Guest rooms, exercise rooms and offices. Yep. Those all work. But your kid is off having fun at college, so why shouldn’t you? We came up with five great ways to repurpose the room that are way more enjoyable than a dorm.

The first step is to clear the clutter.

“Just because they’re gone doesn’t mean they took all their stuff with them,” says Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This, Toss That.”

In their nostalgic frenzy, they may not have been ready to relinquish their participation trophies, T. Swift posters and old prom dresses. They also might have been way too quick to toss those sensible snow boots if you hadn’t been watching. The best bet is to box up their stuff to store until you are both in a better frame of mind for true purging.

Now, on to the fun:

In-home Wine Bar

Sommelier in the wine cellar

Sipping wine at the kitchen table is so 2010. “Over the last decade, there has been a wine bar boom in the United States, and if you enjoy collecting and sharing fine wines, then consider a wine room,” recommends Jeffrey Weldler, marketing director and interior decorating expert at Vänt Wall Panels.

Although he says most home wine rooms are in the deepest, coolest area of your home, all you really need are the right conditions to make a spare bedroom work.

“Ultimately, light, temperature, upright positioning and motion all come into play for wine storage,” he says. A small home wine bar should also have a wine fridge and possibly a sink or small dishwasher if the area allows. Just remember to lock up the good vintages when your kid comes back to visit.

World’s Most Amazing Closet

Wardrobe corner

Fashionistas can indulge their inner Carrie Bradshaw and create a dressing room to die for, suggests interior designer Carly Pokornowski Moeller, owner of Unpatterned.

“If you don’t want to invest heavily in built-in cabinetry, you could easily add freestanding clothing racks with shoe racks below,” she says.

Create some decadence with a vanity area for makeup and hair and a coffee station or beverage center. Add a plush, stylish chair; a fun chandelier; and some mirrors and VOILA!

Personal Movie Theater

Home Theater

Why crowd around the TV downstairs, where you can hear the dishwasher going full blast, when you can create your own movie haven? Your spare room allows you to keep your home projector system hooked up all the time and offers a blank wall for projecting the movie, says Weldler. A comfy sectional or reclining movie chairs, plus room-darkening curtains, will provide the entire movie theater experience. Then pop your popcorn and turn on Neighbors. (No, don’t do that; that’s not what frat parties are like. Really.)

Chill Out Room

Mature man lying down, reading

Let’s face it, most craft rooms, libraries, exercise rooms, music rooms, guest rooms, home offices, man caves and the like are probably not used often enough to warrant dedicating an entire room, Novak points out. She recommends thinking of the room in zones like a kindergarten classroom for a little bit of everything and filling it up with multifunctional furniture. A sturdy table can become a crafting space, a desk or even a magazine-and-water side table for guests. A couch can fold into a bed, and a flip-top ottoman can create a seat, storage for guest linens and a space to put a drink.

Money Maker

English country style bedroom

College tuition is spendy so take a cue from Nedalee Thomas and rent out your child’s former bedroom. She added a fridge and microwave so tenants don’t need kitchen privileges and rents the room month-to-month. If you are open to the idea, you can list your room on Airbnb.com or Homeaway.com. Another twist on the repurposed guest room? Get some culture with an exchange student. That’s what the parents of Jillian Sellard did when she moved out. They had hosted students from Norway, Denmark and Germany while she was in high school, and now can host two at a time.

Or If You Are Feeling Frisky…

Just do this…

Advertisement
Cathie Ericson