Unique Ideas for the Dreaded “Bonus Room”
One of the most puzzling aspects of the modern house construction and design industry is the concept of the Bonus Room. While the name is marketing genius, implying as it does all this extra room that you shouldn’t have expected, the fact is Bonus Rooms around the world are often more of a stress-inducing oddity than a true bonus. They’re often irregularly-shaped, located in areas of the home difficult to heat or cool effectively, and lack the necessary architectural aspects to be considered true bedrooms (like windows or wardrobes).
There are standard responses to the Bonus Room Challenge: unofficial spare bedrooms, home offices, ‘media’ rooms, or playrooms. And if these ideas serve a function in your home, then they are perfect use for that oddball space in your house. If none of those fit the bill – or if they already exist elsewhere and you’re just duplicating to be able to say you’re ‘using’ your bonus space – try some of these unique concepts on for size.
Ideal For: The space on the second floor that’s really a very large landing.
A few printed canvases and some cool furniture and your strange Bonus Room can be transformed into an extremely cool art gallery where your family’s holiday photos, portraits, or amateur photography can be displayed in a constantly-changing arrangement. Your children’s art can be scanned, sent off for printing, and hung with pride, and every house tour given to guests will make a stop in your own little gallery. Art on the walls, a nice but low-key couch and coffee table also make this a great spot for cocktails when the adults gather for an evening in.
The Music Room
Ideal For: The steamy finished attic space that leaves you breathless and hot.
Attic Bonus Rooms are a cruel joke: Hot in the summer, cold in the winter, they’re so disconnected from the rest of the house there’s really nothing very ‘bonus’ about them. However, that very disconnection and lack of comfort means they’re ideal for the budding teenage musicians that every family eventually features. Keeping those guitars and drum sets away from the rest of the house might save your sanity, and if the music room slowly evolves into a general Sullen Teen Hangout space, that’s not so bad either.
The Adult Getaway
Ideal For: That windowless spare non-bedroom.
That crazy extra room that looks like a bedroom but has no windows is a curious beast. While you can certainly stuff visiting family members and friends in there for a night, it feels cruel, and if you already have a spare bedroom it won’t get used often. Instead, why not outfit the space with some cool furniture (a couch and a coffee table is sufficient) a music system, some cool canvas art on the walls, and a bar. Next time you have some couples over, hand the kids some pizza money and tell them to stay out of what you’ve transformed into your cocktail space.
The Bonus Room can be quite a conundrum. While some folks solve it quickly with obvious needs, others spend years filling them with boxes and extra furniture, never quite figuring it out. The secret might be to think outside the box and do something unique and unusual like the ideas given here.