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12 Useful Spare Room Ideas: Home Gyms, ‘Zen Areas’, and More

You can do pretty much anything with an extra bedroom – just don’t leave it empty!

It’s a common dilemma: You’ve just bought a new 3/4/5-room HDB flat or condo apartment that you and your future family can grow into – but because it’s just the two of you (for now), there’s a spare bedroom that’s been left very empty.

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But instead of letting it go to waste, why not turn it into a functional space where you can enjoy your hobbies or get some work done? Here are 12 ways you can put that extra square footage to better use.

1. Merge a spare room with another room for a bigger space

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View this project by Insight.Out Studio

Given the size of homes in Singapore, it’s pretty common to see homeowners merging their spare bedrooms with an adjacent room for a bigger space. The homeowners of this humble abode in Toa Payoh did just that, creating an open communal area with clearly-demarcated spaces for the living and dining room.

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View this project by The Interior Lab

You can also combine two bedrooms for an extra-big master bedroom suite. Doing so will give you the space to accommodate a luxurious king-sized bed, study, and full-length wardrobe while still having ample walking room – something which is hard to do in a regular-sized bedroom!

2. Set up a private reading room or library

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View this project by Black N White Haus

Sure, open-concept spaces might be all the rage these days, but for those who enjoy getting lost in a good book, it can be a nightmare especially if you need the privacy of a closed-off area.

That said, with a spare room, it’s possible to create a cosy area that’s somewhere in the middle, just like this home’s personal library. To keep the look visually seamless, opt for full-height glass doors to enclose the area without compromising on privacy.

3. Carve out a relaxation zone to unwind in after a long day

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View this project by SG Interior KJ

Speaking of cosy areas, you can also turn a spare room into a relaxation corner – or a ‘zen’ area, if you prefer.

While it’s beneficial for just about anyone, those who are perpetually WFH may find this extra useful, considering that it gives you a dedicated space away from your work to unwind and clear your headspace after a trying day at work.

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View this project by Inspire 90s

4. Create a home gym to accomplish your #fitgoals

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View this project by Charlotte's Carpentry

With your own exercise corner, you can always answer “yes” when someone asks the question “Do you even lift?”. Plus, this idea isn’t all that hard to execute, just make sure you have enough space for your equipment as well as a mirror wall that allows you to check your form – and you’ll have a bona fide gym that you can use anytime!

5. Put your spare room to use as a walk-in wardrobe

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View this project by Yang's Inspiration Design

Choosing your #OOTD will be much easier with a walk-in wardrobe of your own, especially if your clothes and fashion accessories are all stored and organised in a dedicated room outfitted with custom built-ins.

6. Designate a spare room as your gaming area

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View this project by The Local INN.terior 新家室

Gamers – PC and console fans alike – can all agree on one thing: gaming setups can be messy. With all the screens and devices, you probably have to deal with a mess of wires – which you’ll probably want to keep away from your living area or bedroom.

So, if you’ve got a room to spare, why not turn it into a dedicated gaming area? It’ll give you all the space you need for a massive setup without cluttering the rest of your home!

7. Turn your spare room into a guest room for friends or family

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View this project by Le Interior Affairs

Using a spare bedroom as… well, a bedroom… is perfect if you have friends and/or family staying over frequently.

However, it doesn’t mean that you have to leave the space unused when you don’t have guests. Multi-use guest rooms are flexible spaces, and they can be converted into a storeroom or study with the right fixtures like folding beds and ceiling height cabinetry.

8. Transform it into a music studio that you can jam out in

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View this project by Apex Studios

Listen up, music lovers! You can absolutely turn a spare room into a jam out space or even a karaoke room to hone your crooning skills. Just be considerate of your neighbours and add sound insulation – you can pad your walls with rockwool or install soundproof curtains.

9. For the artistic folks: convert it into a creative art studio

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View this project by Fifth Avenue Interior

Whether you paint, sculpt or design, it helps to have a personal studio where you can collect your thoughts and pursue your creative endeavours distraction-free. So, turn your spare bedroom into a private atelier with pops of cheery colours that’ll fire up your imagination!

10. Have an entertainment room to catch up on your favourite TV shows/movies and sing karaoke

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View this project by Swiss Interior Design

If your idea of a good weekend is staying in and enjoying a movie marathon, then you might want to set aside some space for a dedicated home theatre.

With it, you can replicate the thrill of the cinema experience with a surround sound system, projector/widescren TV, and plush seats. And if you’re an avid karaoke fan, you can even have it double as a karaoke room, like the one below!

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View this project by Style Elements Studio

11. Create a mini ‘museum’ for your collections

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View this project by Weiken.com

Whether they consist of vinyl figurines, soft toys, or plastic models, your prized collections deserve their own spot in your home – and turning a spare bedroom into a showroom of sorts is a great way to both display your collectibles and ensure they stay organised.

12. Use it as a botany studio

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View this project by Authors • Interior & Styling

Plant parents, this one’s for you. If you often find yourself needing a space to tend to your precious plant babies, having a botany studio will give you just that, while containing the mess from soil spills and loose leaves within a single space.

Tip: to maximise the amount of natural light, opt for full glass panels in place of walls!

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View this project by Authors • Interior & Styling

This article was first published on 8 June 2017, and updated on 16 August 2023.

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