4 novel uses for a backroom

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20 Mar 2013

The thing about backrooms is, they’re the perfect catch-all-clutter spaces for no-good washing machines and wheelbarrows. They’re homes for rusty garden trowels, spades, mattresses and tennis rackets stuffed into every nook and cranny.

Bright pops of colour are just what you need in a social room.

A backroom is a convenient dumping ground but no one ever goes in there except to hide broken statuettes under a curtain of cobwebs and dust.

But just imagine tidying up and transforming this wasted space - what about having your own place for crazy creations and mellow chillout sessions?

Imagine benefiting from a fitness room or playroom, or the pleasure of ‘putting out’ your husband and his super hero collection. A remodelled backroom is the answer but it all depends on your needs.

Here’s a look at four suggestions that might spark some redesign ideas...

A home office in a separate part of the house guarantees some quiet time for last minute paper work.

The social area

Having adult company over in the social room means being able to offload and hang out in a low-pressured, happy environment.

To keep up with the social nature of the space, arrange a comfortable couch and extra seats around a side table, then add some bright cushions, an area rug and flowers for effect.

Treat yourself to a mini bar fridge and a small console table with storage for wine. Set aside an area for snacks and keep a few magazines in a decorative rack.

As part of the atmosphere, furnish the room with soft background music and keep some floor cushions hidden, for those moments when you just want to spread yourselves on the floor.

The demands on your workout space will vary depending on your needs.

Office/library space

A home office in a separate part of the house guarantees some quiet time for last minute paper work.

To meet the specs, line the walls with open shelf bookcases and prop up some reading material. Move in a few volumes for work assignments and motivation, and keep a little niche open for poetry, fiction, DIY manuals or special reads.

For decorative effect and organisational upkeep, cap the end of each book section with ornaments you picked up on holiday or use family portraits, art work and stationery holders as book markers.

To tie up your office/library space, place a desk and chair on one side of the room and a daybed on the other. This will be a little reading nook.

Meditation can settle a worried mind and the good news is, you may not have to spend a cent to get your hands on the décor. Everything you need is probably already in your home.

Use a small bench with padding if space is an issue and organise yourself some office storage in the form of storage trays, stationery boxes, office supply organisers and business card holders.

Fitness/dance room

There really isn’t much to designing a home dance studio. Simply give the room a good coat of paint and have the experts install the correct floor covering. Bring in another team of professionals to fit in a large dance studio mirror and, if necessary, some dance bar brackets.

At the end of this exercise wheel in a piano (if you have room) for the ballet lessons or, to get the most out of this space, cart in some gym equipment.

The demands on your workout space may vary depending on your needs but if you want to maintain an open area for the dance studio, keep to yoga mats, a pilates ball, resistance bands, wrist weights, a skipping rope and a light set of dumbbells and kettle bells.

Decorate using pellets of colour and have high energy music to keep yourself energised and motivated.

Finally, add a water cooler, hampers for sweaty towels and a shelf or two for storage. 

Meditation zone

Meditation can settle a worried mind and the good news is, you may not have to spend a cent to get your hands on the décor. Everything you need is probably already in your home.

Borrow an area rug from the main house and match it up with some cushions to make up a ground seat.

Pair this arrangement with a side table or low bench – an ottoman, small coffee table or tray will also do – to use as a mantelpiece for a small Buddha or art piece that keeps you centred.

Light some candles for ambiance and feel free to introduce plants, smooth rocks, seashells or aromatherapy scents into the space.

Use strong imagery and other meditation elements to keep you grounded. – Katlego Sekano 

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