Hobbies are finding a foothold in the home. Who needs a gym membership when you’ve got a home gym? Why rent out an art studio when you can have one in your house?
As new homes are designed to meet the needs of buyers, many builders include rooms known as flex or bonus spaces. These spaces don’t have a dedicated purpose, and allow homeowners to adapt the room to meet their needs.
If you want to use the flex room in your new home to enjoy your favorite pastime, awesome! NewHomeSource is here to help you make the most of your home and design the perfect hobby room, whatever your favorite hobby may be.
Working from home isn’t technically a hobby, or necessarily fun, but, if you have a side hustle or are self-employed, you need a home office. You can easily transform your new home’s flex room into a productive workspace. But before you start designing the perfect home office, think about your work habits, the features you need to stay focused, and if you any special requirements for your job.
If you need peace and quiet, consider soundproofing your flex room. Think about where you place lighting, to prevent annoying glare on your screens, and the type of lighting you use to prevent headaches.
After you’ve laid the foundations for your office and move into decorating it, pick a desk and chair you can spend a long time working in first. Then, use the color, style, and size of those items to inform all additional furniture and décor.
Let’s face it, going to the gym is annoying. Stay committed to your fitness goals by using your flex space to design the home gym of your dreams.
As you start creating your in-home fitness center, make it easy to keep clean. Tile floors are easy to manage after a sweaty workout. Proper ventilation will ensure your space doesn’t smell like a locker room. Plus, if you install a towel bar or rack, you won’t have any excuse not to wipe down your equipment.
Before you start moving in all your favorite workout equipment, design your home gym so that you actually want to use it. Make your gym bright with good lighting and big windows, so you feel awake and don’t drag through your workout. A ceiling fan, or programmable thermostat, is an unobtrusive way to keep you cool, without turning the rest of the house into an icebox.
Using your flex space as a craft room lets you corral your craft supplies into a designated space (where you can shut the door and ignore the clutter), and lets you take your hobby to the next level.
Planning the right type of storage is crucial for creating a craft room that enables creative flow. Do you like to have all your materials out where you can see? Install open shelving and rails. Do you have supplies that need corralling? Plan for drawers with lots of storage options. Do you craft with special tools? A pegboard is a great for tool storage and display that makes wise use of vertical space.
Working out storage options isn’t the only design feature you need in your new craft room. Make sure you have a craft table that gives you enough room to spread out. If you sit while your work, invest in a comfortable chair that won’t make your back hurt. Also leave enough room in your craft room to display the product of your work!
Want more inspiration for your perfect craft room? Check out this article!
If you have a heavy-duty hobby, using your flex room as a workshop makes a lot of sense. Because your hobby has special requirements, your workshop will need special features.
Prioritize safety considerations when you design your in-home workshop. Proper ventilation is crucial if your hobby involves woodworking or spray-paint. Good lighting means you won’t have to squint, and can keep an eye on your tools as you use them.
Soundproofing a workshop insulates your noise from the rest of your home, and lets you enjoy your hobby without annoying your family. Lots of storage, like wall brackets for larger tools and wood, cabinets, and built-in toolboxes means you won’t have to haul supplies from the garage.
Parents, you don’t have to let your children’s toys takeover the house. Transforming a flex room into a playroom lets you corral toys (and noise) in one place, and gives your kids have their own special space in the home.
Toy bins and lots of shelving are necessary for a happy, well-designed playroom. Books, games, LEGOs, and other toys that come in boxes are easy to store on open bookshelves. Stuffed animals, action figures, and oddly shaped toys can be stored in toy boxes and baskets without cluttering up the room.
Adding whimsy to your kids’ playroom is the final touch. Furniture like an indoor swing, a dinosaur table lamp, and jungle wall murals make playrooms super appealing and fun, while still being practical.
If your flex space has big windows, you can use it to create your own personal jungalow. A room that has natural light is the perfect space for a sunroom or indoor greenhouse, so let your inner crazy plant lady to go wild.
If you want to make a giant terrarium with your flex space do not install carpet. As you care for your growing plants, dirt will get places, often on the floor. Water and liquid fertilizers will spill. You won’t be able to keep carpet clean, no matter how hard you try. When you give up and stop trying you’ll ruin your flooring.
Even though you shouldn’t put plush carpet in a sunroom, you can include plush seating for the perfect reading spot. A big, comfortable armchair is the perfect accent piece for your sunroom, so sit back with your favorite warm beverage and enjoy your well-tended plants.
What would you do with your flex room? If you had a hobby room, how would you design it? Let us know in the comments below.
Ashley Steel is a former SEO analyst for Builders Digital Experience (BDX).
She was previously a staff writer and editor for New Home Source, where she wrote about a variety of topics, from helping Realtors understand how to assist clients in choosing new home options to helping consumers find home design inspiration in a variety of places including a chic industrial-style bar to chicken coops.
Steel is a 2013 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Previous to joining BDX, she worked with Latinitas, a nonprofit group that aims to encourage Latino youth to explore the fields of media and technology.