The McDonald Real Estate Team

Remax North Lake

By Sean and Aimee McDonald
The McDonald Real Estate Team, Entertainment Spaces and Quiet Places
As the year comes to a close and the holidays approach, many homeowners set their sights on repurposing underutilized areas within their homes.  For some, enhanced entertainment space is desired, fostering social engagement with family and friends.  While others, seek to escape the hustle and bustle of the season, creating private personal retreats.  The redefinition of these areas is a departure from traditional home-offices or dens.  For example, a dining room may lend itself to becoming a gamer’s paradise, a finished basement may be repurposed as a home theatre, an attic or outdoor storage shed may be transformed into a man-cave or she-shed, or a spare bedroom may find new use as an art studio.  
 
Generally speaking, the footprint of a home needn’t change and the chosen space can quickly be returned to its original purpose if so desired.  Arguably, technological advancements have redefined what it means to recreate with family and friends, but traditional incarnations of solitude remain ever-present considerations in repurposed living space.
 
For many modern families, game rooms have become popular centers for social gatherings.  No longer relegated to the individual needs of adults or children, family gaming centers are now collaborative spaces, bringing families together.  Both modern and traditional options have their place; whether oriented around video gaming, darts, pinball, billiards, foosball or board games, a home’s living areas can be reoriented around a family’s common recreational interests. 
 
Thematic décor used to create the game room, should be reflective of the home’s occupants, allowing for personalization around each member’s tastes.  While unconventional, home gaming centers have the power to engage all members of the family and will quickly become places where people congregate.  Game rooms should be welcoming, functional and comfortable.  And, it’s important to furnish, light and design these dedicated spaces around their intended purpose.  For those limited on space, the elements of a game room can still work, providing a proper blend of form and function are also considered.  
 
Gaming enthusiasts have the power to use their dedicated spaces to openly communicate their passions for sports, entertainment, vehicles, travel or pop-culture.  In fact, it’s expected a family’s game room will make abrupt departures from a home’s otherwise conservatively expectant décor.  As such, the expressions made in one household, as compared to the next, are likely to be quite diverse and unequivocally fun.
 
Other families seek to create personal home theatres when enhancing their home’s unrealized entertainment space.  Whether immersing oneself in the latest movie or tuning in to watch the big game, having the ability to fully capture the at-home cinematic experience has become a way for families and friends to engage.  However, creating a state-of-the-art home theatre can be financially cumbersome and a somewhat technically complex proposition.  But, through appropriate planning, creating inviting space where people gather together to enjoy a holiday classic or take in a concert, doesn’t have to be an arduous undertaking.  Arguably, deciding where to set-up is key; whether incorporating a theatre system into a home’s main living areas, repurposing a den or spare bedroom, or creating a ten-seat palatial cinema in the basement, opportunities for upgrades abound.  It’s important to balance the desired outcome with comfort, optimal viewing and sound reproduction.  Yet, such upgrades needn’t necessarily redefine the original purpose of the room selected.
 
Still, the repurposing of underutilized space needn’t always appeal to others.  For those desiring personalized areas, man-caves and she-sheds have become a popular means of attaining individualized space.  Limited only by imagination, both men and women alike, are now seeking private areas to call their own.  Where man-caves, metaphorically speaking, provide areas where men are empowered to decorate as they wish without disrupting the décor of the rest of the home, she-sheds have become their counterpart, and a place where women do the same.  Both serve as private retreats where men and women can escape everyday stresses, but also entertain should they so choose.  They’re places both men and women call their own, where décor and thematic expressions are boundless, limited only by individualized interests.  Still, whereas man-caves are typically found in repurposed rooms of the home, such as basements, garages, attics or dens, she-sheds are commonly found outdoors, in repurposed sheds, that’ve been transformed into private backyard getaways.  Yet, in either case, the design elements incorporated are intended to be fun reflections of their owner’s hobbies, interests and favorite past times.
 
Perhaps one of the most traditional and longstanding expressions of personalized space found within many homes, is the art studio.  Long before technology evoked a passion for electronic gaming or in-home theatres, home-based art studios, provided owners with a place of personal solitude.  Each artist’s home-studio possesses its own unique identity reflective of its owners.  Whether into painting, drawing, photography, writing, sculpture, crafting or general hobbies, the repurposing of underutilized rooms, centric to artistic interests and expressions, continues to be unencumbered by a home’s structural limitations.
 
From traditional to contemporary, the repurposing of a home’s living areas to meet the needs of its occupants is becoming increasingly popular and sometimes a hybrid of ideas proves beneficial.  Man-caves often incorporate gaming and home theatre elements; she-sheds often double as art studios.  This holiday season, whether seeking to heighten entertainment space or just create a quiet place to escape, the redefinition of living areas is limited only by one’s imagination.