7 Ways to Transform Your Child’s Room Now That They’re Off to College

7 Ways to Transform Your Child’s Room Now That They’re Off to College

empty nest
Now that you’re an empty-nester or have one less child in the crib, it’s time to think about finding fun and functional ways to use the space. Of course, the room can’t be permanently or completely transformed, as your college student will be home for breaks. If you live in the same city where your child goes to college, for example UCF in Orlando, plan on a few random weekend visits. In fact, according to a recent study, 85 percent of college seniors planned to move back home after college at least until they find a job.

The ideas below will provide a few unique ideas that can be temporary or more permanent, depending on your situation. If you are going for a permanent transformation, consider changing the bed out for a pull-down wall bed, day bed or futon so your child has a bed they can use during holidays while you have couch-type seating when they are gone. See what works for your budget and design style.


1. Childhood Days Memorial

This is a nifty idea if you have saved some of your son’s or daughter’s childhood memorabilia. Once you determine exactly what memories are worth exhibiting, the rest can be stored in see through containers and stacked in the closet for later use. The fun part of this project is you can mix it up and add and subtract things as they go through their college years. All you’ll need is a little imagination, a few frames, shadow boxes, push pins, cork board and the room can be transformed in no time.


2. Mom Den

Every Mom would love to have private space where she can “cave” in a more feminine way. Add a large television, comfy rocker, magazine rack filled with her favorites, laptop, stocked mini-bar atop a small refrigerator filled with fruit-infused bottles of water and she will love you forever.


3. Homestay Room for Rent

Have you ever thought about renting out the room for travelers who prefer to stay in a host home? Homestays are becoming more popular and generally all that is expected is a clean bedroom, private bathroom and a light breakfast. So discard your child’s paraphernalia, bedding, wall art and recreate the room so it looks more like a bed and breakfast rental. Consider adding a small refrigerator with mini-bar, as it will give the guest(s) more in-room flexibility.


4. Work Out Room

You can burn off any “empty nester” remorse by converting your child’s room into a convenient home gym. Closet doors can be removed if additional space is needed for larger equipment such as a stationary bicycle, elliptical trainer, treadmill or all-in-one weight system. The other items that will make this a complete work out room is a wall of mirrors, a workout mat and a television or video console in order to take recorded classes.


5. Man Cave

There are a myriad of ways to make a man-cave. Like anything, it depends on the person. However, typically a man cave would include a big-screen television, DVD, surround sound speaker system, recliner, mini-refrigerator stocked with favorites along with a mini-bar filled with junk food. If there is room, a second recliner or sofa for friends will add that extra man cave touch.


6. Home Office

If you are still paying bills and handling other business on the kitchen or dining room table, then this option might be for you. It won’t take a great deal of time or effort, but replacing the child-size desk with a standard size and adding a comfortable desk chair, file cabinet, shelves and or cabinet will be the ticket for accomplishing this transformation. This room could also serve as a second television room by adding a different, more couch-like bed, side table and television.


7. Pet Paradise

Do you have more than one pet? If so, consider making the room a place for “all-things-pets”. This can be a room where all toys, treats, cleaning, grooming and messes can be contained. That doesn’t mean the pets have to live in the room, but it can be their haven, should they desire.


Alex Patterson