Home Gym Design Tips

If you clicked on this post, there’s a good chance you’ve spent the past few years telling yourself, “This is the year I will finally exercise regularly and lose weight,” only to decide in February that your life is too hectic, and you’ll try again next year. If that’s you, you’re in the right place! Fitness resolutions, while the most common, can be the easiest to give up on. Check out these home gym design tips that are sure to take you from resolution to results in 2019!

Home Gym Design Tips - Interior Designer Chicago - Design Inside

Benefits of a Home Gym

Basic Home Gym - Interior Designer Chicago - Design Inside

While a public gym is the most ideal option for some, others would prefer to work out in the comfort of their own home. People can achieve results and reach their goals in both settings, but there are some benefits to home gyms that you can’t find in a public setting.

  1. Hygiene – Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, gyms are crawling with germs everywhere you turn. Equipment covered in strangers’ sweat, locker rooms filled with their sweaty gym bags, floors covered in ick from the bottoms of peoples’ shoes, the list goes on. Potentially one of the biggest benefits to a home gym is being able to completely control the cleanliness of the space and equipment.
  2. No Excuses – Sometimes the hardest hurdle to get over on a fitness journey, especially during a Chicago winter (Can you say Polar Vortex of 2019?), is simply getting yourself to the gym. No room for laziness or excuses, though, when the gym is in already in your home!
  3. Best for Beginners – Another excuse that home gyms can eliminate is the classic, “I’m new to working out, and I don’t want strangers seeing me.” If you’re new to working out and need the time to get comfortable with it, then a home gym is perfect for you because you can decide whether you’re working out alone or with others.
  4. Start Simple – A home gym can be as basic as having some free weights, a few floor mats, and yoga gear. If you are more advanced and have more space to dedicate, we have helped clients design and decorate larger gyms in a dedicated room. Focus on starting simple and adding from there.

Designing Your Home Gym

So, you’ve officially decided a home gym is for you (yay!), but now you’ve hit another road block – where should you start? Unless you have extensive gym knowledge, knowing how to set up a workout space efficiently can prove to be a challenge. To help you get that ball rolling, we reached out to some personal fitness experts in Chicago and La Grange to get their take on setting up a gym.

Add variety to your gym with smaller things like dumbbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, etc. instead of large machines. A lot of people think to get variety in your workouts, you need multiple machines, but those can get expensive and take up space.

Jackie ErricoTrainer Specialist, Right Fit

For smaller home gyms, keep things light. Try to avoid things like dark paint colors and heavy-looking machinery. Get as much natural light in as possible and have a light, airy space. Those things will help you have more productive workouts.

Sarah FrancoFit4Mom, Chicago Western Suburbs

Pick a Room with Plenty of Natural Light (if possible)

Bright Room for Working Out - Interior Designer Chicago - Design Inside

Natural light has been proven to make people more productive, so if you can, pick a room with multiple south-facing windows to ensure you’re getting the most amount of sunlight possible! The natural light will also provide motivation to be in the space and work out. Who wants to work out in a dark, dreary room?

Get Creative with your Storage Solutions

Beautiful and modern entertainment center in Chicago family room - Chicago Interior Design

While having a lot of smaller items helps to add variety to your workouts, it also might help in adding unwanted clutter to your floor. You can repurpose just about anything and turn it into storage. Put a fresh coat of paint on an old coat rack and you can use that to hang your resistance loops on. Use old hooks you might have lying around in the garage to store things like weights and jump ropes when you’re not using them. Even TV cabinets can provide ample storage for Yoga mats and free weights. The possibilities are endless!

Install a Large 4K HDTV

If you are like us, we love to follow instructor-led classes like Yoga, Spin, Pilates or any other High Impact personal training. Since you are skipping the gym, the next best thing is DVDs or online streaming services. This means that you will need an appropriately sized 4K Ultra HDTV. We recommend buying a “Smart TV” or plan on adding an Amazon Fire TV Stick (we love the 4K model with volume controls on it), Roku or the Google Chromecast Ultra so you can stream workout videos from YouTube or use the awesome Peleton Digital App.

Have One Wall with Floor-to-Ceiling Mirrors

full length mirror - Interior Designer Chicago - Design Inside
Black Wall Mirror - Chicago Interior Design - Design Inside

You might not want to look at yourself while you work out, but there are multiple benefits to having mirrors in your gym! In terms of safety, it’s important to make sure you’re using correct form in order to avoid injury. In terms of aesthetics, a wall of mirrors can help the space feel larger and more open.

If you are building a gym that needs to function as another room (e.g. Family Room or Office), pick up some cute full-length mirrors and mount them to the wall.

Get the Mirror Interactive Home Gym

Mirror - Wall Stand
Mirror - Hang Mount

Better yet, instead of buying a standard wall mirror, check out the Mirror, an interactive home gym. Think of it as a mix of a fitness program tied in with a Smart Mirror that you hang on your wall. We haven’t personally used this system, but it seems intriguing.

If you have this device at home or have tried it at a friends house, we would love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

Use White, Green or Yellow on the Walls

SW7100 - Arcade White
SW 6729 - Lacewing
SW 1668 - Pineapple Cream

White is crisp and pure and is great for energizing the mind and body. Green is a harmonizing color that can help you feel a great sense of balance and calmness. This is a particularly good color to use if you plan to work out after a long, stressful day at the office. Yellow is an extremely energizing color and can help lift your confidence and stimulate your creativity! Consider using yellow if you plan to use a morning work out as the way to start your day off on the right foot.

Consider Using Rubber or Sheet Vinyl on the Floor

Exercise Mats - Interior Designer Chicago - Design Inside

Hardwood looks nice, but it’s definitely not the safest to exercise on. Carpet might be easy to find and install, but it’s also not the easiest to clean. Rubber and sheet vinyl are both extremely comfortable underfoot and are super easy to wipe down. Also, since they both have a little “squish” to them, they’re a lot safer to exercise on!

Looking to make some changes in your home in the new year?

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Home Gym Design Tips

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