How to design a pretty and functional gym at home

While it can be nice to belong to a fitness club, there’s no easier motivation than the perfect home gym. Not only is the ride just steps away from bed, but you can also customize a home gym to suit your specific sporting preferences. and personal aesthetic. If you’re tired of enduring a community space where people don’t remember to clean the machines – or if you just want to imagine a room that will actually inspire you to exercise (you know, one that isn’t not super bland) – we’ve got you covered. Ahead, dive into designer-approved tips for building your own home gym, whether it’s a converted closet or a full-fledged studio.

Choose the right location

The location of a gym in your home is crucial whether you are dealing with an existing home or a new construction. Spoiler alert: the strategy of tossing a treadmill into the basement may be outdated. “I see more and more customers wanting their home gyms to be in prime locations,” says the designer Sabrina Albanian. “They now consider this space as important as a kitchen or a bathroom.”

With a conveniently located fitness room, you will be reminded to work out. Plus, it will be easier to use for everyone in the house. When Sunny Circle Studio’s Erin Wheeler designed own home gym, she decided to transform her office space (which was relocated to the converted attic). As the first room you see when you enter, it offers plenty of space and natural light. “It took some getting used to because it’s at the center of everything, but it was a game-changer for me, both mentally and physically,” says the designer. “I use it every day, as does the rest of my family.”

If you’re not trying to create a dark, festive atmosphere to the SoulCycle designers recommend choosing a well-lit area. “You can add a mirror to the floor to maximize the lighting and make the space bigger,” says Wheeler. Working with a windowless space? Not a solution. Use lots of light sources – wall lights, LED light strips and even pendant lights – to give you adequate lighting.

For both practical and atmospheric reasons, you’ll also want to choose a location with good ventilation, says Sarah Zames, founder and lead designer of General assembly. Various windows or large doors to the outside will ensure good natural ventilation. In windowless or poorly ventilated rooms, you can leave the door open, incorporate ceiling or portable fans, and use an air conditioning system.

Adapt it to your style

The best part of having full control of a gym? It doesn’t have to look like the (meh) fitness centers you’re used to. A well-functioning gym can be as beautiful as any other room in your home. Like Kelly Finley from Joy Street Design says it, “who ever thought, Oh I love the way this commercial gym makes me feel? Person! Use this opportunity to really tap into what makes you happy, what makes you really want to try working out, and what would fit in with your home aesthetic.

Bottom line: It all depends on what works for you. If the bright colors and bold patterns motivate you to work out, run with them. If you’re looking for a meditation or yoga room, consider using soothing neutral colors and natural materials, like wood and stone. Wheeler clad her home gym in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue for a moody look and added custom DIY moldings to frame two full-length mirrors for much-needed detailing. The Bottom Line: Incorporate elements from your favorite design styles while tailoring the functionality of the piece to your fitness goals.

Maximize space

All parts can benefit from space-saving hacks. When working with a small area, Wheeler suggests keeping the design simple. An easy way to save floor space? Vertical storage possibilities. “Try hooks, open shelving, or a pegboard to hang towels, resistance bands, yoga mats, and water bottles,” she says.

In Finley’s home gym, she uses a towel rack above the door to hold the yoga mats. It also has a large built-in wall compartment to easily store other loose gear and speakers.

Invest in high quality equipment

The options can seem endless when it comes to home gym equipment and virtual programming options these days. So even if you’re the type of person who prefers to take group workout classes, you can gain a sense of community by participating in programs from companies such as Peleton and P.volve. Finley likes those that come with slim gear, like shimmer and Tonalto give you full body workouts in a more confined space.

Read more: The sleekest piece of equipment for your home gym

Other stylish machines and equipment to consider? This CLMBR machine that provides an unobstructed view (i.e. you can follow the workout on the screen and look out the window if you wish). For those who live in an apartment where your living room might need to double as a home gym, Brrrn offers sliding boards that can easily be slid under a couch. The Liteboxer, which can be wall-mounted or free-standing, takes up much less space than a real punching bag. Oh, and The Ness sells a mini trampoline that you can take apart and store behind a door or hang on the wall.

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Abdul J. Gaspar