I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
It’s back to school season, which means many families have said goodbye to their college freshman and find themselves as empty nesters! It’s a bittersweet time- excitement and sadness all mixed into one.
But what becomes of the empty room those college students leave behind? Many parents need a few years, but eventually everyone wants to re-do the room their child once occupied. Getting a spare room for a guest space, an office, or fun room can be a great way to overcome the feelings of loss that your life has changed so much now that your house is with one less occupant.
But where do you begin?
It might be helpful to start by emptying out the room. This can be a difficult process, but it is an important one. It doesn’t mean you have to toss all your child’s trophies and other mementos, but get them to help you clean out, or box up their belongings so they can go through them another time. Once the room is emptied you will feel revived and able to envision ideas for your new space!
Anther excellent tip is to start off by imagining what you would like the room to accomplish for you- extra storage? A work space? Guest room? Crafting area? Fitness room? A library? Or, a mixture of any of these! It’s quite likely the space could be used in different ways and become a multi-purpose room.
Once you’ve decided what the room should function as, it’s time to get some change! First you may want to think about replacing carpet, switching to hardwood floors, painting, or any other major changes you want to make. Think about what feels outdated in the space.
Next you may want to consider some fun way to add character to the room. Built in shelves for a library? A window seat? Or perhaps an accent wall with some fun wallpaper or even some shiplap.
Once you’ve finished making those decisions and creating the bones of your space, it’s now time to begin shopping! When thinking about what kind of room you are creating, try to decide what kind of long-term lastability you want. If you’re using the space for a home gym, you may want to look into Craigslist or second hand exercise stores to gain your collection. Investing in brand new equipment can be expensive, and you may end up switching types of equipment as you change your goals or age. Plus, there are always a plethora of people who purchase a brand new treadmill or elliptical that hardly ever get used, and they just want to get rid of it. Just be sure you are ready to be committed so you don’t make the same mistake!
If you’re creating a guest room or office, you may want to consider investing in some nice pieces that are beautiful and functional, and can even be passed down to your children. A great piece of mahogany furniture or any other solid wood bed, dresser, or even office desk can really make a statement and will last for generations. Look for things with extra storage, or even a trundle bed to create more space for guests!
Once the big furniture pieces are purchased, add in fun decorative pieces- but keep it simple. You don’t want to over-clutter! This is also a time to spend a little less, as you might want to change up the decor year to year.
Have fun with it, and remember that creating a space that you will love is a great way to embrace this new season of your life!