Space is, and probably always will be, the biggest selling point that a house has to offer. Extra space is certainly never unwelcome in a home, at least. If you have flex space in your house – a finished basement or attic, a spare bedroom, or spare space in general – you have added value in your home. This space allows your prospective buyers to imagine a nursery for an expected baby, craft space, a home gym, or a yoga studio… the possibilities are endless. What you probably don’t know is that you can optimize the “wow” value of your flex space to make sellers go gaga over your home. Much like staging a home, kitting out a flex space makes your home seem aspirational, the kind of place where people would be proud to live. The possibilities are extensive, and are a great way to show off part of yourself in your home. The following are some to-die-for flex space possibilities that will make your buyers go crazy with creativity.
More and more people are working from home these days, whether they are tele-commuting, work part-time at an office, or are their own business owners. This makes the existence of a home office a terrific benefit. But don’t just throw a cheap IKEA desk in one corner and call it a day. The most inviting, enticing home offices are a place that feels as much like a workspace as it does your home. Imagine built-in bookcases stretching from the floor to the ceiling, a cool desk with a super-plush seat that will accommodate projects that take hours, and a small, cozy seating area to greet clients or unwind on your down time. Of course you need well-designed storage and all the trappings of a place to work, but you want to create a space where people will also want to be. Don’t skimp on tasteful framed prints, a few miniature succulents for the desk, and a really awesome desk lamp from your favorite consignment store.
If you don’t enjoy scrap-booking, knitting, or home photography, there’s no need to fake it. If you have a hobby that you love and which makes your life better (as the Pew Center says one in five Americans do), then do so in a space that will make fellow hobbyists’ eyes pop in delight and envy. Tailor the space to fit your uses. If you like papercraft or scrap-booking, think built-in cabinets with umpteen shelves, drawers, and cubbies for paper, stickers, appliques, and embossing materials. Show off that Cricut! Have a generous worktable with ample space around it so that you can have friends over to work together, and framed examples of your best work for future inspo. Those starting up a photography business might turn flex space into a studio, with plenty of natural light as well as artificial ones meant to create all sorts of moods, a neutral wall to use as a backdrop, a too-cute newborn corner with baskets, wraps, blankets, and props, and ample storage space. The good news is that a neutral space with a long table and abundant shelving is useful to almost every buyer, as storage is at a premium.
Most people who are old and stable enough to buy a house are also worn out on the “go out and party” lifestyle. There comes a point in your life where a great Saturday night doesn’t mean hitting the club, but rather having friends over for wine and dinner and playing some card or board games with your best pals. A gaming room is something that everyone will love. The essentials are pretty basic: a long table with ample room for seating (at least three feet clearance), generous shelving to hold your board game collection, and maybe a wall-mounted whiteboard for scoring. On the other side of gaming, you have a room with a big TV, a stand that neatly holds all your consoles, and comfy seating for hours-long play marathons. Maybe a mini-fridge and cabinet pantry for snacks so that nobody has to leave to raid the kitchen? Appeal to the inner child in your buyers by building a space that screams fun.
Does your house have upwards of three bedrooms and plenty of space? For less money than you might think, you can knock down a wall between bedrooms and turn the room next door into the most luxe, opulent closet and dressing room that you’ve only seen in your dreams. Think built-ins galore for shoes and purses, eclectic jewelry racks for bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, tie racks, and multiple hanging spaces to sort out your wardrobe by style of garment. Just get on Pinterest and let your imagination run wild! The lady of the house will appreciate a wide, well-lit vanity table and mirror with a retro chair on which to perch while you do your makeup. Decorative vases overstuffed with fluffy brushes and wands will be the perfect finishing touch.
Working out at home is the ultimate luxury. Imagine not having to truck to the gym at 5 am if that is your only time to exercise, and having a treadmill and free weights right upstairs. How tricked-out you make your gym is limited by your space and budget, of course, but a room that has plenty of mirrors, a sound system, and thoughtful amenities like towel racks will make buyers swoon. Alternately, if you love yoga or Pilates, create a space that is an oasis of harmony and wellbeing. Mats on the floor, diffusers scenting the air with invigorating essential oils, a TV and video case stocked with celebrity-led exercises, and a cozy pile of pillows in the corner will welcome buyers who envision themselves indulging in some decadent self-care after a long day working or parenting.
The above are some ideas for how to make your flex space shine, where a bit of invested time and money stand to make a large payoff. One thing that you absolutely do NOT want to do is cram the empty space with boxes or odds and ends from around the house. This will make it hard for buyers to get an idea of how their family will fit in your home, which is something that you never want.