Extra space is a valuable commodity for many of us, and a home with a bonus room or spare corner is worth its weight in gold. The best bonus room ideas come from a desire to transform an unused space into something beautiful and functional.
Your bonus room could serve as a second living room, extra Bedroom, Playroom, game room, or even a home theater, depending on its size. While many floor plans today include a finished bonus room, many of us must convert an unfinished area to add living space.
When it comes to bonus room ideas, the decorating possibilities are endless. As with any additional room in your house, determining the primary purpose of the bonus room is the first stage in organizing your thoughts. You must also consider the requirements of the people who will use the room the most frequently. Please note which design elements make you smile as you browse through these bonus room ideas and utilize them as inspiration for creating your perfect spot.
Have you ever wanted to add an office, another bedroom, a walk-in closet, or a media room to your home? Try one of these bonus room ideas if you have a bonus room to create the space you’ve always wanted!
What exactly is a bonus room?
The bonus room, also known as a flex room, a multi-purpose room, an extra room, or a spare room, is an area in a home that can be used for various functions. Flex rooms can range from unused space above a garage to a small room on the first floor of your home designated as “flex space” or “optional room” by the builder. These rooms can increase the value of your home and give you the flexibility to adapt your home to changing needs, such as a growing family or new hobbies.
What can a bonus room be used for?
The options are limitless! Consider the space itself before deciding what to do with your bonus room. Is there a bathroom nearby? Is it located in the basement or attic? Would it be easy for visitors to get to? Is it a good place to work quietly? With a little imagination and space-saving furniture, you can transform this versatile living space into a relaxing haven!
10+ brilliant bonus room ideas
Small bonus room ideas
Even a small bonus room can quickly become the favorite hangout spot in your house. You might be surprised at how well you can transform a small room into a living, working, and playing space. Some decor ideas may not work in a small bonus room, but you can do much to make the most of the extra space you’ve discovered.
Built-in bookshelves and desks across from a sectional sofa strategically placed in the corner are two small bonus room ideas that create most of the available space. Both serve to make more floor space available for games and other activities. Monochromatic color palettes make a room appear larger, and their impact is amplified by any natural light coming in through the windows. Use stripes on your walls or rugs to visually lengthen a space.
Opt for seating that can be stored away if you don’t have enough comfy seating for the number of friends who may hang out in your bonus room on special events. Inflatable bean bag chairs can be hidden inside an ottoman or closet while folding chairs can be stacked in a corner or the garage. A soft yoga mat, for example, can make a hard floor more comfortable for your guests.
Bonus room ideas with TV and a Theater
You might not be interested in bonus room ideas that create a peaceful environment. Your ideal bonus room could be a perfectly loud home theater. Smart technology has enabled you to create an at-home theater experience that rivals your local cinema.
Lighting control and complex surround sound systems are now more affordable than ever. Every metro area has businesses dedicated to assisting clients in creating the ideal environment to watch their favorite shows and movies. However, you can educate yourself on home acoustics and design and install your surround sound system.
Of course, comfortable seating is essential in any theater or TV room. Invest in one or two reclining couches, or buy reclining theater seats arranged in rows. Craft and display some of your favorite movie posters, but keep the overall décor simple so that the focus remains on the screen. Dark walls are beneficial when watching a movie during the day, but don’t be afraid to experiment with a lighter color scheme in your home theater if it suits you better.
Bonus room ideas with Playroom
A playroom in the bonus room is perfect for any household with children. Bonus room ideas for playrooms must first consider safety, then incorporate all the finishing touches required to make the place your home’s designated fun zone. The space can grow alongside your children, adapting to their ages, interests, and needs. Younger children frequently enjoy having a small stage for impromptu performances. Older children will certainly request a space to play video games with their friends.
A reading nook can be as straightforward as installing an under-window bench flanked by bookcases to make a valuable addition to bonus room playrooms. Bean bag chairs, colorful, large rugs, and dual-purpose pieces that combine storage and seating are all great additions to a child’s Playroom. A built-in desk area is beneficial if you want your children to use the Playroom for homework.
Bonus room ideas with Billiards and Games
Utilizing a bonus room for games and billiards is a decades-old concept. Making a game or hobby room is still one of the most popular bonus room ideas, especially when the space also includes a place to relax. With a TV and gaming system in the lounge area, it becomes a well-rounded game room for all ages.
If you want to include a pool table, air hockey, poker table, or other large gaming station, make sure the room’s footprint allows for the space each player will require. Because of the space required to stroke a cue, a pool table should have at least five feet of clear stretch on each side.
Over any gaming table, pendant lights or recessed can lighting is required. Most people envision a dark room for playing billiards, but there’s no reason your bonus game room has to be dark or dreary. A brightly inviting game room is made possible by white walls, pale wooden floors, and shiplap. You will appreciate the fresh air and natural daytime lighting if your game room has windows.
Bonus room ideas with a Bar
A welcoming bar can be the primary reason for creating a bonus room, or it can simply be a nice addition to a gaming or lounging room. If your bonus room adjoins a nice, cool basement, consider adding a small wine cellar to your bar. A bar area can be incorporated into a small kitchenette where you or your guests can easily prepare snacks and light meals.
Include a sink and a small refrigerator behind your bar, at the very least. If space allows, add a microwave oven. Wall cabinets deliver necessary storage for your wine and spirits, while mirrored shelves are a beautiful way to display your glassware. A smaller bonus room bar is an excellent location for a high-end marble or quartz countertop—and don’t forget the bar stools.
To make your bonus room bar the focal point of the space, paint it a different color. To carry the color throughout the space, paint the front of the bar a brilliant blue and add a matching window valance and throw pillows. Consider adding a footrail for a unique finishing touch.
You may prefer that the bar blends into the overall design. If you use a rustic, natural shiplap on the walls, try installing the panels vertically in front of the bar to add some interest.
Bonus room ideas with Lounging Area
Any rustic bonus room ideas can be implemented in a lounging area. Rustic design is fundamentally warm and inviting, which is the vibe that draws people to a bonus room for lounging. Using real wood wherever possible—on doors, ceilings, or shelves—brings natural textures into the home that can be adapted to modern, cottage, or traditional design schemes.
A lounge area bonus room is ideal for displaying art or other accessories that may not be appropriate for the rest of the house, such as a mounted trophy catch or retro poster collection. Keep the space cozy and comfortable by including plenty of plush seating, soft rugs, and soothing colors.
Ideas for Attic and Loft Bonus Rooms
Slanted ceilings are a common feature of attic bonus rooms and can be both a blessing and a curse in interior design. On the plus side, a slanted wall or ceiling can transform a room into a delightful little hideaway. Sloped ceilings, on the other hand, can significantly reduce the amount of headroom in certain zones.
Nonetheless, most people find bonus room ideas that work around this design challenge. Concentrate on storage in areas of the room with less headspace. These are frequently ideal locations for built-in shelves, desks, or entertainment centers.
Many new floor plans include a bonus room in the loft. These larger landing zones are ideal for children to congregate near their bedrooms. They frequently transform into game rooms or playrooms. The disadvantage of a loft bonus room is that it lacks a door to isolate the noise from the rest of the house. Even so, these are still valuable zones for adding a second living area to a home with a large family.
Bonus room ideas with Bedroom
If your family has outgrown your home’s original footprint, converting a bonus room into a bedroom can provide you with the extra sleeping space you require. A bonus bedroom is also ideal for families who require a guest room for visiting family and friends. Depending on the design of the unused room, you may need to come up with some creative bedroom ideas, especially regarding storage.
Because a bonus room may lack built-in closet space, you may need to purchase a tall wardrobe to store clothing that requires hangers. Including a closet in your floor plan is best if converting an unfinished space into a bonus room bedroom. A reach-in or walk-in wardrobe is always a good idea, even if small.
If possible, a great bonus bedroom for the company should have more than one bed. Your guests will appreciate staying in a special area designed specifically for them. When a large family visits, an open attic design with sloped ceilings and built-in bunk beds are ideal. Include a separate sitting area with comfortable couches, a coffee table, and a TV if your bonus area has enough space.
Bonus room ideas for Combination Room
Depending on your needs, you can make a multi-purpose room out of a few functional pieces that can be utilized as a playroom, guest room, or office. When guests stay over, use furniture with hidden storage or storage containers to conceal any toys or office supplies. At the foot of the bed, place a large ottoman with storage to hold additional blankets, towels, linens, and pillows for your guests to use.
Bonus room ideas for Nursery
Put your baby in a cozy flex room nursery. Flex spaces, whether large or small, are ideal for nurseries because they can easily transition to a toddler’s room in no time. You can maximize your available space for your family with a crib, a comfy chair, and a multi-function changing table!
Bonus room ideas for Workspace
Transform your flex space into a home office or study to enable you to work from home! You can effortlessly organize and change the space with bookshelves and moveable furniture if you need a makeshift guest bedroom or Playroom. You can even install French doors in the entryway to separate it from the rest of the house. Need a two-person office? A shared office can help you save space in a variety of ways!
Bonus room ideas for the music room, home gym, library
If you enjoy music, converting a flexible living space into a music room is a fantastic idea! Small music rooms are ideal for practicing, storing, and displaying your instrument or record collection, whether you play the piano, drums, guitar, or another instrument.
With free weights, a yoga mat, and cardio equipment such as a stationary bike or treadmill, you can create the ideal home gym with no membership fees! Get some fans to keep the space cool, mirrors to hang on the walls, and a Bluetooth speaker for some great music. Rubber mats under cardio or weight equipment will protect the floors, and you can even add a small table for equipment cleaning wipes, water bottles, candles for yoga practice, and other necessities!
Do you want to show off your book collection? A flex room library allows you to keep all your favorite books in one place. Line the partitions with shelves to hold your novels, magazines, and comic books, and add a few comfortable chairs for reading. It’s even better if the room already has built-in bookcases!
Bonus room ideas with a Bedroom for visitors, laundry room, Green Room, Study area
Another practical use for a small bonus room is a guest room. It will serve as a place for loved ones to stay when they visit, giving you more time to spend together under the same roof. Try a space-saving futon or murphy bed for a place to sleep at night and lounge during the day.
You’ll enjoy doing laundry once you’ve transformed your bonus room into a lovely and well-organized laundry room. Install a foldout table or ironing board that neatly tucks away into a cabinet to provide a convenient place to fold clothes after they’ve been washed and dried. Install a color-coded bin system to separate lights and darks before washing.
Fill your bright flex space with an assortment of house plants to make your green room. Whether you grow philodendrons or succulents, a green room is ideal for your plants to thrive. Tip for renovating: Don’t have enough plants to fill a room? Propagation is a technique for starting new plants from the cuttings of old ones.
If you have school-aged children or teenagers at home, a well-lit study room provides a productive environment for completing homework and projects. Set up individual desks so everyone has their own space to focus, and stock each one with all the necessary supplies. Install a whiteboard on the walls so your children can solve problems.
Bonus room ideas with bunk beds
Do houseguests make you feel claustrophobic? A bunk room can provide guests space while maximizing your bonus room area. Counting in a couple of bunk beds or day mattresses gives guests a comfortable place to sleep while providing them with some privacy. And, because bonus rooms are frequently oversized, they’re ideal for noisy sleepovers. Bonus rooms are frequently oddly shaped and oversized. Even so, with the right planning and furniture, you can transform what appears to be a wasted area into a fully functional part of your home. Don’t be surprised if the previously unused bonus room becomes your favorite room in the house.
Other ideas for a bonus room
Bonus rooms are adaptable spaces used for various purposes in your home. Consider your wants and needs, and then design the room to accommodate them. Check out the list below for more inspiration.
- Pet area
- Room for gift wrapping
- Art room
- The sunroom
- Breakfast area
- Makeup room in a granny pod
- Storage space
- Yoga center
- Sewing area
- Display area
- Wine cellar
- A dimly lit room
- Booth for recording
- Computer lab
- Home science laboratory
- Room for model trains
- Massage parlor
- Wet area
Do you have enough room for your clothes and accessories? A versatile living space can be the ideal location for your dream walk-in closet! Hang your hats, scarves, and belts from small hooks. To store purses and handbags, install a few floating shelves or cabinets. Install cube storage shelves to house your shoe collection. And use wooden rods to hang blouses, coats, dresses, and other items! You can add shelves, racks, and much more to this room to make it wonderful. That’s all about bonus room ideas you need to know. Incorporate them properly to get some extra space with lavishness.
Frequently asked questions on bonus room ideas
- Why is my new bonus room in my attic so hot?
Your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) method might not be able to cool your new bonus room if it was designed for the main house. Even if your contractor installed additional air and return vents in the bonus room, the force may not be sufficient to keep each area cool. This is usually when new ductwork is connected to an existing line.
Ensure enough insulation was used in your bonus room renovation before investing in a larger HVAC unit. Inspect the insulation between the garage ceiling and the bonus room floor if your bonus room is above your garage. A thicker layer of insulation may be sufficient to keep your existing air conditioner from working too hard as it combats the heat from the garage below.
- Is a building permit required to convert a portion of my basement into a bonus room?
Though it will depend on your local building codes and the required work, you will almost certainly need a building permit. Because permits are about safety, it’s a good idea to get one if you’re doing anything more than basic cosmetic work—even if you’re a DIY expert. Why?
- The building inspector will ensure that the finished product is safe and up to code.
- It ensures that your homeowners’ insurance covers the entire structure.
- It is important when selling your home because you may be unable to sell it unless all renovated areas are brought up to code.
- It is illegal to perform construction work without a building permit.
- What size is ideal for a bonus room?
A bonus room is a room that does not meet the requirements of a habitable bedroom. A room must have the following features to be habitable: A minimum floor area of 70 square feet is required. A minimum of 7 feet across in any horizontal direction.
- Is a bonus room worth it?
A bonus room increases square footage and property value, provides living space for additional family members and storage space and breathes new life into your home.
- How do you make a bonus room feel comfortable?
A bonus room is ideal for setting up your private lounge area. This room can be used for quiet reading, a relaxing nap, or watching your favorite television show. Let the relaxation wash over you by adding a chaise lounge or armchair, fluffy pillows, and blankets.