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Empty Nest? Try These Ideas for That Extra Bedroom

Aug 29 Pulling down a Murphy BedThis is the time of year when college kids head off to campus and many young adults move out of their parents’ homes to live on their own. If you have a child who is leaving the nest for school, or for a new apartment made possible by a real job and life as an adult, congratulations on a job well done!

But what are you going to do with that spare bedroom?

When your child moves out, it’s time to change up the room decor to match your style, not your teen’s. Try these remodeling ideas to make the most of your new space for a guest room that you’ll love.

How to Store Their Stuff

Before you can begin to redecorate, you’ll need to empty the room. That means packing up your child’s belongings and storing it elsewhere. Donate old clothes and furniture if you can, and ask your child to let you know what items she’d like to keep. Store these in clear bins stacked neatly in the closet or your basement. This makes it easy for your child to find something she wants without unpacking everything on her next visit.


Pro Tip: Every time your child comes home, sneak one into her car so she takes it with her if you can. (This applies more to a grown child who has moved permanently into an apartment rather than one who has temporarily for college.)

Choose a Restful Palette

To make the most of a new guest room, choose a paint color that relaxes you. Cool colors like blue and lavender are calming, and soft grays are totally on-trend. If your child’s furniture is in good shape, you may just need a fresh duvet and pillow set for guests. It’s also a good idea to add a full length mirror, a luggage stand and a night table with reading lamp if you don’t already have one.

Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about the room feeling too feminine, one of our favorite unisex bedroom ideas is to add an accent wall of wood paneling to keep soft colors from becoming too girly.

Make Your Space Multitask

multitask space.jpgDon’t forget that your guest room doesn’t have to be a one-trick pony. You’ll get much more use out of the space if you have it do double-duty as a work room for you when you’re not hosting others. If you add a desk and wall shelves, you have a cozy office. Love to craft or work on other hobbies? Add a work table and storage for your art supplies. If you’ve been longing for a home gym, consider switching to a Murphy bed or a sofa bed so you have plenty of space for your free weights and yoga mat.

Pro Tip: Add a chair to your guest room to turn it into a reading room — you’ve instantly created a quiet retreat where you can shut out the world for a bit!

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