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white home office and guest bedroom with all white furniture and bed against wall

Spare Room Ideas: Let’s Make this Forgotten Space Stunning

While you might not be stuck for spare room ideas, you’re probably stuck when it comes to executing them. It’s one of those rooms that ends up housing all of crap we don’t know where to put, doesn’t it? Don’t be feeling shame, either. It’s like the bottom drawer in your kitchen; everyone has one and it’s full of tonnes of junk.

That’s just the reality of the spare room. But it doesn’t have to be. And what’s with calling it a spare room, anyway? The very notion of naming it ‘spare’ suggests that it’s not to be used regularly. It’s an extra, an addition, a novelty, without function. Well, I reckon it’s time to change all that and put your spare room back on the map. Give it a new name, purpose, and lease on life. Because using it as an ironing room is not doing you or it any justice!

We can do this, Creatives! So strap your style pants on and let the transformation begin.

home office of darren and dea from the block with dark blue timber wall cladding and built in desk

Spare Room Ideas: What does your home lack?

Wanna know the best thing about your home? It’s yours! So forget about what other people are doing in their space and execute your spare room ideas with individuality in mind.

If you want to make your spare room a museum that showcases your Beanie Baby collection, go for it! If you want to make it a walk-in-wardrobe that puts Oprah’s to shame, you can do it. Or maybe you no longer want to work on a laptop at the kitchen bench, hunched over like Quasimodo. Make the spare room your home office!

The choice is yours and yours alone. But the first question to ask yourself really is: What does my home currently lack that I desperately need? This will help you figure out what you’ll do with the spare room.

home office with chandelier and seating area glass top desk
Can your room really fit all of this? I wish mine did.

Be Realistic about the Space

Before you have visions of turning this zone into a gift wrapping room like Candy Spelling has in her mansion (or is that just me?), consider if your spare room ideas will actually fit all of the furniture and decor items you dream of.

So many spare rooms are second or third bedrooms, so they can often be tight on space. You’ve gotta be clever about what you put in there. The more things you fill it with, the more potential it has to start becoming visually chaotic. So be realistic about what will fit and then make sure that marries up with the dreams you have for the room.

There’s nothing worse than wanting your spare room to be a grand guest suite and then realising it barely fits a queen bed. Truly depressing. To get around this, do some measurements and draw up a rough floor plan of what you’re thinking of doing in the space. It’ll soon become clear if the room can handle your dreams.

white home office and guest bedroom with all white furniture and bed against wall
Push a bed against the wall for extra space if you’re in a smaller room.

Creating a Multi-Purpose Zone? I love it!

A lot of the spare room ideas you consider can actually work together in the one zone. It can be a guest bedroom, a second living room, the ironing room and the home office. You’ve just gotta be super-clever about how you work all of that into the one area.

If your ambitions are lofty (which is good), start to consider how you can make all of the pieces work together. But also know the priorities.

My advice: if you want the spare room to act as a guest bedroom and office, opt for a sofa bed instead of an actual bed. This is the sofa bed I have and it’s awesome. It also makes the room feel more like a second living space and it comes numerous colours and materials.

If you tuck a TV away in a cupboard (the best space-saving approach of all time), then you can close that off and not look at it when it’s not in use. So in terms of floor space so far, you’ve only got a sofa bed.

A desk with a chair is sure to fit in too, and that’s really all you need in terms of essentials. A rug to warm up the space is great, and so is art and a small lamp. But in terms of big furniture pieces, keep it minimal.

all white home office with moroccan rug and built in desk near window
Built-storage is always a good idea if you can afford it. Going up is also a genius solution.

Spare Room Ideas from me to you

I’ve created a little mood board below that showcases products for a multi-purpose spare room. It’s a contemporary style, so it’s a bit of an all rounder in terms of who it’ll please.

Kids will like it, your guests who stay over will like it. It’s not going to offend the eye but it’s not an all-stops train to Boring Town either. That’s the key to decorating a room a lot of people will be using; don’t go too wild.

I’ve included links to all of the products if you like the look of them and want to find out more, too. And my fave part: you can score it all for under exactly $1335.10 (correct at time of publish).

spare room ideas budget home office furniture on the life creative | TLC Interiors

Chair | Artwork | Sofa Bed | Desk | Rug | Lamp | Cushion 1 | Cushion 2

What spare room ideas are you considering?

I’d love to hear about your spare room ideas in the comments below. What are you considering doing with the space? Displaying your Star Wars figuring collection? No judgement!

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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10 Responses

  1. I pushed my queen bed up under the sash window and installed a small desk with shelves above behind the door later I will use barn door sliders when I rehang the door I used the wardrobe to hide my printer so finally I have a home office thanks for the tips

  2. Hey, Chris! I absolutely adore the morocan rug in the 5th picture in the office. Do you happen to know where you got it?

  3. Our spare room is currently where my shoes live, plus an extra tallboy of clothes and my boyfriend’s desk. It’s a bit of a hodge podge of furniture that has moved from place to place so doesn’t necessarily all go. It’s also quite a dark room and the existing furniture is dark brown (which I am over!) so I am thinking of painting some of the furniture, was thinking of doing something bold with the bookcases that hold my shoes – perhaps a pastel colour?? I also need to buy a floor lamp for the room to bring in that extra light. It definitely has become the room that all the odd furniture goes so there isn’t a feeling to it, it needs a new identity!

    What colours would you suggest for the furniture? Our unit has a scandi vibe to it with some vintage pieces too – I like to mix things up (as long as they don’t fight each other)

  4. We are turning ours into a music room as we both play ukulele and we practise and play a lot. We also have a TV and a sofa bed for the odd visitor. Yes there is also an ironing board at times but it folds away

    1. That sounds awesome Helen. I think you have to make the room your own so that you get the most use out of it. And hey – some ironing board covers look awesome. Sadly, mine doesn’t lol, but a lot do 😉

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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