spare room into a private bar or lounge offers many advantages but requires careful consideration before starting this project.

Remote Study Space

study Space at home

As remote learning and working from home become more prevalent, having a designated space for studying or working is essential. Consider turning it into a remote learning/study space if you have a spare room.

This will provide an environment that is conducive to productivity and focus.


  • A separate study area can help create boundaries between work/school life and personal life.
  • A dedicated workspace can increase productivity by minimizing distractions.
  • It allows for customization of the space to fit your specific needs.


  • Converting an entire room into a study area may be impossible if your home has limited extra space.
  • The furniture cost, such as desks, chairs, bookshelves, etc., could add up quickly depending on the desired quality.

Pool or Pin Pong Table Room

billiard room at home

If you have a spare room, why not turn it into a game room? A pool/snooker/ping pong table is an excellent addition to any game room. It provides hours of entertainment for family and friends and can also be a party centerpiece.


  • Provides endless entertainment.
  • People of all ages can use it.
  • Adds value to your home.


  • Requires ample space.
  • It can be expensive depending on the quality of the table.
  • It may require professional installation.

If you’re tight on space or budget, consider purchasing a smaller version or opting for second-hand options. With creativity and resourcefulness, you can transform your spare room into an exciting game haven without breaking the bank.

Cozy Relaxation Retreat

Cozy Relaxation room at home

If you have a spare room, why not turn it into a cozy relaxation retreat? This is the perfect space to unwind or enjoy quiet time alone after a long day. To create this type of room, choose warm and inviting colors for the walls, such as soft blues or greens.

Add comfortable seating options like an oversized armchair or chaise lounge and plenty of plush pillows and throws.

Consider adding natural elements like plants or even a small indoor fountain to enhance the relaxing atmosphere. You could also incorporate aromatherapy with candles or essential oils diffusers.

One potential disadvantage of creating this type of space is that keeping clean fabrics that attract dust easily may be challenging. If you have limited space in your home, dedicating an entire room solely for relaxation purposes may not be practical.

Overall though, having a cozy relaxation retreat can provide a much-needed respite from daily stressors and offer an oasis within your own home without breaking the bank on expensive decor items.

Small Business Workspace

Small Business Workspace room at home

If you have a spare closet, consider converting it into your workspace. This option is excellent for those who need privacy and quiet while working.

It’s cost-effective since you don’t need to purchase any additional furniture or decor items; it’s also easy to close off distractions.

On the downside, the space may be too small if you require more than just a desk and chair; there may also be limited natural light sources.

Another space you can use is utilizing outdoor space. If the weather permits, set up your workspace on your patio or balcony. You’ll get plenty of fresh air and natural light, which can boost creativity; it’s also free!

However, weather conditions could limit usage time during certain seasons; noise pollution from neighbors or traffic could disrupt concentration levels.

Remember that finding the right workspace solution depends on individual needs such as budget constraints, work style preferences (e.g., standing vs. sitting), equipment requirements (e.g., printer/scanner), etcetera – so choose wisely!

Storage and Utility Area

storage room at home

This can be especially useful for those who don’t have a basement or garage to store their extra belongings.

One advantage of using your spare room as a storage/utility area is that you’ll have easy access to all your items without digging through boxes in an attic or crawl space. You can also use this space for laundry, crafting, and other household tasks.

However, there are some disadvantages as well. If you’re not careful with organization and clutter control, this room could become overwhelming and chaotic.

If you plan on selling your home in the future potential buyers may see it as wasted square footage rather than an asset.

Overall though, if done correctly, utilizing your spare room for storage can be incredibly beneficial practically and financially by avoiding costly off-site storage solutions!


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