15 spare bedroom ideas: from craft rooms to home gyms

Be inspired to make the most of your spare bedroom with these smart spare room ideas

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What would you like to do with your spare bedroom (if you’re lucky enough to have one)? If you live far out in the country, you may well need to dedicate this space to friends and family staying over. On the other hand, if you rarely have guests, your spare bedroom can be your own personal project, to design as you please. Here are the most creative ways to repurpose your spare bedroom, from home cinemas to gyms and even libraries...

Looking to keep your spare room as a spare bedroom? Have a read of our guide to how to design a bedroom

1. Revamp a guest bedroom with bright paint

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

Take a look at our guide to choosing bedroom paint colours for more inspiration. 

Bedroom with green wall and pink bedding with pops of yellow

(Image: © Katie Lee)

2. Turn a downstairs spare bedroom into a bar lounge

Transform your spare bedroom, particularly if it's downstairs, maybe in a garage conversion into an Art Deco inspired lounge – and you 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. 

3. Create a home office in your spare bedroom 

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.

For more tips and tricks go and check out these small home office ideas

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

(Image: © Neptune)

4. Use the spare bedroom as a sewing room

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 bedroom, you can create a craft studio. Mix and match storage units, storage boxes and baskets to create a tidy space. Find more craft activities that you could take up this year.

Spare bedroom with a sewing room in it

(Image: © Jody Stewart)

5. Transform the spare bedroom into a library

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

Cambridge Barn

(Image: © Neville Johnson)

6. Repurpose your spare bedroom into a home gym

Whatever your workout of choice, your spare room is a good place to burn some calories. 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. 

If you are considering adding a gym to your home, have read of our ultimate guide to creating a home gym before you get started. 

home gym with a punchbag

(Image: © Pottery Barn)

7. Turn your spare room into a playroom

If your children are young and the spare bedroom is downstairs, making it into a playroom is a great idea. Swap out the bed for an affordable sofa bed or guest bed (designs with washable covers are a wise choice) and put in plenty of toy storage to keep the space neat for when guests are staying.

Check out our playroom design ideas for inspiration.

Playroom with chalkboard wall and rainbow mural

(Image: © Ikea)

8. Create a craft/homework station in your spare bedroom

In busy households it’s helpful to have a decent craft/homework station – that is, an organised spot to store giftwrap, cards and stationery, homework folders and pens. A wrapping station alone might sound extravagant (but it won't just come in useful at Christmas if you have children who seem to attend birthday parties almost weekly), but combine it with something more useful (like a homework desk) and it'll be very practical. 

wrapping station desk space

(Image: © Brintons)

9. Reserve your spare bedroom for dressing

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.  You could also fit in some makeup storage too. 

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

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

(Image: © Malcolm Menzies)

10. Use the spare bedroom for a walk-in wardrobe

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

Dressing room by Ikea

(Image: © Ikea)

11. Go multi-purpose with a sofa bed

When overnight guests are few and far between, a 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.

We have rounded up loads of sofa beds to suit a range of styles, budgets and spaces. Take a look at:

Sofa bed with luxury mattress

(Image: © dfs)

12. Create a snug in a downstairs bedroom

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 spaces – and curl up with a book or your favourite TV show. 

Have a read of our pick of the best woodburning stoves for more ideas.

sleek, white and contemporary woodburning stove from contura

(Image: © Contura)

13. Convert the spare bedroom into a home cinema

Make staying in the new going out with a home cinema. All you really need is some good seating – think a sofa and some beanbags (see out 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.

Check out these tips on how to add a home cinema.

(Image: © Simon Whitmore)

14. Create a comfortable retreat

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 starts at £35. Yoga mat, anyone?

White bed linen in a guest bedroom

(Image: © The White Company)

15. Turn it into a laundry room

Even an upstairs spare bedroom 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. 

Check out our guide to planning and designing a utility room for more expert advise. 

Utility room, galley shaped, by Schüller

(Image: © Schüller)

Looking for more bedroom inspiration?