One of the things I was thrilled when we found our new house was the secondary living space upstairs. A bonus room or flex room was high on my wishlist when we were house-hunting. So I started researching and gathering bonus room ideas immediately. And today I'm sharing the most stylish bonus room ideas for families of all shapes and sizes that I found when I was gathering inspiration. Plus, you'll get to see what we decided to do in our own family bonus room!
If we had moved into this home when our kids were younger, we probably would have focused more on designing a playroom space. But since they were already 10-years-old when we moved, we focused on setting it up as a game room and hangout space. So you'll see that I was definitely drawn to spaces that feel fun yet sophisticated enough to be enjoyed by grown-ups. I definitely looked for spaces with “loungey” seating areas. Several of the spaces I was drawn to feature distinct zones (seating vs. art/desk area, seating vs. play area), which I knew we wanted. And they almost all feature functional but pretty storage.
I get asked a lot about how I design the rooms in our house and the answer is Designer in a Binder®. It is the design system I have used for years and years! It includes all the important stuff like choosing items that are the correct scale, space planning, mixing patterns, choosing colors and more. And yes, gathering inspiration is part of the process, so let's get into these bonus room ideas now!
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Family Bonus Room Ideas & Inspiration
Include Pretty & Functional Storage
Storage is pretty much a must no matter how you choose to use your bonus room. I was inspired by these beautiful and functional storage solutions.
Pretty Bookshelves and/or Cabinets
If you are looking for super affordable bookshelves that look high-end, customizing IKEA bookshelves is a great option! I love the way these built-ins made from IKEA products have drawers and shelves. They are perfect for hiding things like board games while still looking stylish.
We ended up using a bunch of IKEA Eket cabinets and bookshelves and couldn't be happier with how they look and function. They are holding up beautifully. You can take a short video tour of all of our bonus room storage and how we use it below.
This entire wall of storage strikes the perfect balance of closed storage for the things you don't want to look at with open storage for those items that are perfect for displaying. And the storage doesn't overwhelm the entire space, leaving plenty of room for seating and even a table.
This is another great example of beautiful and functional bonus room storage. And it's another clever way of customizing IKEA bookshelves!
Game Room Vibes
If you have the extra space to include a pool table, foosball table, or arcade games, go for it! Play up the game room vibes.
We are lucky enough to be able to fit this stylish foosball table in our family bonus room. And though we don't have enough space for a dedicated home gym, we do have room for our stationary bike.
We talked A LOT about a ping pong table, but we didn't have quite enough floor space (since we also wanted to include a seating area and a desk). This ping pong table and built-in bench are so fun!
This basement bonus room is fun and sophisticated! If you do include a large game table like an air hockey table, I love the idea of adding some floor poufs nearby for extra seating.
Even if you don't have the floor space for a big game table, you can still include fun games like this creative Giant Wall Scrabble®. I love that it doubles as art!
Include Comfortable Seating For a Lounging Area
I knew that we wanted to include comfy seating so that our bonus room could be used for curling up to watch movies and chatting with friends. We included two stylish recliners and a leather sofa, all of which are comfy enough to lounge on all day long.
Bonus room seating doesn't have to be made up of couches or other traditional furniture pieces. I adore the floor cushions and the canopy in this bonus room. They form a cozy little hideaway perfect for curling up and reading. You could even use the floor cushions for guests to sleep on if you don't have a dedicated guest room.
The built-in seating in this flex room looks comfy and saves space. Plus, the built-in daybeds can be used for guests to sleep on if you want it to double as a guest bedroom! It's a really smart use of space and looks beautiful.
And these bright floor cushions for seating made my heart skip a beat–the are simply amazing. I love that they are grouped. Such a fun way to make your bonus room cozy and bright!
Treat It Like a Second Living Room
If you don't want to include anything like a pool table or home theatre, just approach it as though you are designing a living room. This teen hangout space has cool vibes, but is just as beautiful as a primary living space. I love that nothing about it screams “kid space” so it's just as enjoyable for adults.
This is another bonus room that really feels like a primary family room that both kids and parents can enjoy equally. I LOVE a good accent wall idea and toyed with including one like this for our bonus room. But in the end, we decided on something more playful.
Bonus Room Wall Decor
Bonus rooms tend to have big blank walls that can feel a bit overwhelming to fill. When it comes to decorating the walls of your family bonus room, have fun with it!
In our bonus room, we enlarged some watercolor paintings that my daughters painted using the Doodlespot App.
On another wall I hung this monogram gallery wall, which is fun and whimsical. It's very fitting since our last name and both of our daughters' names begin with A :)
Bonus rooms are also a great place to display family photos in stylish ways. I love these huge family photos that make a big impact (and were inexpensive to do)!
Aren't these bonus room decorating ideas awesome? I love how they are super stylish while still being family-friendly. We are absolutely loving our bonus room as much as thought we would and I'm so glad we didn't rush it (it took us 4 months to complete, lol).
Our Family Bonus Room Sources
If you are curious about the products you have seen in the photos of our bonus room, check out the full colorful bonus room reveal. You can also shop the sources below.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Simple Playroom Storage Ideas to Keep the Mess to a Minimum
- Gorgeous + Functional Mudroom Ideas for Busy Families
- 16 Teen Bedroom Ideas for Boys + Girls
- Epic Craft Room Storage Ideas
- 16 Cool DIY Bunk Beds
Wondering how I approach transforming rooms and spaces in our home? Check out Designer in a Binder®.
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