Feb. 2, 2017
Connie Adair, of Realty Times, wrote this insightful article, entitled "Reclaim Wasted Space and Create a Fun and Functional Space," on all the ways you can make better use of a space that's just been waiting to be used. Whether you have guests over every other weekend or would love to have your own studio or gym, you can make your space work for you.
Real estate is valuable so it pays to reclaim wasted space by clearing out a room or basement that has become a dumping ground. Get creative and make a new fun or functional room.
There are endless possibilities for your reclaimed space. Remember that rooms don't have to be used for what they were originally intended. For example, if your seldom-used dining room is gathering dust and junk, turn it into a play room, family room or games room instead.
If you have family and friends who like to come and stay, a guest room is the obvious option for a spare bedroom. Create a comfortable hotel-like room that in addition to the obvious bed, bedside tables, dresser and hanging space for clothes, has extras such as an arm chair, a coffee station, a supply of plush towels and a basket of toiletries. You may want to add a television and a supply of DVDs.
However, if you only have overnight guests occasionally, you may want the room to do double duty so it will not go unused between stays. Try using a Murphy bed instead of a regular bed so it can be lifted out of the way when it's not needed. Add bookshelves and a desk so the room can be used as a home office.
For fashionistas, a walk-in closet is the dream. It can be as easy as adding shelves, hanging rods (either freestanding or inside a closet system) and putting two low dressers back to back to offer storage and create an island.
Turn unused space into a library/reading room by adding a couple of comfy chairs and some bookshelves. Larger rooms can double as music rooms, or the room can be devoted to instruments and space for the band to gather.
Move exercise equipment out of bedrooms and put it together in one room to create a home gym. Add a mirrored wall, a television and sound system. Sans exercise equipment, the space can be used as a yoga room or a dance studio.
A room that offers lots of natural light also makes the perfect art studio, meditation space, craft/hobby room, play room for the kids or a place for teens to hang out.
Extra space in the basement can be soundproofed and turned into a home theatre. For a lower-budget option, move in comfortable seating, your television and storage for gaming systems and DVDs to create a media room. Building a wine cellar or sauna are other ideas for the lower level.
Some homeowners even create a room for their pet or to house their collections. A devoted studio space is a YouTubers dream. The possibilities are endless.
You can go whole hog and create a totally custom space, or you can work on a budget. Shop your house and repurpose furniture and accessories for your new space. In addition to saving money, reusing furniture will help you free up space in other parts of your house at the same time.
After you come up with a plan, sketch out your design. Then, empty out your room, making piles (toss, save, donate, sell and "return" for items you will use in your new space).
Try the KonMari method of organizing, created by Japanese cleaning/organizing guru Marie Kondo. "Keep only what sparks joy," says the author of organizing books Spark Joy and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Getting your house in order positively affects other parts of your life, she says.
A coat of paint is one of the least expensive ways to transform your space. Paint your walls or use paint to transform old furniture for your reclaimed space. Put your creativity to work.
When you're purging your space, you may be concerned about getting rid of potentially valuable items. Do your research by searching the Internet, or hire a professional appraiser because you want to know what items are worth before you get rid of them.
If you send a picture to your local auction house for feedback, you may be told whether the item is worth selling through an auction.
Dr. Lori Verderame, an antiques appraiser, syndicated columnist and television personality, suggests getting an independent appraiser who does not buy the items to ensure an honest and ethical appraisal.
You may also want to consider renting out your extra room to a student (local or international) or as an Airbnb for extra income. Do your research to find out which laws and bylaws may apply. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the landlord and tenant legislation in your province. Check to see if Airbnbs are allowed in your municipality.
With the cost of real estate soaring, it makes perfect sense to reclaim your space now.
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