How to deal with an empty nest

When a child moves out of home - especially if it’s taken them a while - the occasion is usually part sad, but mostly a cause for celebration! You finally have your home to yourself and can do whatever you want with it (including doing less laundry, which is a wonderful added bonus).

Another bonus is having an extra room on your hands to make your own. But what do you do with your child’s old bedroom? The possibilities are endless, but you need to have a good think about the space before you hit the shops.

Thinking about function
Before we focus on how the room is going to look, have a good think about how it needs to function. What is your home currently lacking that this room could deliver you?

Do you require a home office, do you need a space to display your craft creations, or perhaps you’re in dire need of a room to put guests in when they visit.

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You can turn your spare room into a multi-functioning space

The good news is that the room can work as a multi-purpose zone, to address multiple needs. It’s all about making the right furniture and decor choices, so let’s explore how to create a great guest bedroom and home office below.

Considering the size of the space
If your child had a large bedroom, you’re in luck; you have a bigger footprint to work with. In many cases, though, the room will be a standard bedroom size. This means you have to be realistic about what you’ll fit into the space.

It’s always good to draw up a quick floor plan of the room. This won’t be to scale, but it will help you figure out furniture placement.

When you start to draw things in the room, you’ll often come to realise it might feel a bit cramped, or not full enough, so don’t be afraid to whip out a pencil and give a floor plan a try.

Choosing furniture for a guest bedroom and office
Sofa beds have come a long way, and they’re not as thick and chunky as they used to be. Using one allows the room to feel more like a living space, rather than a dedicated bedroom.

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Floating shelves can transform the look of a whole room

If you’re keen on keeping a bed in the room, pushing it against a wall will give you some extra space to fit in your desk, and potentially a bedside table. Look for beds with thin frames and avoid large headboards.

Round side tables are great to use as bedsides and they won’t take up much space. Chunky bedsides are best avoided.

Shelving is a good idea if the room is small. Installing floating shelves on the wall means that you can store items off the floor (like your arts and craft essentials), giving the room a greater sense of space.

When it comes to the desk, keep it light and simple. If the room is small, a white desk with thin legs is your friend. Dark furniture with thick, heavy legs will weigh the space down.

A floor lamp with a thin base and stem is a great idea also. Again, it’s about taking up as small an amount of floor space as possible.

Art is a great way to finish off the room. The most affordable and lightweight option is canvas art. In most cases you don’t even need a wall hook. You can use Velcro Command hooks that won’t leave a mark on your walls.

Your life, your room!
The biggest advice I can give you is to make the room your own. Have it reflect how you live, not how you think it should look.

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Why not use your new space to create a private gym?

You finally have the home to yourself, so create a space that truly makes you happy every day. And cross your fingers that the kids aren’t planning on moving back in anytime soon!

Have your kids moved out? What did you do with the space?

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