Housing in Australia is expensive—a fact known by the rest of the world by now. However, when you research well, you can get lucky and find a home that suits your needs and fits your budget.
Take, for example, the properties of Ashbury Armstrong Creek. A house and land package can already include at least three bedrooms with sufficient floor area and a price tag of no more than $400,000.
But then, you may also face a happy problem: if you’re just a starter family, what will you do with the extra space and room? With some innovation and creativity, you can convert these areas into something else other than a guestroom:
1. Reading Nook or Library
Australians are voracious readers. In a 2017 survey by the Macquarie University and Australia Council, over 90% had read a book the past year. At least 40% completed about 10 titles within the same period, while 50% touched on one to ten books.
Further, the average reader in the country read for pleasure for 5 hours a week, while the frequent ones would probably be immersed in a fictional story for at least 9 hours in seven days.
While many are now shifting to digital, a.k.a. e-books and audiobooks, many are still buying hardbound and paperbacks, which then begs the question, “Where can you put them in your house?”
You can use them as added decorations, but if you’re a bibliophile, they certainly deserve their space—or even a room. Put up floor-to-ceiling open shelves and begin collecting titles you’ll love to read. Place a comfortable lounge chair, so you can relax while reading.
Do you know how painful it is to step on a LEGO? Scientific research says “so, so much.” The foot contains a lot of pain receptors that send messages to the brain that you’re hurt.
But because a LEGO brick can have several sharp corners or jutted parts, stepping on one touches on several receptors simultaneously. Now imagine if you step on may be one, two, or even more.
That’s why your kids deserve their playroom. It keeps your feet safe at all times, reduces the clutter, and provides a creative space for them to explore and be imaginative.
3. Home Office
In Australia and perhaps the rest of the world, the future of work is remote—or at least a flexible schedule. If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many, the regular 9-5 grind is exhausting.
They are more likely to achieve a work-life balance and greater job satisfaction if they can take breaks and be with their family as soon as they’re off the screen.
If you’re lucky enough to be working in a company that offers telecommuting, converting your spare room into a home office is an excellent decision.
This way, you can create boundaries between your professional and personal lives. You can minimise the noise that often interrupts Zoom calls and provide yourself a space where you can concentrate on the tasks at hand.
If you can pick a spot with a good view of the outdoors, that will be even better. Studies have shown that the presence of nature, even if it’s just a plant, can boost your focus and productivity. It may even help reduce stress and fatigue.
4. Indoor Theatre
In 2019, about 11.5 million Australians subscribed to Netflix. That’s over a 15% increase compared to the previous year.
That’s not all. Within the same year, Disney+ boosted its subscription base in the country to 2 million within four months. Thousands more are subscribed to YouTube Premium and Amazon Prime.
The bottom line is many like to do chill with on-demand streaming? Now, wouldn’t it be great if you can make it even more cinematic? Transform your vacant room into an indoor theatre.
Contrary to what most people think, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. The simplest setup could cost around $500 for a good surround-sound system. However, if you can stretch the budget further, you can buy a projector and a screen.
As for seats, recliners are great, but each piece can break the bank. The next best options are bean bags, ottomans, and Morrocan cushions. They’re cosy and laid-back and easy to maintain.
Usually, a spare room ends up being a guestroom. But not everyone wants to welcome guests at home, or they may not expect visitors frequently. The ideas above will hopefully tell you that you can transform it into many ways, each something all the family members can enjoy and use.