Your children have grown up and moved out. Perhaps they’ve gone off to college or maybe they’re already living in their own homes raising their families. Now you’re left with a big empty house and aren’t sure what to do with all of that extra unused space.
Have you thought about downsizing into a smaller house or condo? Maybe you want to wait until the real estate market rebounds so that you aren’t selling your home at an inopportune time. Or maybe you aren’t ready to leave your family home and want to stay put but want to undertake a home improvement to make it fit your current needs.
Your Own Special Spot
After caring for your family for so long, now is the time to think about what you want. Think about the activities that you enjoy and create a space that will perfectly accommodate your interests.
• Do you have a hobby or craft that you’ve always wanted to spend more time on or needed to be able to spread out? If so, then a home art studio or craft room may just be the right thing.
• If you love to curl up and read or collect books and artifacts then a home library would be a perfect use of your extra space.
• Perhaps you enjoy watching movies or TV and your spouse prefers to listen to music. A home den or media room with comfy seating and big screen TV and media system would be your dream room and allow both of you to enjoy your time without distracting the other.
• Is it time to pamper yourself with a home spa? This can be as simple as elaborate as you choose, complete with a home gym or yoga/meditation studio, hot tub and massage table. Perhaps to you, pampering means remodeling your master bathroom so that it is fit to be called the “master bath” or taking out a wall and creating a walk-in closet or dressing room for yourself.
• Maybe you’re transitioning to working from home as a consultant or nearing retirement and would like your own home office or computer room. You don’t have to have your computer on your child’s old school desk crammed between the single bed and baseball trophies. Move their things out and turn this into a truly functional work space.
Quite often people convert their kids’ former bedroom into a guest room. This makes sense if your children will be visiting from out of town or if you have friends and relatives who are retired that might be coming for a short stay.
A more grandiose renovation could include creating a large guest suite complete with its own sitting area and bathroom. In this case, you’re likely going to be taking on a rather extensive home remodeling project, tearing down walls and installing new plumbing.
Think Outside the Box
Can you think of other uses for the empty rooms in your home that you may not have imagined before? How about welcoming an exchange student for a term or renting out a room to an international student? Maybe one of the rooms could become a playroom for your grandchildren when they come to visit. The possibilities are endless.
Needless to say, your empty nest does not need to feel empty if you take the time to redesign your home to suit your current needs, interests and activities. Don’t leave those rooms as shrines to what once was; instead, turn them into the perfect spot for what now is.