NARI remodelers help homeowners transform their extra spaces into enjoyable, multi-purpose living areas

Des Plaines, Illinois, March 5, 2009—For homeowners embarking on a major home remodeling project, it’s choosing the individual elements of the remodel that can be the most rewarding. This is particularly true for bonus rooms, or extra spaces in a home that have no pre-determined use but offer a lot of potential.  Whether you’re looking for a room to house your extensive book collection, watch movies, exercise, play games or do any number of other mifinity bonus hobbies, remodeling a bonus room is the best way to personalize that space to accommodate your needs and interests, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).             You probably already have an idea of how you hope to outfit your bonus space, but remodeling professionals can help you make those ideas a reality. “We go through a process in our design program and ask questions about what our client’s needs are and what they are trying to achieve,” says Linder Jones, AIA, design director for Harrell Remodeling in San Francisco. “Sometimes clients and designers get off base when they come up with an immediate solution instead of analyzing what the space will be used for. Homeowners should think about how many people will be in the space and how many activities they will do in there.”

A place for meditation            Bonus rooms can take many shapes and sizes.  While some homeowners opt to turn bonus rooms into practical spaces like offices or media rooms, it’s possible to create more unusual spaces that are tailored for a specific interest.            Harrell Remodeling recently won a Southwest Regional CotY award for a unique yoga bonus room its team designed for a family in the Bay Area. “The homeowner wanted a space that she could invite her friends over to and do some yoga and resistance exercises,” Jones says. “The place she used to go for yoga closed and she and her friends wanted to continue to do yoga together.”            The solution was a multi-purpose space that served as a yoga room and guest bedroom. Jones designed the 300-square-foot area to have a relaxing Zen feel. A long mirror and ballet bar was installed along one wall. On the other, custom cabinetry provided storage for yoga mats, a massage table, exercise accessories and a Murphy bed, which could be folded out when guests stayed the night. “The cabinetry was all very custom,” Jones said. “The room had access to the home’s crawl space, so we built the cabinets deeper so that they could store larger, odd-shaped items like luggage.” The room also opened to two decks, taking full advantage of the wonderful views outside. On nice days, the homeowner and her friends could easily take their mats outdoors and practice yoga in the sun.

A place that honors history             Anita Kealey, designer and owner of the Design Studio in Sioux Falls, S.D., transformed a bonus room into a music parlor, which won a National CotY award for residential interior over $100,000. The 5,000+ square-foot loft located on the top floor of a historic building was built in 1888 and had a long history of owners and uses. Over the years, the structure was home to a variety of commercial, retail and professional businesses, including a dance hall and a ballet school. The current owner’s father’s dance orchestra played for functions in the building’s third floor ballroom in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In the 1970s, she also took classes in the ballroom.