Design Dilemma: What To Do With Your College Student’s Room?

Whether your child has flown the coop for his or her own nest or is away at college for the next nine months, you have been left with a design dilemma: what do you do with their room?


While you probably aren’t packing up their entire belongings the first week, you eventually will be regaining a room. Here are five ideas for your newly reclaimed square footage:


empty nest guest room

1. Turn it into a guest room. If you host out-of-town guests, a permanent guest room is a great use. Start with a bed; double or queen size will accommodate two. Add a nightstand as well as a dresser. If your child comes home for holidays or for a month or two while getting on they’re feet, you’ll have a place for them to stay.


empty nest home office

2. Turn it into a home office. If you’re paying the bills at your kitchen table or on a desk tucked in the corner of your family room, you’ll love a dedicated home office space. Simply add a desk and chair. You can also include decorative filing cabinets or a credenza for storing paperwork and supplies. If room permits, incorporate a pullout sofa or daybed, which allows you to use this room for guests or a boomerang child.


empty nest hobby room

3. Turn it into a hobby room. If you love to sew, do crafts or build model airplanes, imagine a room designed solely for this. Add whatever work surface is best, such as a table or desk. You can include a pullout sofa or daybed in here, too, making it a versatile space, as well.


empty nest den

4. Turn it into a cozy den. Consider turning a spare bedroom into a cozy den for watching television or reading. This is a great option if you have just one gathering space in your home. Whether it’s Sunday afternoon football or the latest episode of The Voice, more than one viewing area means you get to watch what you want. Simply add a sofa and loveseat, cocktail table and a media center. Choose a pullout sofa if you want to accommodate an overnight guest.


empty nest as is

5. Keep it as is. You can always leave your child’s room untouched. According to CNN, 85% of kids move back home after graduating from college. Chances are the room won’t be vacant – quite yet. And leaving it intact might serve another purpose … it could be the perfect place to host sleepovers for your future grandkids.

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