Much like petits fours at the end of a delicious meal, an extra room can often sweeten the deal when deciding on a property to add to your portfolio. Whether for business, in the case of a home office, or pleasure via a home theater, make the most of the extra square footage by introducing one of these additions to your home.
For the Socializer: The Keeping Room
The name “keeping room” comes from the Colonial era when homes were smaller in size, and many families “kept” warm by huddling around a home’s single fireplace. Today, this transitional space is experiencing something of a resurgence, but modern counterparts are less concerned with necessity and are more focused on practicality and comfort. The keeping room is typically a smaller, more casual living room adjoined to the kitchen, designed as a place where guests can relax after dinner. To outfit a cozy keeping room, layer tactile fabrics that can withstand everyday wear. In true colonial fashion, nix the television in favour of a warm fireplace to keep the conversation sparking.
For the Athlete: The Home Gym
When it comes to accomplishing your fitness goals, a chilly morning can deter even the most dedicated. Whether or not you live in a cooler climate, a home gym is ideal for those with a busy schedule or who find traditional gyms too crowded. A proper fitness studio should feel bright and energizing. A spacious main-level room with plenty of natural light will both facilitate movement while keeping motivation levels high during workouts. Keep ventilation in mind when selecting a space for your regimen; consider installing ceiling and box fans to promote circulation and keep cool during high-intensity training sessions.
For the Film Buff: The Home Theater
For the consummate entertainer, nothing beats the luxury of hosting sporting events, viewing parties, or movie nights in the privacy of a home theater. In order to replicate the look and sound of a true theater experience, opt for surround speakers with in-wall wiring. Walls should be properly insulated with acoustic insulation, both to absorb noise from the inside and block sounds from the outside. You may wish to install this room in a quieter wing of the house away from bedrooms if you anticipate frequent use.
For the Captain of Industry: The Home Office
Productivity should be top of mind when designing a home office, and creating suitable working conditions is largely a matter of lighting. Natural light is proven to enhance mood and promote focus, so consider a room with plenty of it if you plan to work from home. When possible, opt for a room with a north-facing exposure for soft ambient light all day, and consider setting up designated task lighting for illuminating the work at hand. Last but not least, a proper home office requires adequate space for housing equipment and supplies depending on your industry, so keep square footage in mind before converting.
For the Recreationalist: The Game Room
From billiards to poker, a dedicated game room is a great place for hosting after-dinner matches or family game nights. Unlike a home gym or office, a basement makes an ideal location for a game room, where you can experiment with ambient and creative lighting. A beautiful billiards or poker table is a must, while sleek cabinetry does double duty as a decorative surface and storage solution. For a truly game-changing entertaining space, consider installing a wet bar for convenience during heated tournaments.
For the Bibliophile: The Library
Nothing quite matches the lived-in charm of a library teeming with books. Avid readers may differ in their filing preferences—alphabetical? Color-coded? Spines inward?—but whatever the penchant, library storage is paramount. Built-ins offer the ability to shelve around existing architectural features; consider the size of your collection and aim to use vertical space to increase your shelving options. Source cozy wingbacks, mid-century lounge chairs with wooden arms, or leather recliners to invite readers of all stripes to cozy up with a good book. Leave a bit of space to allow your collection to grow, and you’ll have established a room worth getting lost in.
For the Home Sommelier: The Wine Cellar
Anyone who has experienced the loss of an improperly stored vintage can attest to the need for the right conditions when it comes to wine storage. Unlike a home office or games room, the criteria for a home wine cellar are more strict: light and heat are nemeses when it comes to wine preservation. While there is some debate, it’s generally accepted that wine lasts best in temperatures between 45° and 60°F. To ensure a more controlled environment, keep wine in the lower levels of your house—most preferably the basement—and be sure to install proper vapour barriers and insulation. Lastly, dial up the drama with ambient LED lighting and custom shelving for the ultimate wow factor.
Today’s homes are all about the details, and finding an escape with inviting secondary spaces increases your options for entertaining, working, and relaxing. Whether you’re at home to be productive or to catch the latest award-winning film, take inspiration from these luxurious living rooms and cozy bedrooms.
This article was originally published on Sotheby’s International Realty’s Extraordinary Living Blog, and has been adapted for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s Insight Blog.