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Repurposing A Spare Room

Posted August 27, 2012 by Jennifer

Summer is winding down, and college kids are packing up. Ahead of them lie new friends, new challenges, and new adventures. Behind them? Empty bedrooms for their parents to use however they please.

Of course, most parents don’t immediately think of repurposing their college kid’s bedroom. But why not? With PODS, you can keep your kid’s belongings safe and readily accessible while creating a functional space for the people who live in your home right now.

Read on for our three favorite ways to update an unused bedroom, plus tips for furniture, layout, and design.

Home Office

Regardless of whether you have a traditional desk job, a home office can be a useful place to check email, pay bills, or enjoy a favorite hobby. Think for a moment about how a home office could serve your needs, then build a space that does exactly that.

For some people, a large, clear work table is vital to getting things done. Others just need a small space to perch a laptop. If multiple people are going to want to use your new office, side-by-side (or back-to-back) desks might be the perfect solution for you. 

Are you a “paper person,” or do you prefer to scan and back up important documents online? Is a traditional file cabinet sufficient, or do you need shelving for books and supplies? Where are your family’s birth certificates, financial records, and passports? Items like these really ought to be kept in a fireproof safe.

Take some creative license with your closet. Clear out the clothes and place a wireless printer there. Or invest in a custom storage solution for art and sewing supplies.

Home Gym

If you’re looking for an easy way to stay active, consider converting your spare bedroom into a gym. You’ll get to work out privately and on your own schedule. Best of all, there’s no membership fee.


Treadmills and elliptical machines are popular choices, but you could also construct a circuit training course complete with weights, jump rope, and an exercise ball. 

If the room is carpeted, you might want to replace the carpet with hardwood. Then top it off with a mat for yoga or Pilates – or leave it wide open and practice your kickboxing moves.

If you use exercise DVDs or fitness video games, it’s helpful to mount your TV. If music motivates you, consider a sound system. A small fridge stocked with water will remind you to stay hydrated – and that’s critical to any fitness routine.

Guest Bedroom

Of course, your kids will still need a place to crash when they come home for the holidays, but it doesn’t have to look like the room they left behind. Take down their fading concert posters, pack their belongings into a PODS container, and remake the space into a sophisticated guest bedroom for friends and family of all ages.

The most important piece of furniture in your guest room is obviously the bed. You don’t have to spend a fortune (especially if the bed will get only occasional wear), but be sure to consider all your options. A trundle bed or sleeper sofa frees up space during the day, but a queen will be more comfortable for couples and older adults.

Design the room in a way that makes it feel warm and welcoming, but don’t go overboard. The biggest luxury you can offer guests is space to spread out, so limit knickknacks and decorative items. A few empty drawers, an uncluttered nightstand, and an open luggage rack will go a long way toward making guests feel welcome in your home.

If your guest room has an adjacent bathroom, spruce it up with fluffy towels and rugs and a few simple decorations. Then double-check to make sure it’s stocked with the necessities: toilet paper, tissue, and some nicely scented soap.


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