Converting an Unused Space into a Home Gym Workout Room for the Whole Family
Remember when we got water in our basement last fall and ripped the soggy/stinky carpet out of our random utility room? Well, after some slow progress and a little attention, we finally have a purpose for this sad, strange room and converted it into a multifunctional family home gym/ workout space!
The old owners of our house used this space as an office. As you can see here, this room has the electrical panel and it also houses our sump pump in a closet.
How and why it ever had carpet was beyond me, but we learned the hard way last fall when we got water in the basement. That room was soaked. It wasn't the sump pump, so we're guessing it came from underneath. Scary. Because of this I didn't want to jump into quickly re-carpeting it just to allow us to monitor the situation over the next year or so and not spend a fortune replacing carpet over and over.
Home Gym Flooring
This problem turned into a pretty cool opportunity when we decided to turn it into a playroom - but this time one for everyone to use! Zach found these foam puzzle piece floor tiles on Amazon and spent an afternoon installing them. It was Christmastime when we did this as a surprise for the kids. Really, we needed a space for them to burn energy in the dead of winter so this was a win for us too! Hank could practice dribbling, punch out some energy on his boxing bag and Abbey could practice her gymnastics. (More on that below.)
Now, would I have chosen blue and red? No, but the basement is Zach's domain so what he says goes. haha It's our community's school colors, and of course the Patriots too, so obviously he was going to choose blue and red. But, if water ever gets in here again, we'll quickly be able to pull up the floor to assess.
Once the weather turned nice, it honestly became a forgotten space until earlier this summer when I stumbled upon the Peloton App and started wanting to do at-home workouts. I never liked the idea of working out at home but got hooked on some of their on-demand classes that I wanted to give myself a dedicated space that I enjoyed going down to.
Painting the Walls
The walls were scuffed and dirty, so you know I had to fix that with a fresh coat of paint. There were also nail holes galore and a bunch of patching that needed done. With the blue and red floor, I wanted a color that would help balance it all out so I looked for some grey options.
Since we were literally allowing the kids to throw balls in this room, I felt like a darker color might help hide more scuffs and dings to come. So I chose Iron Mountain by Behr and bought it in their fanciest Marquee dark base to help get the best coverage of this dark color over the light wall.
My best painting helper joined me to get the room ready for painting by taking off some of the switch covers (girl can use a screwdriver!) and "helping" me tape.
Drop cloth down and we were ready to roll! Literally.
Hank always knows how to find the action, so he joined in on the fun too. Like I shared on our Guest Bedroom blog post, I like to let the kids join in for a bit of painting. And yes, just like before, they prefer to paint with the least amount of clothes on. One less mess for me to clean up!
Took the better part of a day with a couple extra passes to make sure I got everything covered, but the new paint job totally rocks this space.
Home Gym Storage
We use the closet in this room for most of the storage to keep the room itself as free from "stuff" as possible. An open toy storage container made the perfect base for holding their "floor is lava" obstacle course pieces. Mats and balls sit on top and using Command hooks, we hang up resistance and stretching bands. I love Command hooks - they are seriously so useful. I have them hidden in so many places. The back of the closet for is a great place to keep the kids basketball hoop too. When they want to play with that, we just flip it to the other side to play.
I've also got one small cute storage bin in here (yes I know I have a slight obsession with these things!). This is where we keep more yoga equipment, weights and the boxing gear. It helps anchor the opposite wall where I hung a small TV with a Roku stick for streaming my workouts from Peloton and YouTube.
Fun Family Home Gym Workout Space Add-ons
Since this really is a space we want to allow some flexibility and crazy to happen with the kids, we're not going to go all-in on turning this into a legit "gym" with equipment. Let's be real, we're not to the point we'd use that right now I don't think. But, we thought we'd share a few of our fun things that make this a pretty awesome room.
Indoor Batting/Tennis Net
I thought Zach was absolutely nuts when this thing showed up. But it gets plenty of use and is pretty dang cool. Installed in the studs in the ceiling, it just hangs off to the side of the wall. The boys worked on batting during baseball season, and they're working on tennis swings too.
Abbey is even getting in on some of the tennis lessons and can hit pretty good!
Kids Boxing Bag
For some reason, Hank was into the idea of boxing so this was his Christmas present last year. It came with a set of gloves and Zach got himself some of those boxing pads for his hands thinking they'd be doing a lot of boxing. Not exactly, but now and then when I can tell Hank needs to bang on something, I send them to the basement to punch the bag. haha It hangs from the ceiling in the corner so it's out of the way for everything else.
Floor is Lava Obstacle Course
Usually the kids like to incorporate the boxing bag into their obstacle courses. This room is most often used for floor is lava courses - the red floor really helps this game feel legit! This is what the room usually looks like - covered in things to step on.
Gymnastics Practice Equipment
Abbey's main extracurricular is taking preschool gymnastics so we thought this room would be perfect for her to have a little mat to practice her skills on. We found a great fold-up balance beam too. Now and then she'll practice gymnastics, but really these mostly end up as obstacle course elements too. See a pattern here?
TV and Space for Online Classes
I'm not motivated enough to just go run or do exercises on my own, which is why I need an instructor and prefer classes. After paying for the gym for a year unused, I let my membership expire. I just never had time to get to a gym on top of work and kids stuff. And I'm not willing to sacrifice sleep to do it either! So I have loved having this space and exploring all that the Peloton app has to offer, and I don't even own a bike! They offered a 30-day free trial which was enough to actually try it out and I was hooked. So having a TV mounted on the wall in this room helps make getting up and running with an online class to follow a lot quicker.
I'd be lying if I didn't say I loved yoga mostly for the times we get to do child's pose and savasana at the end! All workouts should end that way! Amiright?
Family Wellness for All
We're starting up a family wellness challenge this week. It's holistic and covers exercise, stretching, water intake, food choices and even allows for a personal goal to get you points. We had to put some money on the line of course to incentivize everyone. I needed that motivation and am happy to have something to focus us on. Zach and Hank are doing it too. I can commit to the water drinking part (thanks in part to my 64oz bottle that my coworkers got us all hooked on), and thanks to this room, I actually feel like I can try to accomplish the exercise too.
Shop the room:
Need a fix-up? Here's what we used:
Multipurpose Foam Exercise Floor Mat (multiple colors available)*
Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro and 2 Pads* - my favorite secret weapon for painting along ceilings and around trim
*DISCLAIMER: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!