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Spare Room Special

Sandra Toia-Wilson

While many people would love an extra room in their house or unit, some larger properties may have a spare room that is underutilised.  Perhaps you have a big house and the kids have grown up and moved on, or perhaps you have not yet started to fill up your new home!  

So what can you do with this extra space, and what gives the most value to you – here are a few ideas.

1. Just use it as a bedroom.

While it sounds obvious, if you have a three bedroom home, there is little value in making your home a two bedroom property.  It won’t add value if you were to sell, so consider the following ideas and see if you can make them a short term option for your own pleasure.  Irreversible choices are best avoided!  However, if you have a 5 bedroom home you may add value by having four bedrooms and a specialised room or living area that stands out from the crowd.

2. Make a smaller room bigger.

Some homes have two small rooms next to each other, which may not really appeal on their own.  Consider the idea of making one larger space, such as making one bedroom larger and giving it a sitting area, or a generously sized walk-in robe.

3. Walk-in Wardrobe 

Who wouldn’t like a dedicated room just for clothes, shoes and a nice big mirror!  If it is well laid out, you can make a room stand out and take the clutter away from your other bedrooms and living spaces. 

4. Extra living space or Rumpus

For some, one living space is enough, but others live for a formal dinner party or just a place to put the kids to play.  Your extra room can become an imaginative play-space, able to be changed as your family changes.

5. Games room or Home Theatre

Games rooms often used to be a place for a pool or table tennis table, but these days they often become a place for a large TV and numerous games consoles, DVD or Blu-ray players (or for streaming Netflix if you have the means!).

6. Adult Retreat or Hobby Room

Why not have a place of contemplation – perhaps an electronic free zone (or kid free!) with a yoga mat, or a nice chair for reading with a library of books.  Perhaps it can be a hobby or craft room where you can concentrate and keep all your special items together. 

7. Home Gym

Sometimes you just can’t get out of the house for exercise, so why not make a space for your own home gym or workout area.   While not for everyone, you might find it cheaper in the long run having your own equipment instead of paying gym fees.
8. Guest Accommodation

Perhaps you might like a special space for guests, and you might even go that extra distance to make it a small self-contained space that will allow you flexibility in the future, or possibly even rent out the space to give yourself an extra income.

While these are a few ideas, let your imagination take you to any number of possibilities – a music room for the entertainers, the ever useful home office, a dedicated wine room with tasting table, or an art display for those wanting to show off their collection.

Our homes and the rooms within are a reflection of our personalities, so if you a have spare space why not express yourself with a special room of your own.

Sandra Toia-Wilson is the principal at Ratcliff Mathews Real Estate, a local agency on the northern beaches for 15 years.  Phone 02 9982 6888, email or visit


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