20 spare room ideas – from WFH spaces to home gyms, and en suite bedrooms

These spare room ideas will inspire you to make the most of that extra room in your home, be it a home gym, home office or even craft room – it has potential

Cambridge Barn
(Image credit: Neville Johnson)

The best spare room ideas will make the most of an extra bedroom or reception space. Over the festive season in particular, as although it's not certain whether or not we can have friends and family to stay over this year, there's still no harm in taking a look at the style and design of your spare room.

You may, after all, be thinking of something completely different. Turning your space into a home office, an arts and crafts area, or even a chill out zone for the kids to better zone your home. So, to inspire your room's makeover, we've put our favorite spare room ideas together here to help you repurpose the space you have, in the most stylish and practical way. Keep scrolling for the most decorative bedroom ideas and functional looks for your spare room.

1. Create a very country, cozy chill out zone

Ikea snug room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Woodburning stove. Check. Armchair you could get lost in. Check. Dark, moody, sophisticated color scheme. Check. This is a great look for a spare room and provides a perfect secluded spot for anyone who needs to have a breather, after a long day. 

2. Choose a daybed that gives you options

Ikea sofa bed

(Image credit: Ikea)

Having a bed that can double up as a sofa, or that can actually be stacked, like the UTÅKER bed from IKEA is really useful. So you can buy one bed, but then stack a second (and third) on top, so that whenever you need extra sleep or seating space, it's right there, taking up no more space than a single bed.

Above it's a daybed, while below it's two Scandi-style singles, and then a sofa, and a day bed. So, whichever way you want to place them, a well selected bed can suit your bedroom design seamlessly.

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

Oh, and of course, it can become a double...

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

3. Revamp a guest bedroom with bright paint

Bedroom with green wall and pink bedding with pops of yellow

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

While you may be reticent about going too bold with the bedroom color scheme in your own bedroom, having a spare room is a fantastic opportunity to be more daring with paint color and pattern. Paint a feature wall in a really out there color (something like Farrow and Ball's Vardo would do the trick) in a guest bedroom to make the space sing.

4. Turn a downstairs spare room into a bar lounge

Transform your spare room – particularly if it's downstairs, maybe in a garage conversion – and you could have an intimate cocktail bar in your own home! Pick characterful furniture, add a bar cart or wine rack, and you're ready to impress your guests.

If you can't be as extra as Lisa Dawson and actually build a full on bar in your spare room, check out our pick of the best bar carts and how to style them instead. 

5. Create a home office in your spare room 

Neptune Carter desk, Brompton desk lamp in Antique Brass , City plan print

(Image credit: Neptune)

Spare bedrooms tend to be on the smaller side, but most will fit a desk and a chair, especially if you opt for a space-saving day bed rather than a full-sized double bed. Add a stylish lamp and you have your own writer's nook or mini home office.

6. Use it as a sewing room

Spare bedroom with a sewing room in it

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Good with the sewing machine? Those rolls of fabric, mannequins and sewing apparatus sure take up a lot of space. With the luxury of a spare room, you can create a craft studio. Mix and match storage units, storage boxes and baskets to create a tidy space.

7. Turn a spare space into a library

Cambridge Barn

(Image credit: Neville Johnson)

If you don't need a dedicated guest bedroom, how about investing in a home library instead? Create a dedicated book storage area with bespoke shelving or freestanding bookcases.

Bespoke library shelving by Neville Johnson is used in this spare room to create a perfect reading space.

8. Repurpose your spare room into a home gym

home gym with a punchbag

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Whatever your workout of choice, your spare room is a good place to burn some calories if you build a home gym. Invest in a treadmill or punch bag for relieving end of day stress. As Pottery Barn demonstrates here, a home gym needn’t lack style. 

9. Turn your spare room into a playroom

Playroom with chalkboard wall and rainbow mural

(Image credit: Ikea)

If your children are young and the spare room is downstairs, making it into a playroom is a great idea. Swap out the bed for a cheaper sofa bed and put in plenty of toy storage to keep the space neat for your little ones to run wild, but in an organized fashion.

10. Create a homework station in your spare room

wrapping station desk space

(Image credit: Brintons)

In busy households, a decent craft/homework station is one of the best spare room ideas around. Making it a dedicated spot to store gift wrap, cards and stationery, homework folders and pens. A gift wrapping station alone might sound extravagant, but it won't just come in useful at Christmas. If you aren't sold, then combine it with something more useful (like a homework desk) and it'll be very practical. 

11. Reserve your spare bedroom for dressing

An open door reveals Pia's library/office, featuring an antique bureau and stool

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you don’t have the square footage for a dressing table in your bedroom, reserve a space in your spare room to store your beauty essentials – and call it a dressing room. For more dressing room ideas we have a whole feature to get you inspired. 

Love this room? Go and take a tour of the rest of this gorgeous self-build log cabin for more inspiration.

12. Use the spare room for a walk-in wardrobe

Dressing room by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

What could be more indulgent than a bespoke walk-in wardrobe? If your own bedroom is severely lacking in storage space, you could create a walk-in wardrobe in the spare bedroom instead. 

13. Go multi-purpose with a sofa bed

Sofa bed with luxury mattress

(Image credit: dfs)

When overnight guests are few and far between, a great sofa bed really comes into its own, allowing you to reserve the spare room for use as an office or relaxation area, instead of a dedicated bedroom.

14. Create a snug in a downstairs room

sleek, white and contemporary woodburning stove from contura

(Image credit: Contura)

On extra cold days, it has be best to heat one smaller downstairs bedroom than trying (and failing) to keep the whole house warm. Install a woodburning stove – perfect for small, snug room spaces – and curl up with a book or your favorite TV show. 

15. Convert the spare room into a home cinema

(Image credit: Simon Whitmore)

Make staying in the new going out with a home cinema room.. All you really need is some good seating – think a sofa and some beanbags (see our pick of the best beanbags) – and a blank wall to project films onto. Plus an obligatory bar cart, or popcorn machine.

Coleccion Alexandra UK specialises in cinema rooms, if you’re after something more on the luxe side.

16. Create a comfortable retreat

White bed linen in a guest bedroom

(Image credit: The White Company)

Create the ultimate escape for your guests – or yourself – by giving your spare room a 5 star hotel-worthy makeover. Quality bedlinen is key. The White Company has everything you could possibly need in this department – their Brompton bed linen is a gorgeous choice, and why not add a yoga mat to the mix?

17. Turn it into a laundry room

Utility room, galley shaped, by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

Even an upstairs spare room can be turned into a utility room. And while we might not advise storing food and drink up there, miles from the kitchen – impractical to say the least – it can be really useful as a laundry room. You'll need to look into plumbing costs for a cold water supply at the minimum, and for drainage, but it will mean that dirty washing stays upstairs and gets returned to bedrooms without ever cluttering up the downstairs of your home. 

18. Or turn a spare room into a boot room 

grey toned boot room from neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

Having a boot room is one of the most practical spare room ideas, especially if you only have a small space to work with, and if it so happens to be located near your front (or back) door.

Much like the name implies, this will be a place to store shoes, wellies, dog beds, umbrellas, that sort of thing. If you have got the room you could always add a sink and double it up as a utility room.

19. Make your spare room a space for wellbeing

father and daughter do yoga tree pose in loft apartment

(Image credit: Getty)

Into yoga? Need a quiet space? Why not decorate your spare room in soothing tones (think creams, warm browns, honey, terracotta), and make it into a yoga studio? All you need is a yoga app on your phone, a yoga mat and a decent room temperature.

20. Add an en suite

Small bathroom design with patterned flooring and wooden unit

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you've a spare bedroom that's really got room to spare – excuse the pun – then you could actually consider adding an ensuite. Functional, and likely to add value to your home also. It's a win win situation.