Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. One moment, you’re all sat around a big dining table, surveying the noise that your large family is making as they enjoy one of your meals. The next, you’re taking the youngest to college and letting them go into their new life while holding back the tears.
Standing in an empty house and hearing silence? That’s not easy to do after years and years of noise, laughter, and people buzzing around doing their thing; boys and girls playing football in the yard, new artwork created and stuck to the refrigerator. It’s all over and the next chapter of life is about to begin. For parents, this isn’t a day you are excited for: it’s a scary day where you are left together to remember why you’re together in the first place. However, it does mean that you get your home back.
For every room the children vacate, you need a project. It may be a cliché, but the kids grow up fast and dealing with an empty nest isn’t exactly easy. So, to keep busy, it’s time to look at the space they’ve just vacated. Turning their bedroom into a space that you can get some use out of is a good way to spend your time. Not only that, but those projects that you put off doing for so many years are suddenly yours to grab hold of. So, you now have a vacant room in your house – what exactly do you plan to do about that?
A Guest Room
Okay, so the kids have gone, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t come back to visit sometimes. Whether it’s your children or your friends, you need a spare room to have them stay in. You’ll need to look at buying a new bed and buying a mattress to go with it. You’ll need to consider the décor and giving it a refresh to be a neutral guest space and not a space-themed bedroom with decals of the moon. Make sure that your guest room is functional and beautiful, and you’ll have a space that people will want to stay in.
A Hobby Space
The kitchen isn’t big enough for your puzzle table, and the lounge isn’t big enough for a huge cuddle chair and bookcase. Now, though, you have a room that you can use to do whatever you want in. Install a large table with an overhead light so that you can see your jigsaws. Mount a television to the wall and have a huge, squashy armchair or sofa opposite for big games on the air. You are within your right for a space to have all your hobbies, and the spare room could be that space.
You could change your job to suit you and start working from home, especially now that you have a house that is quieter. Your office could be everything that you need as a functional workspace, with room for a desk and chair and even office equipment. You could look at soundproofing if you’re worried about interruptions in the flow of your day from the remainder of the house. If you don’t work from home, you could still have it as a space for tech, decreasing the use of laptops and tablets in other rooms in the house as a way of finding peace.
A Man Cave
Your partner may have waited for years for the kids to move out and have a space for a pool table, and now you have the room. Think about purchasing some of the large retro arcade games to go in there along with a jukebox. Your spare room has the potential to be a social center for friends and family. Lots of relaxed seating, good décor and plentiful lighting can help to renovate the space to your liking and give him something to do!
You may not enjoy heading out at the crack of dawn to hit the treadmill in a safe environment, but you won’t have to if you build a gym down the hall. Investing in some fitness equipment and building up a free weights area can be a brilliant way to transform a spare bedroom. If you want the convenience of a place to workout and you’re a fitness fan, a home gym could be everything you never knew that you needed. Change out a wall for some full-length mirrors and install a TV on the wall, and you get to run your own Yoga workouts.
If you’re a bit of an artist and you know you have a talent, then you need to think about a potential studio. You’ll need some storage cabinets for your equipment, easels in different areas of the room for lighting purposes, canvases and a place to dry them and you’ll also need some new lighting installed into the room. A studio could be everything you need to relax, paint and give yourself some time to unwind after a busy day. Think about laying flooring that will work with paint splatters and cleaning up. Basically, no cream carpets!
It doesn’t matter what you do to the bedroom, a project will keep your mind and hands busy. Changing the bedroom to fit your future is going to help you in the process of moving on from your child moving out. Be smart about the changes that you make, though, because if your child has just headed to college and haven’t moved out completely, then they’re going to want the room back in between semesters. Get your kids involved when you change their room – no matter how old they are, they’ll want a say in what goes on in the house that they grew up in. You’ve got time to get it right, so don’t rush your newest project.