Once your grown kids move out, at some point you’ll likely wind up with extra space in their former bedrooms. Becoming an empty nester can be bittersweet, but one of its perks is the time and space you’ll have now to use even more of your house the way you want. There are numerous ways to make the extra room work for your new family configuration.
Guest rooms: It might seem obvious to use your kid’s former room for guests, but that’s because it’s often a good idea. This becomes especially true when they get older if your kids come to visit with families of their own and you need a space for the grandkids.
Personal and office space: If you don’t need the bedroom space any time soon, this could be your chance to build your sewing room, home theatre, or whatever other extra space you’ve been looking for. If you’ve wanted a home office, using your extra bedroom will be a good option. Really, this is a chance to let your imagination run wild.
Basements: Once you don’t have teenagers hanging out in the basement, that’s sometimes a better place to turn into a man-cave, woman-cave, or any other kind of personal area. The same way that kids like having the chance to withdraw to the basement, you can use it as a retreat space. If you’re planning something that needs major renovation, the basement is usually going to be a better option for that than an extra bedroom.
Keeping the change manageable: Early on, when your kids might be coming back to stay periodically, you’ll probably want to at least keep some of their stuff around. You’ll also want to make sure that the changes you make to empty bedrooms are easily reversible—when the time does come to sell your house, you and your buyers may want to be able to use the room as a bedroom again without having to undo major structural changes, even if you did want a home theatre, darkroom, or second kitchen. You also will want to be careful about using the room as a storage space—don’t let it get too cluttered.
When your lifestyle changes but you’re staying in the same house, it’s natural to see how you can make the house work better for the way things are now. While you might want to hold off from the more major upheavals at first, having plans for what you want to do can make the transition easier.
Tweet us a comment of how you have restyled your home after your kids have moved out here.