How to Create A Private Space in Your Home (That’s Just For You)
It’s 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. You’ve been hiding in the bathroom for the past 30 minutes. Outside, you can hear your children fighting over their turn to use the TV. Perhaps you start to wonder if, just maybe, you need a private space in your home (that’s just for you!).
Realizing that you need a private space to relax and unwind is usually accompanied by feelings of guilt. After all, you want to support your kids and be there when they need you.
But creating a private space of your own isn’t about ignoring your children. It should be a space that lets you recharge your batteries and focus on yourself for a while. This will improve your parenting skills, as you’ll be much more patient and helpful when you return to make dinner, divide play time, and help your children with their homework.
Finding space for yourself within your home can be a challenge. Sure, you’d love to convert the spare room into a library or art studio, but where will your inlaws sleep when they visit? Fortunately, you probably have an underutilized space close at hand: your garage.
Converting your garage into a woman-cave or she-shed might sound like a pipe dream. However, if you have on-street parking or a drive, your garage may be better used as a reprieve from the madness of your family home.
You can get started by stripping back a little and investing in interior design. You’d be surprised by how quickly a garage can start to feel like a liveable space once you slap on some paint and install some carpeting or hardwood floors. Bright colours like white and cream are particularly good choices when converting your garage, as the space will instantly perk up with lighter shades.
Once the colour scheme is settled, you’ll need decor that suits you and your purposes. If you are passionate about DIY or crafts, consider sprucing up your workbench to fulfil its purpose while looking like sleek furnishing. You can also put your workbench on wheels so it can be hidden away under cabinets when you use the space to read and chill rather than drill and saw.
When you first read Harry Potter, you probably thought it awful that Harry’s parents kept him under the stairs. But, now you’re a busy mum with a house full of kids, that space under the stairs might start to look increasingly attractive as a private reading room or adults-only spot.
Of course, reality will dictate whether or not you can reasonably make your understairs storage space into a reading nook. But, depending on the amount of DIY you’re willing to do, you may be able to knock through non-load-bearing walls to expand the space under your stairs into a legitimate small room.
Before calling the construction team, ensure that you have a clear design. Small nooks like understairs rooms are only effective if you use the space efficiently and tailor them to a singular purpose. So, if you’re an artist or a yogi, pull some tape first and ensure you have space to comfortably practise your hobby.
If you love the idea of creating your room but don’t have the space, energy, or budget to start knocking down walls, you can still use moveable partitions to create a private space for yourself.
Moveable partitions are particularly useful if you have a particular activity or hobby you want to complete in relative privacy. For example, suppose you want to be able to practice yoga or meditation. In that case, you can draw a partition over a section of your bedroom and make the space into a miniature studio.
Moveable partitions have the benefit of being portable. This means you can easily collapse away your reprieve when you’ve finished and become “mum” again. However, unlike physical rooms, your children can (and will) sneak in from time to time.
When using a moveable partition as a private room, you have to set boundaries for your children and set clear expectations. How you establish and maintain these boundaries depends on the age and personality of your child, but open and clear communication is always essential.
Attics and Basements
Converting your attic or basement is the holy grail of private space in your own home. You’re still inside, so your children can reach you in an emergency, but you can sneak off to your little room in the house. Converting an attic or basement can also add some serious value to your property — particularly as more people are working remotely than ever before.
Before moving your canvases and couches into the attic, you need to lighten up the space. Basements and attics are designed for storage, so they are always dark and cool. You can easily add light by installing a few incandescent bulbs to create a relaxed atmosphere. Use brighter rugs and flooring, as these will reflect more light and naturally brighten the area.
Creating a private space in your room is easier than you might think. You can start by subdividing your rooms using moveable partitions that afford you some privacy to escape family life for a while. When you’re ready, bigger changes like converting your garage or attic are a great way to help you unwind and recharge your batteries so you can be the best version of yourself for your children.