Empty Nest: How to Transform Your Existing Rooms

After several decades of helping your children plant their roots, it can be hard to believe it’s time for them spread their wings. With kids at college or officially moved out on their own, this is the time to downsize or transform the additional space you now have. Aside from the obvious choice of creating a guest room, use this opportunity to be creative with how you can reinvent parts of your home. Whether it is to explore a new hobby, recommit yourself to previous passions, or rethink your livable square feet, find out how to maximize your home to create a new and improved version.

Workout space

Make fitness a priority, by bringing the studio to you. Home workout areas often end up in a dark corner of the basement, so find extra workout motivation by making this space you look forward to using. Purchase only the equipment you need, build a compilation of your favorite workout videos OnDemand and download your favorite playlists to pump you up, or wind you down. Invest in rubber flooring to absorb both sounds, and shock to your joints. Install a mini fridge to keep beverages cold, and stock with scented cold towels, to use as a post-workout, cool-down reward.

Grandchildren suite

There are no sweeter memories than the ones kids are fortunate enough make with their grandparents. If you have grandchildren who visit often, repurpose an empty bedroom to create a space just for them. Outfit the room with a set of bunk beds, a crib or playpen, and a bookshelf curated with your own favorite childhood stories, to create a special hideaway for when they come to visit.

Hobby hub

The chances of having both space and time to fully dedicate to hobbies when your kids were younger, were probably slim. If your hobby supplies were previously jammed into the back of a closet, create a dedicated space to reignite excitement for your favorite creative outlets.

Grown-up guest room

Turn a typical guest room into a luxury hotel-inspired haven, by creating a relaxing retreat for guests. Upgrade the bedding, invest in blackout shades, provide ample towels, display fresh flowers, fill a water carafe, stock the room with reading materials, and provide a basket of essentials, such as a phone charger, toothbrush, and toiletries.

Library retreat

Whether you’re an avid book collector or you prefer the stick to the digital versions, a house full of busy kids probably didn’t allow much time for either. Reinvent a bedroom into a library sanctuary. Install wall-to-wall shelving and invest in comfortable seating, to lose yourself in your favorite book — or e-reader.

Create a dedicate cocktail hour nook.

With your children out of the house, the kitchen desk that logged many homework hours, or the ample pantry space that stored family-sized bags of snacks may be put to better use as a new and improved bar space. Install glass-front cabinetry for barware, a wine fridge and kegerator for your favorite craft beer, and toast to this new chapter in your life!

Written by Deanna Kane
Deanna Kane is an interiors, home decor, and real estate writer. She enjoys taking on her own home renovation and design projects, and staying current on the local real estate market.