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Tips for Designing A Home Gym

Are you looking for a workout space that inspires you? Today I’m sharing tips for designing a home gym that you’ll want to use.

So something wonderful happened the other day. There are 3 rooms in our basement that are in desperate need of new flooring, our son’s room, our kitchenette, and our workout room.

When we Installed Laminate Flooring Over Concrete almost 2 years ago, we only had enough to cover the main room and we lived with the ugly carpet in those rooms until we could afford to finish the other rooms.

Here’s how the carpet looked in our son’s room.

It was a nice berber in decent shape, but it is definitely not our style.

Plus, no matter how we cleaned it, it still has an odor. Blech!

So I searched online to find our flooring. I found a great deal, and when it came time to order, the dealer said the exact amount I needed was all that the manufacturer had left!

I am so glad we went ahead and placed the order before it was gone! So that means, we’ve been prepping the basement to finish out the floors.

And we are starting with our home gym – which the previous owners built the unfinished basement space into a 5th bedroom.

I’ve spent the last few weeks scouring the internet for DIY home gym ideas and I wanted to share some awesome tips I found with you!

Tips for Designing a Home Gym

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

Why is it a good idea to create your own home gym?

There are many reasons why this is a smart venture! First of all, affordability comes into play. If you don’t have enough to pay for a gym membership or group classes, then carving out an extra space for you is something to consider. One factor for me personally is privacy.

I don’t like to work out in front of strangers. I inherited my father’s sweat glands, and lemme tell ya – it ain’t pretty!

And when life hits, sometimes we don’t have time to make it to the gym. Having pieces of equipment at home make it more likely that you’ll do the workout!

Things changed greatly when the pandemic hit, and there are many people reconsidering their fitness goals and how to find creative solutions to their workouts.

How big should a home gym be?

That all depends on what your go to exercise is.

Obviously a dance studio requires more room than a treadmill. Or if you like to use nautilus equipment and weights, then you will need to carve out the necessary space.

home gym in basement
Design and Photo by Kara Allen from At Home with Kara Allen

Hall Tree | Mirror | Caged Industrial Clock | Punching Bag | Bench

I love this small space that Kara Allen carved out in her home! It’s small, stylish and has the perfect amount of space for her machines. She even has a punching bag in there!

If you need to be creative with space, consider a combo room, like a guest room/home gym, or an office space/workout space.

So take some time and think about what workout equipment you will need for your fitness space. The best gym setup is one that you will actually use.

Or you can do what we are doing and use a spare room as your dedicated space. This is perfect option for us!

What are the best home gym paint colors?

Definitely NOT baby poop beige like our room.

By the way – our ceiling isn’t rotting away. That is were we started removing our popcorn ceiling.

To find the perfect color, think about what feeling you are wanting to evoke. If you want a calm, quiet space to do yoga, then you may want to choose light, soft grays or blues.

If it’s a high energy workout and you want to feel energized, then bright colors are the way to go. I suggest steering clear of painting all the walls with color, though. While orange has be studied to motivate you, I don’t think you would want four orange walls!

You could paint just one wall in a fun color.

I am in love with this accent wall that my friend, Kelly, from City Girl Meets Farm Boy made for their small home gym.

small home gym with treadmill, carpet and navy blue accent wall and yellow chair
Design and Photo by Kelly Ballard from City Girl Meets Farm Boy

Boho Basket | Weight Rack | Faux Snake Plant | Fiddle Leaf Fig in Basket

Kelly turned a bedroom into a “momma workout room” and kept things neutral with pops of navy and yellow. It’s gorgeous!

But if you want to be bold, you could go for rich colors like this one.

Design and photo by Erin Wheeler from Sunny Circle Studiodata-pin-nopin=“true”

Chandelier | Floor Mat | Hex Barbells | White Dumbbell Rack | Bench | Rebounder | Wall Mirrors

This room from Sunny Circle Studio has me swooning! Erin created a workout haven for her wellness space and it’s stunning!

Begin by thinking about how you want to feel and search colors that help promote that feeling. According to this article, blues are calming, yellows are cheerful, purple stimulates imagination and so on.

It’s so easy to find creative ways to add color to your workout space.

What type of flooring is best for home gyms?

According to home improvement guru, Bob Vila, there are many options for gym flooring.

The top of the list are rubber mats. This is what you see most a your local gyms.

But these are meant for installation over a hard surface floor, like concrete, wood or tile. It’s a great flooring option for cushioning high impact training, or as protection if the free weights drop on the floor.

I love how Jenny Reimold converted her garage into a workout room. She covered her concrete with rubber flooring and it’s beautiful!

garage home gym
Design and Photo by Jenny Reimold

Lighting | Wallpaper | Storage Cube | Mirrors | Floor Tiles

As I mentioned, we are planning on continuing our luxury vinyl plank tiles over our basement floors in our exercise room. We hope to find some rubber mats to place under our machines.

Foam tiles, rubber tiles, or even horse stall mats are what I’m looking at. There are plenty of options, but it’s an important factor to consider.

What exercise equipment is best for a home gym?

Since each person is different, the right equipment depends on the home workout you prefer.

I am limited to the types of workouts since I injured my foot about 10 years ago. So no high impact for this gal. Which means I need an elliptical or bicycle to still get my heart rate up without the impact. This elliptical and stationary bike combo is my favorite machine!

But, I’m not the only one using this room.

My son is getting interested in strength training, so we’ve been looking at a weight bench, weight racks and free weights.

If your main workout is yoga, then you should invest in gym mirrors, foam rollers and yoga mats. This article lists an affordable way to build your own home gym. Jump ropes, resistance bands, and a stability ball are not that expensive!

How much equipment and how large your workout area falls down to your personal preferences and workout sessions. Planning this dedicated space ahead of time will do best for you in the long run!

Will a basement home gym add value to your home?

Absolutely not according to this website! This is something to consider before you hire any professional contractors to build you a customized room decked out with extra features.

I recommend using a space that can be flexible for the next owner of your home.

We took that into consideration when we built our Music Studio. It will be easy to convert to a 6th bedroom when it comes time to sell.

man with gray curly hair wearing a breathing mask scraping carpet pad remnants from concrete basement floor

So I hope this gives you some inspiration and tips for designing a home gym that you’ll actually use!

It’s always a better choice to put yourself on the list – and this year, I’m DIY-ing myself! It doesn’t have to be the ultimate home gym, but carving a space in your home is the first step in taking care of yourself.

Be sure to follow us on social media where we are sharing our behind the scenes of our projects. You can always find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

UPDATE: See the Small Home Gym Reveal!

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weight bench in a black and white workout room

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  1. You made an interesting point when you mentioned that gym equipment depends on the home workouts you prefer. My daughter wants to do gymnastics. If I ever create a home gym, I will have to make sure that I get plenty of gymnastics mats for my daughter.

  2. I LOVE your workout space and have been eyeballing it for a LONG time! Thanks for inspiring me!

  3. You are the coolest, thank you for including me in this round up! I so appreciate you!!!