T&S Home Features

Rooms with Purpose

These days, your home is likely the place where you work, play and exercise. If spending more time within your own four walls has you thinking about improvements to be made, you’re not alone. Here is sage advice for turning forgotten spaces into useful places where you and your family can create, be productive and get fit—all under your own roof.

time to get organized
There is probably at least one room in your house that isn’t getting much use, so why not give it a new identity? Tiffany Hively, sales and design manager at California Closets, says it’s easy to turn neglected space into a lovely new office, craft station or play area by installing custom storage and worktop systems.

Hively says the company is introducing new products designed especially for home use, including adjustable desks that allow you to stand or sit at your computer. “They are motorized, raise and lower at the touch of a button, and help keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle,” she notes. “Everyone’s height and body shape are different, and workstations should be designed accordingly. Ergonomics research shows that a customizable desk is better for your neck and back.”

Get creative about configuring workspaces and keeping your environment clean and uncluttered. “We offer many types of file drawers, multiple-station desks, pullout counters, clever ways to conceal your printer and trash bin, and drawers that hide cords and charging stations,” Hively says. “Keeping things out of sight contributes to an efficient, well-ordered home work environment.”

There also are options for the younger set. “We can transform your guest bedroom into a playroom, craft area or study nook for kids,” Hively says. If you don’t want to give up the guest space altogether, the company can install an innovative hide-a-bed system with storage cabinets and shelves. “Many homeowners also are opting for cute children’s window seats with bookshelves on either side,” she adds. “Our products and systems come in a variety of colors and finishes, and we also offer countertops that are antimicrobial, self-healing and scratch- and fingerprint-resistant.”

fitness spaces that work out well
If you are adding a new home gym, you’ll need to think about practical considerations like flooring that is easy to maintain and equipment that meets your personal needs.

Alex Verseman, vice president at Missouri Floor Co., says the flooring material you choose depends on your budget and the types of workouts you will be doing. “Many people are creating these rooms in unused basement areas that are private and out of the way,” he explains. “The flooring options that work best in these situations are traditional rubber material in rolls or tiles, and Robbins Pulastic floors with a rubber base and poured polyurethane surface. Pulastic can be painted in any color or style you like.” He adds that both are environmentally friendly because theyare made with recycled tires.

Verseman says your home gym floor should be shock-absorbent to minimize impact on the body, and it should be able to support equipment like treadmills, stationary cycles, elliptical machines and weights. Polyurethane floors come with a higher price tag than simple rubber, but they also are more customizable.

If you engage in heavy activities like weightlifting, your gym floor can be designed to handle them, Verseman notes. “The key is to keep the floor as cushioned as possible but also strong and comfortable to walk on,” he says. “With Pulastic flooring, you can alter the thickness of the base layer and polyurethane surface depending on the level of impact you need it to withstand. Also, the polyurethane is easy to clean because it doesn’t absorb moisture.”

get set to get fit
Once your new floor is in place, it’s time to think about fitness equipment designed for the home. Dick’s Sporting Goods, a retailer with several locations in the metro, lists the following among its top new products for personal workout rooms.

  • Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill
    A folding frame makes the system ideal for homes with limited space.
  • Bowflex Max Trainer M6
    The vertical elliptical system saves space and works well in small homes.
  • Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike
    The cycle supports up to four different user profiles, so the whole family can get fit.
  • TRX Fit System
    The resistance training system includes door anchors that set up easily in any room.
  • Fitness Gear neoprene dumbbells
    Weights have comfortable grips and are available in 10 sizes for teen and adult use.
  • GoFit kettlebells
    The weights feature vinyl-dipped bottoms to protect your floors.

Photos courtesy of California Closets