Putting Your Home to Good Use–Rooms you want to live in.

With Old Man Winter definitely here to stay awhile, you may be more inclined to stay indoors. What better time of year than winter to get organized. Do you have an unused room that could be put to better use? An empty bedroom left behind by a family member, a cluttered storage room or an unused guest room? Here are some ways to reclaim underused or wasted space in your home and transform it into useful space.

Family Room

Make your family room a relaxed version of your living room. Make it casual, functional and comfortable for everyone to enjoy. Keep entertainment, like movies and toys, in easy-to-access storage bins or benches. Display books in bookcases, organized by genre or in alphabetical order.

Sitting Room

A sitting room can be a relaxing, aesthetically pleasing escape from the distractions of a busy household. Transform that small nook into a personal "getaway" by adding an overstuffed chair, adequate reading light, a cozy blanket, artwork and a potted plant.

Guest Room

To create a guest room, preferably start with a double or queen-sized bed. Turn the bed into a comfy reading area by adding pillows. Your guests will be more relaxed having their own room and your family will have privacy when visitors spend the night.

Storage Room

More storage space – we all need it. Organize your spare room or create a room-sized closet using the many storage systems available; wire shelving, adjustable shelving units, or cabinets. Use home storage organization solutions to leave the rest of your home clutter-free.

Home Office

If you work from home on a daily basis or you want a quiet place to pay bills and organize home activities, a home office is a nice addition. Use stock kitchen cabinets to create lots of storage space. Add a comfortable chair and a desk or table, and you're ready to work.

Home Theatre

If a home theatre is something you've always dreamed of, now is the time to “open the curtain”. First, select the various electronic components for your home theatre. Next, invest in comfortable seating, adjustable lighting and storage for various media. Have fun with the décor – movie posters, velvet curtains and other "props" can add a whimsical feel.

Fitness Room

Forget about that gym membership, and set up a home fitness center. Invest in cardio equipment and weights and make sure you have adequate space. A ceiling fan, a small refrigerator for cold water and healthy snacks, and large mirrors on the walls will help complete your home fitness room.

Recreation Room

A recreation room is a great place to entertain. It's easy to create the ultimate party atmosphere. The possibilities are endless: pool, air hockey, foosball, ping-pong, and pinball. Add a couple of beanbag chairs and a small refrigerator. Decorate the walls with your favorite posters and neon lights.

Music Room

How about your own personal space to practice or listen to your music? Your own music room can provide privacy and isolate noise. Here are a few tips for inexpensively soundproofing a room:

• Use heavy carpeting and padding to help keep sound from escaping through the floor. If you have hardwood floors, add rugs to absorb sound.
• Pad walls with blankets, 1/4" thick carpet (applied with mastic), heavy fabric or self-sticking cork tile squares.
• If you don't like the idea of hanging blankets or fabric on your walls, plain fabric wallpaper or heavy wallpaper will absorb some sound.
• If possible, install and weather-strip a solid wood door.

All finished? Now you can enjoy that hot cocoa as a reward for finally rearranging that room you’ve been avoiding for years now!

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