18 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: Ikea sofa bed
(Image credit: Ikea)

The best spare room ideas will make the most of an extra bedroom or reception space. Over the festive season in particular, 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 make your spare bedroom really practical and comfortable for when you have guests, or repurposed for when you don't. From home cinemas to gyms and even libraries, we've got it all...

Find more bedroom ideas over in our feature. 

  • Read our guide on how to bedroom design if yours will be a guest room only

1. Choose a daybed that gives you flexibility

(Image credit: Ikea)

This UTÅKER bed can be stacked – so you buy one bed, then can 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. Look, above it's a daybed... but keep scrolling to see what else it can do. Just below, it's two singles...

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

But you can make it into two low daybeds (below) – extra seating for guests or spare room crash pad for visiting teens.

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

Or of course, it can become a double...

Ikea Utaker stackable bed and sofa

(Image credit: Ikea )

2. 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 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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.

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

5. Use the spare room 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. Find more craft activities that you could take up this year.

6. Looking for spare room ideas for booklovers? Turn it 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.

7. 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. 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. 

8. 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 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.

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

wrapping station desk space

(Image credit: Brintons)

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. 

10. 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.

11. 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 build a walk-in wardrobe in the spare bedroom instead. 

12. Go multi-purpose with a sofa bed

Sofa bed with luxury mattress

(Image credit: dfs)

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:

13. 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 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.

14. Convert the spare room into a home cinema

(Image credit: Simon Whitmore)

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.

15. 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 starts at £35. Yoga mat, anyone?

16. 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. 

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

17. Or turn a spare room into a boot room 

grey toned boot room from neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

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.

18. 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.

Looking for more bedroom inspiration?