7 Fun and Creative Ways to Use Your Bonus Room

As you search for homes around Chicagoland, you’re bound to find some layouts that excite and inspire - and some that leave you scratching your head.

Our city is full of all kinds of structures, some with more space than you may actually need, and some that are cozier than you might think possible. In other cases, a space could come with an architectural flourish that adds extra dimensions or square footage to the home. In other cases, spare space could come in the form of a basement, an attic, a loft space, or even a bedroom you don’t actually need.

If you’re in the market for a home, or you’re a current homeowner getting ready to stage and sell, you may have some of these extra spaces and bonus rooms on your mind.

As a seller getting your home ready to go to market, you may find yourself wanting to talk with your broker or a design professional about how to stage or highlight a bonus room or flexible space. For buyers, even if you’ve combed through design and decor blogs for room ideas, the idea of a bonus area or flex space may leave you feeling a bit flustered.

It’s awesome you have the extra space, after all, but now comes the question: What to do with it?

The key here is to consider your unique needs and wants - and if you’re a seller, to anticipate what your prospective buyers may want.

Do you have kids who will be in need of a place to play? Do you have kids and need a place for yourself to get away and focus on work? Want to create a space that will allow you to master your hobbies?

There are countless exciting and useful ways to utilize your bonus room or extra space to your advantage. For buyers looking for inspiration, new homeowners ready to leave their mark on their space, or sellers hoping to position their listing in the best possible light, here are a few “bonus room” ideas to get you started:

1.) Office/Study Space

Whether you have to take work home with you outside the office, you need a space to concentrate on finishing your PhD, or you’re one of the millions of Americans who telecommutes to work, having an office space where you can really focus is ideal. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much space at all to create the relaxing, productive office area of your dreams. Have a particularly cozy space you want to convert into an office? Take a few helpful tips from us to make this bonus space all your own, creating a space that’s comfortable, organized, and stylish.

2.) Yoga/Workout Space

You want to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle - but gym memberships and high-end studios can be pricey. We get it. One idea may be to use your bonus room to your advantage as a personalized space for all things wellness. You can have it be your own personal yoga room, with mats, yoga blocks and bands, or have a home gym complete with weights, benches, and maybe some home gym equipment. With your own workout space, you can avoid excessive gym fees and wasted time on travel.

3.) Art Studio or Craft Room  

Whether you’re a working artist or are simply looking to perfect your passion, a great way to use your bonus room may be to craft the art studio or workshop that will let you and your family fully express your creativity. Have tables designated for painting, drawing, or making crafts. Add  drawers or special storage spaces for tools and materials. You can also add a chalkboard wall or dry erase board wall for your kids (or you!) to draw and write down your creative “to-do” lists.  

4.) Extra Closet/Glam Room

From brand new homes to vintage finds, sometimes, the home of your dreams may not have the closet space you really need. Even if you aren’t stuffing your closet to the brim but you’d like a little breathing room, a fun idea may be to adapt a bonus area into an extra closet -- or even your own special dressing room, complete with mirrors, make-up station, stylish artwork, and so on. There are all sorts of tricks you can use in this bonus space to make the room feel larger and create the glamorous “getting ready” area you’ve always fantasized about.

5.) Playroom

An oldie, but a goodie. If your dream is to keep your living room or basement in pristine condition with no toys lying around or building blocks stuck between couch cushions, a bonus room can help. A classic idea is to use this extra space to create a special playroom for the kids. This way, the little ones feel like they have their own unique part of the house -- and, by confining their mess to this designated space, you can more easily keep the rest of your house in clean condition.

Rather than just dumping all the toys in the space, have fun with some original playroom ideas, from adding a dress-up box filled with costumes, to a tent in which they can play or have storytime, along with plenty of storage space for all games, knick knacks, and art supplies.

6.) Meditation Room

A home with a bonus room could be the getaway you’ve been waiting for, if you shape it into the meditation area of your dreams. Sure, you can get centered in your bedroom or living room, but having your own personal space tailor-made for your preferences can let your next relaxation session reach a whole other level. Focus on keeping the room spacious and clear, free of clutter and with minimalist, spa-like touches. Make it serene with meditation pillows, yoga mats, candles, essential oils, plants -- whatever fits you best and keeps you the most relaxed. And remember: try having no technology! With a little planning, a flexible space can be perfect for giving yourself somewhere to escape to every day.

7.) Library/Reading Room

Whether you’re a voracious reader or simply need a quiet place to get away, having a relaxing library or reading room can provide some much-needed sanctuary. What’s more, you can use this space as encouragement for your children to read, too. It can be as simple as bringing in traditional bookcases or stylish floating shelves, or perhaps taking advantage of some of those old-fashioned Chicago-style floor-to-ceiling built-ins. Depending on the amount of space you have, you could create that library look and feel with cozy armchairs, or by hanging literary-themed artwork.

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Looking for helpful guidance and direction on how to find the perfect property in Chicagoland? Curious about what finishes and features buyers are looking for in today’s market? Simply looking for some knowledgeable home and real estate experts to bounce ideas off of? Real Group RE is here for you. Drop us a line today to keep the conversation going.

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