How to Rescue a Wasted Room
Many of us have that space in our home that we never really use. Perhaps it’s a guest room that rarely sees guests or a basement that’s only used as a dumping ground for boxes. It could be a section of hallway, corner of the main lounge area, or bedrooms of children who are now grown up with homes of their own. Regardless of where that space is, you want to find ways to be able to make the most of every area of your home. Here are ways to identify what’s wrong and how to turn that part of your home into something you’ll use and enjoy.
Often the area isn’t being used because it isn’t that comfortable. Even relatively minor variations in temperature can make a space an area to be avoided. You might not even consciously realise what is causing the problem until you start thinking about it.
Make the area comfortable by adding a ceiling fan, space heater, or portable fan to help keep the temperature comfortable. A related problem is humidity so consider adding a dehumidifier to keep a basement from feeling damp.
Having the right kind and amount of light is critical. Dark basements are uninviting and blinding sunrooms can make them an impossible place to read or work. Swap out your existing lighting fixtures to make them more appropriate for the space or add a desk or a floor lamp. Switching window treatments can help to either bring in additional light or prevent the room from becoming uncomfortably bright or overheated.
Keep in mind that it isn’t just the amount of light that makes a room comfortable and functional. The type of light matters, as well. Fluorescent lights can give off a flickering light or lack the natural range of colours in daylight. Try switching to a different style of fluorescent or try a new type of light bulb that provides full spectrum light that more closely recreates natural sunlight.
- Beautify Storage
You need places to store your stuff but don’t let storage take over. Rather than cardboard boxes of Christmas items, consider upgrading to attractive storage options. Adding shelving can enable you to store your belongings so that they are easier to access but take up less of the room. Colourful storage cubes, end tables and other pieces of furniture that have storage inside are another ways to combine storage, style, and functionality.
- Think Multifunctional
That guest room doesn’t always have to be a guest room. Rather than leave rooms unused for much of the year, make the room work as both a bedroom and whatever else you need. Perhaps you want to use it as an office, a sewing room, an artist’s studio, or a sitting room. A futon, sofa bed, or a bed that can fold up to the wall when not in use will enable you to use the room for other things when it isn’t needed for sleeping. A small dresser can convert into a desk by placing a larger board on top that can serve as a desktop and allow more room underneath for your legs. A small wheeled cart could make it simple to roll your sewing machine or art supplies into a closet when not in use to make space for visitors.
- Add Colour
The problem may be that the room is function, just not inviting. Adding a pop of colour or other point of interest can make all the difference. In spaces without a window, hanging a picture of the seashore or other scenic overlook can give the feeling of a window and provide something better to attract your attention. Painting a feature wall could help to define the area so that it feels inviting as a separate office area or reading nook. Even colourful storage boxes or a brightly painted desk can make the area inviting and inspiring.