When you buy a manufactured home, you get more space for your money. It’s easy to get a home with three, four, or even five bedrooms for the price you’d pay for just a one- or two-bedroom site-built home. Many new manufactured home floor plans even include a designated flex room or bonus room—a bedroom-sized (or larger) open space that can be filled in with all kinds of possibilities.
A flex room offers an exciting opportunity to customize your home and create the spaces that will be most useful to you and your family. You might gather there with friends and family to watch the game, or you might use it as your work from home office. It might be a room for your kids to play with their toys, or it might be a room for your pets to play with their toys. The choices are just about limitless.
Here are 10 creative options for using your flex room. Each is about outfitting your home with a space that contributes something to your home and makes it easier to do the things you love.
1. Home Gym
Adding a home gym or fitness room to your home makes it more convenient to work out on your own time and allows you to create an environment that makes exercise more comfortable and more fun. If you have a large piece of fitness equipment like a treadmill, squat rack or full-body workout machine, a fitness room is the perfect place for it.
However, even if a larger piece of equipment is the centerpiece of the room, it’s also good to leave some open space for stretching. Workout activities like yoga and Pilates make it particularly important to ensure that you have sufficient space to complete all the motions without always feeling like you’re about to crash into something.
Other touches that can benefit a fitness room include a ceiling fan (for keeping plenty of air circulating during intense workouts), a TV (for binge-watching your favorite shows while burning calories) and a mirror (so you can keep an eye on your form while you’re doing yoga or lifting weights). Some decorations that you find enjoyable and motivating can also go a long way toward making your home gym something you actually want to use.
2. Home Office
Working from home is more prevalent than ever, and many professionals who telecommute find that they’re most productive in a dedicated home office space. A home office provides a sense of consistency, routine, and personal space that can help improve productivity. Perhaps best of all, the cost of a home office is tax deductible if you meet certain requirements (although you should be sure to read the applicable laws carefully).
A home office can be furnished just like a real office, but you’ll likely have a little more space to work with. You’ll also be able to choose whatever decor suits you, although it’s a good idea to think carefully about what image you want to present if you frequently have to take video calls in your office. And while home office decor typically tends toward the subtle and minimal, it’s great to keep some plants and small decorations in your office to make it a pleasant place to work.
Think about how your furniture selections and their positioning will affect your work habits. Many people like placing their desk next to a window for some nice daylight and a pleasant view. And if you work from home often, an adjustable sit-stand desk is great for keeping your body active.
3. Kids’ Playroom
Every parent knows that children’s toys and activities have a way of taking over the common spaces in a home. A playroom provides an ideal way to keep all of the toys in one space (to the extent that it’s possible) and to give kids a space to run around, imagine, explore and pretend.
A playroom is the perfect place to have an indoor campout with your kids or work on an art project with them. Little kids will love some brightly colored decor, and older kids love to be asked to help choose how to decorate. Just make sure to add enough storage for toys to ensure that you don’t get the dreaded Lego in the foot.
As kids grow up and outgrow their childhood toys, the playroom can easily be turned into a place for your kids to work on their hobbies, whether that’s music, fitness or anything else on this list. That’s the beauty of a flex room. It can evolve as your family changes and grows.
4. Library/Reading Nook
Any book lover knows two things: One, that books take up a lot of space, and two, that it’s important to have a quiet place to enjoy a good book. So it makes sense that the two would come together when you turn your flex room into a reading room!
Lighting is one of the first things to think about for a library. Choose something soft and cozy that you’ll enjoy reading by. Wall sconces are an ideal choice and will help give the space a dignified look—plus, you’ll have more floor space for book storage.
The other key aspect of a home library is furniture. Most people choose furniture that exudes a homey comfort and a sense of elegance at the same time, such as overstuffed armchairs and furniture with wood accents. A library that also functions as a home office is a popular combination, so if you plan on doing research or work in your library, a desk can look great and provide a lot of utility as well.
5. Creative Studio
If you paint, draw, play music, write or are otherwise creatively inclined, a flex room can make an ideal space for practicing your craft. By equipping your flex room with your essential creative tools, you can establish a place for your imagination to run wild and take you to new artistic heights.
Consider the needs of the creative space when planning. Artists planning to use their flex room to work with messy materials such as paint or clay may want to request that their builder use tile or wood laminate in the flex room. If you’re planning on using it for a photography studio, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the color you paint the walls. If you’re into video production, you could even add a green screen wall.
Musicians who use a lot of electronic gear will want to grab a few power strips (or even request more outlets from their builder during the building process). Installing acoustic paneling on the walls can both improve the room’s acoustic characteristics and reduce the amount of noise that escapes, and adding wall-mounted racks for instruments like guitars and basses can free up a lot of floor space.
6. Media Room
When you want to enjoy your favorite movie or watch an important sports event, there’s nothing like having a dedicated media room. And when the final episode of your favorite series arrives, you’ll be glad to have a place to enjoy it the way it was meant to be experienced.
Many homeowners like to create a home theater setup for their media rooms. Typically, that will include comfortable seating (recliners are popular), a large HD TV at a slightly elevated angle for easy viewing, some well-placed ambient lighting and a surround sound system. A bar can be the perfect touch for enjoying your favorite beverages with your entertainment.
The placement of your lighting and sound elements is especially critical for creating your home theater experience. Some homeowners who want to go all-in on a home theater experience even hire professional designers to create their ideal sound and lighting setup, but try looking up some YouTube tutorials first, as it’s definitely possible to DIY a respectable home theater experience.
7. Guest Room
Whether you’re hosting relatives every other weekend or entertaining the occasional out-of-town friend, a guest room is an ideal social convenience. For most homeowners, a well-equipped guest room will include:
- Comfortable full or queen bed
- Sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels
- Alarm clock
- Box of tissues
- Basic toiletries
- Full-length mirror
- Door hooks
Keeping these essentials in your guest room will help ensure that your guests are comfortable. A little bit of decoration is also recommended. Some art that matches the rest of your house can make your guest feel welcome and included.
8. Pet Room
We all love our pets, and giving your fur children a dedicated space can be a great decision. Many dog owners like to keep their dogs’ cage, toys, water and food and other essentials in a single dog room. Add a couple of dog beds to give your pups a comfortable place to sleep. If you have a puppy that hasn’t quite mastered housebreaking yet, a pet room can be a lifesaver because it helps isolate messes to one area of the house.
Cat owners, meanwhile, will love having a separate room for the litterbox to prevent odors from escaping, and a cat room offers plenty of great opportunities to add cat furniture for your kitties to climb, scratch, and explore. Cats also love to have their own space with safe places to hide, so by providing some nooks and crannies for your cats, you can help improve their sense of security and well-being.
Pet rooms are hardly limited to traditional pets like dogs and cats, either. Reptile, amphibian, bird and fish enthusiasts may want a special room for their pets, and having a separate room can be perfect for the sensitive temperature, light and humidity levels that exotic pets sometimes require.
9. Game Room
Classic games like pool, ping-pong and darts are a fun way to pass the time and enjoy some friendly competition. That’s why using your flex room as a game room can provide tons of fun and be an outstanding use for your flex room.
Game rooms are especially great for kids. Playing games like darts and ping-pong can help them develop their hand-eye coordination, and games like checkers and chess help encourage strategic thinking. Multi-game tables offer a budget-conscious way to bring multiple classic games to your rec room, and they conserve space as well.
Video games are also a common addition for 21st century game rooms. Whether it’s the latest console or a classic old-school system, video games make an awesome complement to your game room and provide a comfortable space for gaming socially.
It might not be the most exciting option, but if you could use some additional storage space, a flex room can offer just what you need. Whether you’re an empty-nester holding onto extra possessions for a grown son or daughter, you’ve got filing cabinets full of paper records or you have collectibles that are near and dear to your heart, creating a storage room is a great way to save yourself the expenditure of renting a storage unit.
A flex room can also be good for items that need to be stored in particular environmental conditions. Using technology such as an individual AC unit or humidifiers and dehumidifiers, you can dedicate a room to providing the right conditions for sensitive items such as musical instruments, cigars, vintage clothes or many other collectibles.
If you plan on using your flex room for long-term storage, pick up some storage organizing equipment such as shelves and plastic bins. Try to devise a system to keep things from getting lost in your storage room, whether that means labeling everything, color-coding or using a system of your own design.
Are you picturing what you want to do with your flex room now? Get started on your search for a manufactured home today on MHVillage. MHVillage offers an industry-leading range of mobile homes for sale, plus a huge variety of mobile home floor plans for new manufactured homes.