What can I do with our oddly-placed extra room?

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After living with a roommate for five years, my fiance and I will finally have our house to ourselves. (Yay!). We live in a ’50s-style California ranch, that was originally a two-bedroom, one bath, plus living area rectangle. The previous owners built an addition of a garage and master bedroom.

The only problem is that you have to walk through one of the bedrooms to get to the master suite. While we’ve lived with a roommate, the extra room has been used as our office, but once he’s out, we’re relocating our office to the second bedroom, for maximum privacy and minimal cat hair!

Our problem is what to do with this “in-between” room. It’s not really feasible as a guest room because of the lack of privacy. Any ideas what to do with this overblown hallway space? -Kylie

Offbeat Home editor consensus is that this could be become the most awesome dressing room EVAR. But we’d love to hear what all y’all can think up as well!

Comments on What can I do with our oddly-placed extra room?

  1. Do you have/want a formal dining room? Or sitting room? Or Game room? Or Garden room? Or what about blowing out a wall and making two rooms into one more open concept room? Or go the other way and move one of those doors and add a wall so that you have a more traditional hallway AND a room?? I don’t know if you can without knowing the layout of the rest of your place, but I would probably move the door to the garage over to the side of the room with the closet. That way you still have a “Bedroom” because of the window, but it’s a more private space for whoever you would put there….And that would make a perfect little guest room, because guests don’t “NEED” closets. A full sized bed, night table, and dresser or wardrobe would fit in that space with ease…

    • Oh, I would LOVE to have an indoor garden room! It would be such a cozy space to read in, and so pleasant to walk through every time you go to your bedroom. Personally, if I had extra space, I would have an art room, to paint, draw and make art!

  2. Maybe a couple of couches and bookshelves to make a nice sitting room? Or just go for a massive Ikea wardrobe set and create an awesome walk-in closet!

  3. My first thought was a library/study or game room. Our office often doubles as a “hobby” room, catching all the miscellaneous debris from out non-work activities. A room like this would be great for an away space that is used for creative pursuits, whatever yours might be.

  4. OMG Dressing Room! A fainting couch, a full-length mirror, a divider screen, a vanity… so dreamy.
    Another idea might be a “cool down” room. I get overstimulated easily and just need a while in total isolation sometimes. So I’d love to have a room with a chaise lounge, a bookshelf, a lamp, other soothing stuff/hobbies and lots of muted colours. There’d be a rule–while someone is occupying the cool down room, no one can bother them.

    • I think the only problem with this idea–which I love, my gf is promised a second bedroom that’s just for her cool-down time–is that you have to pass through this space to get to the bedroom. So it’s not great for isolation.

      • Maybe swap the bedroom and the cooldown room? So you have to go through the bedroom to get to the cooldown room, but if someone needs the bedroom while you’re cooling down, they won’t interrupt you.

      • My cool-down spot right now is my bedroom. In an apartment, that means one of four rooms in the whole place. I still find it works for me. My boyfriend does occasionally need to pop in to grab something, but generally he knows not to strike up some sort of conversation. I’m usually engrossed in a book, fiddling with my DS or resting my eyes, so I hardly notice. Others may find the presence of another person totally distracting, so it’s really up to individual preference.
        Of course, there’s also noise to consider. This room might share a wall with the television or the back yard might face a highway, so that may make it a lousy cool-down spot altogether!

        If anyone is considering setting up a cool-down space in an area that might have a little foot traffic, I suggest just temporarily setting it up and giving it a trial run. You might find an unexpected spot totally welcoming, or a spot you thought would be perfect to be totally annoying.

    • Maybe not a dressing room where one goes for privacy, but I was thinking walk-in closet/toilette.
      So shelves and dressers, easily-visible racks for shoes and jewelry, big mirrors with bright lighting for doing makeup. Maybe even a caffeine altar. http://offbeathome.com/2012/11/caffeine-altar
      This may also be a good space for the “bedroom TV” that would keep it out of the bedroom so you can actually sleep. There would be more room in the bedroom for sleeping things like extra linens or a hope chest.

      • I have always wanted a dressing room. When I get my way, that’s what our second bedroom (that connects to our room via a jack and jill bathroom) will be. Only have to solve the room mate situation…

    • yes! we have a sort-of similar setup (ours is a little less awkwardly placed, but it shares a door with our bedroom) – we use it as my wife’s “dressing room” and our “den”. that is, with our tiny closets, we’ve each got our own closet now – my closet is in the bedroom, hers is in the other room – it’s great to be able to spread out a little getting ready in the morning.

      plus, it’s a nice “adult” space – i need my privacy, so it kind of acts as a buffer room from the kids’ space/noise. no kids in the bedroom, and only in the den if invited (mostly when we watch movies). which brings us to the fact that it keeps the tv out of the communal living areas of our house, which is important to me. it also keeps all that non-essential office/fun stuff (books, movies, computer) out of the bedroom, which is really helpful for me and my crappy sleep.

  5. I personally like the idea of my bedroom just being a bed in a room. So I’d turn that awkward space into the place where my dresser would sit, clothes and laundry would be stored here,it’d be the drop off point for bags and travel gear, and I’d put up my clothing racks for drying things.

    Or, build an indoor fountain with plants all around it.

    • Sidebar: My bedroom is just a bed in a room with side tables. All my clothes are in the living area (bedroom closet is rarely-accessed storage); the windows and morning light are so lovely that I get dressed out there each day. So my bedroom is used for nothing but sleeping and possibly a little reading before bed, which makes it a peaceful escape space. 🙂

  6. Throw up a door to the hallway and make that your “no guests allowed” section. Then you have an extra room for awesome kink-fests. Display pin-ups and boudoir photography, install that sex swing you’ve been dreaming of, and use the closet for your costumes and whips (because who wants those getting tangled up?).

  7. I apologize if this suggestion is premature or unnecessary, but it sounds like it would make a great baby room. It is close to the bedroom but not in the same room. When/if the time comes…

    Until then, sounds like a good place for a cat tree for your critters.

  8. It looks like the kind of room that begs to be a traditional, formal kind of space. You know, the dining room that nobody ever went into except for Thanksgiving and Christmas and even then only when you had company over….

    …. I always hated those spaces. But if/when it comes time to sell your home, that’s how I would stage this room for sale. As for actual use, I do like the idea of it being a library or other functional space. Think about your hobbies and if an indoor work area would help you with those. I’d probably turn it to an art/sewing studio for myself, but it would probably work well for any number of hobbies. My husband would probably use it as an electronics workstation, and I know other people who could use it for musical instrument storage/practice, or as a media room (gaming in a slightly more private space is especially nice if your gamer likes to curse into the microphone), or dressing room…

    I’d look around your house and see if there’s anything that’s just sort of been given a corner in another room that could really be expanded on better.

  9. I’ve seen rooms like this in other homes, and usually they are turned into a crafts & sewing room.

    I would use it to display some sort of collection. (Not sure if you’re a collector or not…)
    My first thought was “what a convenient place for a gun cabinet” – because it’s in the bedroom(ish) and there’s plenty of space for a nice wooden cabinet, without being too dangerous/unsexy for a bedroom.

  10. Well, personally I would just keep it the office and have the second bedroom be a REAL second bedroom. You know…for guests or even a kid if you plan to have one. But my husband nor I need privacy when it comes to an office…it’s just a computer room really. Also, because it makes the most sense layout-wise or should you ever sell the place.

    But if you’re really set on moving the office, I would change it to a sitting room, game room, den or library.

  11. i’m going to echo those who suggested overgrown closet room. i live in a victorian with tiny, useless closets…so we turned one of the bedrooms into a giant closet. the cats aren’t permitted in so there’s no hair issues, and it’s actually easier to keep the clothing clutter down when you can SEE all your clothes right in front of you. no accidental duplicate items, nothing that doesn’t fit hiding in the back.

  12. My in-laws had a room like this. They turned it into a tv room where the kids/cousins could hang out and watch whatever/play games during family things where the tv was dominated by other things.

  13. I’d use this for crafts but that’s because my crafts take over our living space way too often and it would be great to have more space to leave them set up. Do you play board games? This would be an ideal space for that, separated from everyday living space and yet not totally private yet. If you do anything that you might want to leave set up for multiple days or have projects on the go, this could be an awesome space for that.

    Also loving the library idea or a critter room. The separation from the normal living space means it’s quieter, not with the tv so better for chatting and relaxing, etc. Could be nice as a sort of parlor or dressing room that could be used as living space (so not the space to have your clothes all over the floor) but you could have space for additional clothing or nice mirrors and a couch or comfy chairs, etc. A good space to curl up and read, look out the windows, etc.

    Do you ever use it as a path to the garage or primarily as a path to your bedroom? If it’s a path to the garage that you use, then maybe it needs to double as an entry/transition space. Useful for parties when you have people that split off into groups or need some privacy or an extra space to hold coats and gear, but it can transition to quiet space when there are no guests and one of you wants to play video games or watch a particular program or work on a project.

    • There is a significant amount of foot traffic through that room to get to the garage. Also, I am always complaining about not having a place for our coats. Once we clean the junk out of the closet that’s currently there, that would be a great coat closet! Thanks!

      • Yeah, not a good quiet room or project room if it gets a lot of foot traffic! 🙂 In that case, I’d totally set that room up as the ultimate “I just came into the house” space. Some good boot/shoe storage, coat storage, tables with appropriate repositories for keys, sunglasses, whatever you were carrying, etc. Comfy chairs to collapse in. It can always do some double duty as a welcoming and relaxing space but if you’re headed through to get to your vehicle, you want a good path and good storage.

  14. Game room! Not sure if you run toward the nerdy tendencies or not, but my husband and I would LOVE to have a space like this to turn into a designated board game room with a good sized table, comfy chairs, and a bar. The closet could easily be converted into suitable storage by adding shelves/racks. Paint it in a bright color, display geeky swag from conventions or promos, and it would be perfect for enjoying gaming without constantly making a disaster out of the dining room.

  15. Hookah room! Lay down some plush rugs and poufs and super comfy pillows and put an ultra fancy hookah in the middle. Hang scarfs and neat lamps from the ceiling maybe have a wall of books to give it that cozy feeling.

  16. I would personally turn it into a library/online game room for my husband and I. Put a bunch of bookshelves along one of the walls, then set up a computer for online games along the other wall. Paint the walls an awesome bright color, set up a sweet comfy chair next to the bookshelves and window to get some natural light.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!

  17. Hmmm…. gaming room, reading room, second livingroom (for those days when one of you has friends over and the other wants to watch TV), dining room, generally awesome room with everything, hobby room (with lots of storage so the cats won’t end up eating your sewing or whatever stuff), … – you need SEVERAL extra rooms!

  18. Retiring room? Somewhere cozy to relax? What about a library? Music room? Storage? If I was my MIL I would suggest having a baby (ew) but you could get a pet or hobby to fill it.

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