How to Transform an Empty Nest into Well-Utilized Space

Have your children flown the proverbial coop? Whether they’ve moved away for college or left to travel the world, you have a number of options.

Structural Changes and Renovations

The first question you should ask yourself before you renovate the interior design of your children’s empty bedrooms, is if there are any structural or weatherization-related improvements you need to make. Whether it’s new siding for the entire house or weatherization for all the existing windows and doors in the house, you’ll want to get major work done and out of the way, first.

Factors to Consider

If you feel stuck and can’t decide between a number of different room purposes or theme options, take a look at Karen Linder’s list of questions to inspire home remodeling ideas. She includes inquiries into your lifestyle, as well as desired feeling, function, and ideal changes. If you’re clear about your priorities, the degree of change you’re looking for, and your budget, it will make the project ahead much easier to tackle. When you’re done answering these basic questions, you’ll also want to do things like measuring your space and select fabrics and colors.

Garden Room

If you’ve taken care of these kinds of variations in the past, you may be ready to focus on enhancing the space you are already working with. If you enjoy plants, consider turning your son or daughter’s former bedroom into a garden room or indoor greenhouse. If you feel like going all out, you might want to renovate the space into a sunroom or screen room. Alternately, if you’re not wanting to make quite so drastic a change, you could always install a garden bay window for plants. Whether you dedicate the entire room to plants or you want to make the space into a relaxing reading room with a few plants in the window, the addition will lend a lovely ambiance to the room. You could also use the bay window to create a sunny reading nook if you’re going with the reading room renovation.

Wine Room

One creative idea is to renovate an empty bedroom into a wine room. Yes, it’s an unconventional idea, but different can be fun! Think of this room as not only a place to store wine, but also a place to enjoy wine with a dining area, a small sink, and a mini fridge for storing things like cheese or white wine to be enjoyed on a warm summer day, on the patio.

Master Bath

Another inventive idea is to transform an empty bedroom into a master bath. Although this renovation would inevitably be more of a serious investment decision, it could potentially increase your home's value substantially. You could install a tub in the middle of the room, or if the space is small, consider a shower, instead. A special vanity area is also a possibility, with plenty of options for back splash colors and materials. If you want to get really luxurious, consider marble accent walls or heated floors.

Relaxation Room

One last idea is to create a relaxation or meditation room. You could also use the space for practicing yoga if you’d like. However, the focus should be on calming elements, so soothing lighting, colors, fabrics, and sounds will all help. For those who don’t opt for a garden room, a relaxation room with many green elements could help, since green is known to be a calming color: think of a continuous green canopy with nature-inspired paint inside and a bay window that opens to a view of a backyard garden or trees, outside.   More Ideas If you’re at a loss for ideas, there are plenty of inventive examples to be found online. However, if you want something quick, here’s a handy list for your reference:
  • Darkroom
  • Gallery wall of family photos
  • Game room
  • Greenhouse or garden room
  • Guest room
  • His and hers offices
  • Home gym
  • Master bath
  • Media room
  • Relaxation/meditation/yoga room
  • Shoe closet or walk-in closet
  • Wine room
Enjoy, and happy renovating!