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Get Your Style in Shape: Trendy Ideas for A Home Gym or Workout Space

This summer is a sizzler, and if you live anywhere in the continental United States you’ll be aware that spending any serious time outside during daylight hours has basically become unbearable. Bad news for fitness buffs. The heat and humidity can turn any workout from bracing to torturous, even dangerous. And summer isn’t even half over yet! No surprise that this time of year is when people really start to make use of their gym memberships. Increasingly, however, more and more people are beginning to build their workout space right into their homes. There are multiple strategies for adding a home gym, and over time it can be a great investment.

Consider what can be done with a loft, attic, or other underutilized space! (By Dino Tonn)
Consider what can be done with a loft, attic, or other underutilized space! (By Dino Tonn)

Question number one when planning out a home gym–where do I even put something like that? Exercise paraphernalia–treadmills, weight machines, medicine balls–are not exactly what you’d call ‘unobtrusive’. But consider neglected or underutilized spaces in your home. Do you have a finished attic, a loft, an unused garage? A basement? There are lots of spaces that can converted into a workout space, without having to intrude on any of the more lived-in portions of your home.

Mirror tricks widen and brighten up a workout space. (by Art Deco Refurbishment)
Mirror tricks widen and brighten up a workout space. (by Art Deco Refurbishment)

Obviously, your house was not built to be a gym (unless your home life is a lot different from mine) so you probably do not have many huge open spaces to line with mirrors, like the room in the photo above. However, mirrors are the classic way to make a room look bigger than it is. Although this won’t give you anymore actual space for working out, it can make a room more pleasant to spend time in.

Home gyms can fit right in with your decor. (Brandon Architects)
Home gyms can fit right in with your decor. (Brandon Architects)

Honestly, you may decide you don’t even want to bother tucking your gym away. If you get the right vibe going, a workout space could fit easily into a contemporary-style home. In the above photo the decorator has chosen a slightly beachy theme, with plenty of wood and natural light, and all of the gym equipment is a slick, uniform black. The spaces are clearly delineated by the change in flooring, but they still flow together naturally.

Keeping workout spaces clean and organized helps keep you on the wagon. (By Jackson and Leroy)
Keeping workout spaces clean and organized helps keep you on the wagon. (By Jackson and Leroy)

Even if you do have the space, the idea of a home gym can be pretty daunting. Workout machines are, for the most part, fairly pricey, cumbersome, and unattractive. However, you honestly don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to have a space to exercise. With just some weights, medicine balls, and a yoga mat or two, you can carve out a little section of your home for getting in shape and beating the heat.

Home gyms are an investment, but one that will definitely pay off. (Nico van der Meulen Architects)
Home gyms are an investment, but one that will definitely pay off. (By Nico van der Meulen Architects)

Then again, if you do decide to go all the way and buy an exercise machine or two, keep in mind that they will pay for themselves fairly quickly. Gym memberships are pricey and often involve paying annual fees or signing yearly contracts, and it can all add up. Also, the convenience of having your gym in your house may be an extra motivator for getting yourself to use it. Especially if you are one of those people (for example: myself) who have a hard time forcing themselves to make use of a gym membership even when they have it.

Whether your goal is just a small, comfortable area where you can lift weights, or a fully outfitted home gym, a workout space can be a great investment, especially in weather like this. With a little creativity, you can dream up a trendy, cool place to exercise in the privacy of your home.