DIY home gyms we love and how to recreate them

DIY home gyms are on the rise with more of us working from home post-pandemic. We've rounded up our favorites to take inspiration from.

a home gym with punching bag, weights and excersie equipment - NW3 Interiors
(Image credit: NW3 Interiors)

DIY home gyms have increased in popularity over the last few years. Due in large part to the pandemic, people have realized they need a space at home where they can work out. 

Whether it’s as simple as some resistance bands and a yoga mat, streaming an exercise program, or purchasing a Peloton, home gym ideas make it easier and more convenient than ever before to get in a good workout and keep your body in shape. 

We talked to people from all walks of life: trainers, designers, stay-at-home and working moms, men tired of their 'dad bods' and more who gave us a peek at their home gyms and advice for how to build an at home gym.

DIY home gyms you'll want to recreate in your home

 1. Keep it simple  

small yoga studio and DIY home gym with blue yoga mat, weights and exercise ball - Lela Burris

(Image credit: Lela Burris )

 'A workout space at home doesn't have to be a full room that duplicates what you'd see in a commercial gym. All you really need is enough room to move your arms and legs freely without obstruction and perform the workouts you like to do regularly,’ says Lela Burris, Founder of Organized-ish

‘Try not to get caught up in accessories like TVs and huge home gym mirrors. When you're first getting started, all you need are the basics.'

2. Merge function with style 

a small home gym with large black frame mirror, equipment wall storage and a yoga mat - Courtney Richardson

(Image credit: Courtney Richardson)

 'We created our own home gym by merging functionality and style,' says Courtney Richardson, creator of Gray House Studio where she and her husband, Brent, share home DIY projects. 

'We wanted the room to have useful gym storage solutions as well as be an inviting place to spend time so we actually wanted to go in the room and work out. We completed several DIY projects in this room to bring our vision to life. Our favorite project was a yoga mat rack we designed and built to make our mats easy to grab.'

3. Consider your equipment and layout

a home gym with punching bag, weights and excercise equipment - NW3 Interiors

(Image credit: NW3 Interiors)

When creating your own small home gym idea, 'consider the exercise you do and the type of equipment you need for it. Then plan the space to scale,' says Carly Madhvani, Director and Founder of NW3 Interiors, an award-winning interior design company based in London. 

'Ensure that the usability of the equipment is thought through - layout is key. {In this space} we put most of the equipment on the edges so that the middle was a free space to enjoy combat class with friends or be able to have yoga or pilates with friends. Make the layout flow.'

4. Creative storage  

a home gym in a basement with various exercise equipment - Wendi Lewitt

(Image credit: Wendi Lewitt)

Especially when you’re working with a small space, storage is key, especially if you're looking to store things like the best cross trainers. 'In my home gym I designed storage for weights, bands, and other items and left the bare minimum of equipment out. I designed the Crittall partitions to hinge so they could open fully to provide lots of floor area for exercising,' says Wendi Lewitt, founder of Wolf Lewitt Interiors.

5. Making it multifunctional 

a home gym with gym machine, workout mat and plants - Kristine B

(Image credit: Kristine B)

Kristine B. is a fitness trainer specializing in pilates. 'For me, it was about creating a clean, multifunctional space with a touch of style. I chose the foam tiles for practicality, a few indoor plants for cleansing energy, and a neutral tapestry to add a little texture. Rotating out different yoga mats is an easy and affordable way to switch up colors and styles to fit the season.'

6. Keeping it cozy 

a home gym with storage, mirror wall and floor space - Jenna Pierce

(Image credit: Jenna Pierce )

 Giving your home gym a cozy feel will encourage you to use it often. Jenna Pierce, home decor and DIY Youtuber says, 'When setting out to make a home gym, start by combining decorative elements with functional pieces to create a soft and inviting space. Combine aesthetic details such as framed mirrors, artwork, greenery, curtains, wall hooks, baskets, rugs, etc. with functional gym equipment to make for a homey, motivating atmosphere.'

wall decor in a home gym - Jenna Pierce

(Image credit: Jenna Pierce)

7. Think outside the box - balcony turned gym 

Home gym with gym equipment, flooring and mirror wall - Hadi Zainal

(Image credit: Hadi Zainal)

With dad bod creeping up on him, Hadi Zainal, founder of Hadi Home Gym decided to convert their balcony into a home gym. He has this advice for creating your own home gym, 'Spend some time deciding what you want the space to feel like. My wife and I went with tiled flooring rather than rubber mats for more of a yoga studio vibe. It's important to only purchase gym equipment that you will use. This meant free weights instead of machines for us. Space is a premium in smaller spaces like ours so mount as much equipment on the walls as you can.' 

8. It’s all about the atmosphere

home gym with wood flooring, exercise bike and gym mirror - Colleen Walsh

(Image credit: Colleen Walsh )

If your home gym isn’t a space you enjoy spending time in, you’re less likely to use it. Says Colleen Walsh, creator of Revive Homecle, 'Your home gym should feel motivating, yet soothing and relaxing. Combining function and style makes the space somewhere you want to be to work out. Placing personal photos and hand-selected art pieces on the walls makes the space feel like your own. Also, well-placed mirrors allow you to see that hard work pay off.'

These home gym wall decor ideas are super motivating. 

9. Convenience is priority 

home gym with wood flooring, TV and wall panelling - Sophie McNally

(Image credit: Sophie McNally)

'As full-time working parents with small children, we decided a home gym would help us manage family life and maintain our fitness,' says Instagrammer and mom of three, Sophie McNally

'We decided to convert our double garage into a home gym. We chose equipment to suit our training needs and added mirrors around the room to help practice technique. We use this space often, whether it’s early hours or late in the evening, it works around us and our needs. The most important thing for us was to plan around the equipment that we wanted to add. This is what determined our “L” shape gym.’'

Our garage home gym ideas prove how easy it is to convert this space. 

10. Know what your goals are

home gym with bright lighting, weights, gym equipment and mirror wall - Funcy Decor

(Image credit: Funcy Decor)

Goal-setting is key when considering what to add to your gym. 'When setting up your home gym, consider what your top 3 fitness goals are, how you can achieve those goals within the space you have available, and prioritize equipment, weights, mirrors, etc. to meet your budget,' says Heather Semke, Founder and Certified Interior Decorator at Funcy Decor. 

'We invested in conditioning equipment and lighting with built-in fans and saved by laying our own interlocking foam gym flooring.'

11. Back to the basics 

home gym with man standing by an exercise mat - Deposit Photos

(Image credit: Deposit Photos )

'When my wife and I decided it was time to start taking better care of ourselves, we knew we wouldn’t have time to make it to the gym, even if it was just down the street.' says Eric Turner, teacher and dad of three. 

'We didn’t have the money to invest in large equipment so we paid for an online subscription to BeachBody on Demand, like Netflix but with workout programs, and purchased some resistance bands and dumbbells.'

How do I create my own home gym for under $100?  

'For home gym ideas on a budget, look on Facebook Marketplace.  You can often find workout equipment listings of barely-used machines that were bought 6-12 months ago with the best of intentions. You can basically get an almost-new piece of equipment for a fraction of the price,' advises Burris. 

Says Turner, 'Workout items like dumbbells, resistance bands, exercise balls, and hula hoops are great affordable options when starting your own home gym on a budget.'

Dori Turner writes blog posts and feature articles on affordable design and DIY from her home in the heart of Oklahoma. She has a passion for teaching others how they can transform their home on a budget.

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