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Remodel ideas for empty nesters

This fall, thousands of students will go off to college, exchanging their childhood bedrooms for dorms, and homemade dinners for meal plans. While this time is full of exploration and learning, what happens to the homes and rooms they leave behind? For some, returning after graduation remains a possibility throughout the next four years. But, if you’re left with an empty or under-utilized room in your home, there are thousands of things it could turn into. If you’re ready to transform an empty room in your home, here are a few ideas:

-          Home gym. Why not forgo waiting in line for that elliptical and gym membership fees by creating your own gym? Even small bedrooms can accommodate a treadmill, mats and an exercise ball. The secret, according to My Home Ideas, is to keep the center of the room free for stretching. You can even create storage spaces for your videos, shoes and weights, right in the room!

-          Sports cave. If you’re ready to reclaim an empty bedroom and create your Sunday paradise, it may be as easy as a simple re-decoration and trip to the electronics store. First, a big television is a must-have. Then, move your favorite chair from the living room, and decorate the walls with your favorite teams’ logos.

-          Movie Theater. Kicking back in your own mini-movie theater requires more time, and a large room. HGTV suggests a room that is at least 12 feet by 12 feet. This way, the screen and oversized seating will fit nicely, with room to move around. You can even rewire the room for surround sound. The only thing missing will be the popcorn! See how you can get started.

-          Craft room. For the creative types, an empty bedroom (or even just the closet) could be the perfect space to expand a craft collection. Search online for the best deals on organizational systems, and decorate with inspiration boards. Add a large table, and it becomes a studio!

You may want to wait a few months for your child to get used to their new living arrangements before making drastic changes. Once they are settled—go wild! But remember: if you’re open to them returning, temporary changes are probably best.

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