Empty Nest

6 Simple Ways to Update Your Empty Nest

posted in: Home & Garden

So your little bird has left home. Whether you’re in mourning or enjoying the quiet of your newly empty nest, perhaps it’s time to turn their room into the haven you’ve always wanted. Sure, you could take the posters down, touch up the paint and use it as guest room. But how about a man cave or a home gym? The possibilities are endless!

Just remember not to go overboard when you go shopping. (You can see how your spending is affecting your finances by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) Here are four ideas to help you get started.

1. Library

Always wanted a peaceful place to read at home? Bring in some bookshelves and fill them with those boxes of books you’ve been keeping in the basement. If you’re low on books, decorate the shelves with knickknacks and add books as you acquire them. For an enhanced reading experience, add some plants — they’re good for you!

Horticulturist Justin Hancock, from Costa Farms in Miami, says, “Researchers have proven that having plants nearby improves our concentration and memory levels. Incorporate a few small houseplants on bookshelves among your books, and use easy-care trailing varieties like pothos and philodendron to cascade down from the tops of your stacks.”

2. Home Gym

Using your busy schedule as an excuse to skip the gym? A home gym is a fantastic solution – it’s right there, so no more excuses! You’ll need to invest in some equipment, like weights, an all-purpose machine and/or cardio machine, a mat, and so on. Consider swapping out your teen’s emoji curtains for a pair of Eclipse Thermapanels ($20.99 and up at Kohl’s). They offer gym-worthy temperature control and keep street noise out for those quiet yoga or stretching workouts.

To really trick out the space, Jeffrey Weldler, an interior decorating expert with the wall panel brand Vänt, says, “Your new home gym could include mirrored walls, storage space for your equipment, rubber tiled floors and a great sound system.”

3. Home Office

If the dining room table isn’t cutting it for paying bills and writing your new blog, a home office may be just the ticket. Get yourself a desk, chair, filing cabinet and maybe a cushy chair for breaks.

When it comes to storage, consider built-ins carefully. Liz Toombs, Certified Interior Decorator and owner of Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors in Kentucky, says, “If you are unsure if you will move or transition the room again, use furniture that contains storage instead of permanent built-ins. If you’re considering adding built-ins, make note of the houses around yours and see if they have them. If they do, it’s good for resale to add some.”

4. Man Cave

If you’re the master of the house and crave your own space, perhaps a man (or woman) cave is the way to go. Painting the walls a dark color and adding a comfy couch or reclining chair, stools and a small counter are good places to start.

“For stools, the Turned Maple Swivel Bar Stool with Grizzly Seat from Artificial Plants and Trees are a personal favorite,” says store owner Doug Hopeman. “They make a masculine statement,” he adds. “An obvious must is a TV. For that matter, the bigger [it is], the better.”

You can find the full list of simple ways to decorate your empty nest on Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

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Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.