16 spare room ideas: from craft rooms to home gyms

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

spare room ideas such as a craft room with storage for wool and materials
(Image credit: Ikea)

The best spare room ideas will make the most of an extra bedroom or reception space. 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 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 room 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 credit: Katie Lee)

2. 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. 

3. Create a home office in your spare room 

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 credit: Neptune)

4. Use the spare room 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 room, 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 credit: Jody Stewart)

5. Looking for spare room ideas for booklovers? Turn it 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 room to create a perfect reading space.

Cambridge Barn

(Image credit: Neville Johnson)

6. Repurpose your spare room 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 credit: Pottery Barn)

7. Turn your spare room into a playroom

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 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 credit: Ikea)

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

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 credit: 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 credit: Malcolm Menzies)

10. Use the spare room 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 credit: 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 credit: dfs)

12. Create a snug in a downstairs room

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 credit: Contura)

13. Convert the spare room 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 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.

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

(Image credit: 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 credit: The White Company)

15. Turn it into a laundry room

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. 

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

Utility room, galley shaped, by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

16. Or turn a spare room into a boot room 

If you have a spare room, or not even whole room just a small space, that is practically located near your front (or back) door consider transforming it into a boot room. 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. 

If this sounds like an ideal way to use you spare room, head over to our guide to how to design a boot room for loads of practical advice and tips.

grey toned boot room from neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

Looking for more bedroom inspiration?