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When I went off to college, my mom turned my bedroom into her meditation room. She didn’t do it all at once, but each time I would come home for a weekend or for the holidays, I would notice things…accumulating. A folding shoji screen here, a little pouf there. Now it’s a totally tranquil den with soft pillows and throws, yoga mats, a sound system, incense, and candles. Luckily, my bed is still there if I need it, but I love how she’s given new life to what would otherwise be dead space. Om shanti!

Of course, if meditation isn’t your thing, there are lots of other ways to use a newly-vacant kids’ room or any other excess space you may have. Here are some of my favorites:

home theaterHome Theater

The living room is a fine place to catch up on your favorite shows or view movies, but just picture kicking back in your very own home theater. Don’t forget the Twizzlers!

spa/home gymSpa/Exercise Room

Sure, you could keep springing for expensive spa treatments and gym memberships, but with a little investment and elbow grease, you could have your very own private fitness club. (Bonus: No one will see you watching Real Housewives reruns while you’re on the treadmill.)

game roomGame Room

Take family game night to a whole new level with a dedicated game room. You can keep playing Scrabble, but a pool table would be a nice addition, don’t you think?

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out all of our ideas for Specialty Rooms. Now that my stepbrother has finally headed off to the dorms this year, I can’t help but wonder what my folks will do with his room. Mom, may I suggest a sumptuous home bar setup?

home bar

7 Responses

  1. Kayla@HGTV says:

    I love this! My parents are going to have yet another extra room when my sister leaves for college at the end of this year. They already have a guest bedroom, so what now? Very inspirational! I'm sending this post their way! :)

  2. Liz_HGTV says:

    My sister's room and my room are pretty much exactly as we left them…Maybe sending this would be a subtle cue to my family that it's okay to reuse the space.

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  5. DJ Lamberti says:

    I turned my son's room into a Reiki/massage room. Everyone in my life can benefit from that!

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...

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