6 steps to reclaiming your spare room

man sitting at desk next to bikes with pile of books outside on table

Jenna Meade

Posted July 13, 2021

Makeover your spare room to make it work for you.

Lost control of your spare room? Whether you’ve been working from home or have slowly made it your junk room, it’s easy for your space to go from spare to despair. From dreaming up your desired domain to kitting it out in your signature style, here are six steps to reclaiming - and re-loving - your extra space.

Six steps to reclaiming your spare room

Find your purpose 

Start by defining how you’re going to use the room. Perhaps it’s a dedicated office, a 'zen' zone for yoga and meditation, a music room, or a secluded spot for guests to stay. Or consider making it a multipurpose room. Divide the room into two with a comfortable armchair and bookshelf serving as a reading nook, then kit out a workout area with gym equipment or yoga essentials. You could also add a sofa bed to fuse an office and a guest suite. Bonus: it also doubles as a reading space during your workday - or a spot for a sneaky afternoon snooze.

desk and office chair on wooden floor in home office next to plant and bike

Conquer clutter to make the best use of your space. Image: Getty. 


Conquer clutter

Now that you’ve identified your needs, it’s time to rid the room of the excess. Arm yourself with a garbage bag for rubbish, a storage box for keepsakes and another container for items you’d like to sell or donate to charity. Be ruthless. Remember, you need to get rid of the junk to get rid of the junk room. If you’re having trouble banishing your belongings, follow Marie Kondo’s lead and ask yourself: ‘Does it spark joy?’ If not, it goes in the garbage bag or donation box.

Clean slate

Roll up your sleeves, because it’s time for a good once-over. Chances are you’ve accumulated dust, dirt and cobwebs in the room, and giving it a thorough clean will help you feel more motivated to restore it to its full potential. Wipe down all furniture, mend any broken drawers or shelving, and tidy up existing papers and books into a workable order. Hello, blank canvas.

In with the old

A tasteful transformation doesn't have to be expensive. A coat of paint or a feature wall can instantly brighten the space without breaking the budget. With a bit of elbow grease, you can upcycle existing furniture to better reflect your needs and style. Breathe new life into your desk - and your workday - with a light sanding and a fresh coat of paint, switch out light globes for a more relaxing hue, or revive your chair or couch with fresh coverings.

laptop on desk with headphones and books

Turning your spare room into a home office? Follow these tips to help you get started.


Hidden gems

Ample storage is your space-saving sidekick. Aim for a space where everything has its place. File away documents, organise books and use storage baskets or cubes to group together common items like gym equipment, stationery and kids toys. A bookshelf won’t take up much room, but will cleverly categorise and conceal your smaller items. Install hooks on the back of the door for your coat or hat, add floating shelves, and if you’ve got a bed, be sure to take advantage of the storage space underneath.

Add artistic interest

Get creative and make the space an extension of your personal style with fabulous finishing touches. Let the room tell your story by hanging artwork on the walls, displaying treasures from your travels and rolling out your favourite rug to elevate your floor. Lush indoor plants will instantly add life to your surroundings by bringing the outdoors indoors while cleaning the air as you work, play, or sleep. By staying minimal yet intentional, you’ll add creative flair while remaining clutter-free.