Step by Step Guide To Plan a Home Gym

I’ve definitely learned from my Interior Design diploma, that a good design starts with thorough planning. Our home gym makeover was no exception. In this blog I’ll give you a step by step guide to plan your own home gym.

Step 1: Take Measurements

First start by taking all the measurements of the room. This is so you can accurately map out a 2D and 3D plan of your finished room.


Step 2: Evaluate Likes and Dislikes

Next I took note of what I liked about the room currently and what I disliked. The room felt cold and stark because of the white walls and off-white sheet vinyl floor. The spotlights made the low ceiling feel lower. However I did like the huge mirror wall on the back wall, this was perfect for a gym.


Step 3: Think About How You’ll Use the Room

Next think about how you would use the room. We wanted two treadmills with a TV, because we both like to workout at the same time (and a TV keeps our minds off the workout!) We wanted a frame for pull-ups and banded work, and I really wanted a quiet comfortable space to do yoga. We also needed some form of storage to store all our equipment.

Step 4: Map Out the New Space

Once you know how you want to use the space, and what gym equipment you want to include, map it out as a 2D sketch, and ideally 3D to visualize how it’ll look. I like to use either Floorplanner or Planner 5D to do my designs. They’re both reasonably priced, have plenty of stock furniture choices, and with Planner 5D you can even change the color of the furniture. However, mapping out the room on a piece of paper is also fine.5f77a2ca498ad8ef0d332d4a4bdd19e3503ca285

Luckily everything we wanted to use the room for fitted perfectly. With the frame nicely tucked away in the corner, and a mini yoga studio in front of the mirror wall. I zoned the space for the yoga studio, so it didn’t feel like part of the bigger room, by painting a blue accent stripe, and following that color through with the rug and the storage unit on the opposite side. This created the illusion of a separate zoned area which was different to the rest of the gym.


Step 5: Choose Colors

I decided to add accents of red to the room to really make it ‘pop’. It’s a contrasting color to the blues, and something that we had dotted around the room anyway through the equipment we have.

TIP: Always try to repeat a color throughout the room to tie it together better.

Our home gym is in a basement and only has one small window for natural light, so I kept the flooring light to keep the room bright. However I made the walls slightly darker than what they were using a soft cream to make the room feel cozier and warmer but still bright.

Step 6: Think About Lighting

After tackling the natural light issue with floor and wall colors, we then thought about artificial light. Think about how you will use the space and how that translates to the lighting you’ll need in the room. We wanted to use the space for cardio and weights workouts, but also as a yoga studio. We replaced the strip lights for new recessed can spotlights on a dimmer. This made the ceilings feel taller and added controllable lighting for added functionality as both a workout space, and relaxing yoga studio.

I hope you enjoyed reading this step by step guide on how to plan a home gym. To see the full before and after photos read my blog on the grand reveal.

After – I added a picture ledge at the bottom of the wall to rest my tablet on to follow my yoga videos.

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Thanks for reading!

Jo @britflipper

Finish schedules and the struggles of studying in your spare time

As you know I started studying for a diploma in Interior Design some 6 months ago now. By now, I should be graduated and well on my way to being a better designer. But as I’m sure most people find with trying to study in an around full time work, hobbies and a social life, things can take a little longer than originally planned!

The course has been a good one so far, I’m exactly half way through and have so far learned about:

  • The visual language of design
  • The history of style, decoration and architecture
  • Design styles
  • Space planning
  • Electrical plans
  • Color
  • Finishes
  • Decorative textiles

I’ve begun to learn how to spot different historical influences in design such as Rococo, Arts and Crafts, Modernism, Art Deco etc. The importance of color combinations and use of mood boards. And from a technical standpoint, I now know how to create an accurate floor plan with electrical plan and finish schedule. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an electrical plan or finish schedule before this! And I wondered why the electrician installed the spotlights in the wrong places…!?

The finish schedule is something I’d honestly never though about before. My designs have always been an ever-evolving process over a number of years, as we’ve saved the money to fund our renovations. But even so, a mood board and finish schedule are things that I’ll now be sure to think about in my future renovations to ensure that the whole house is cohesive.

Previously I’ve always wondered why my whole house designs don’t look like the show homes you see. Even though I’ve been really happy with the rooms I’ve done based on their own individual merits, the overall look and feel has been choppy and not very professional looking. Having a mood board and finish schedule is something that can help tie the design all together, and get you thinking about the whole house and not just room by room, which will give a much more professional feel.

Here’s my finish schedule that I created for our imaginary house design that we’re working on in our course. Having the whole house features specifically mapped out before you start will help with choosing colors and furniture etc later down the line so everything works as one cohesive design.

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The finish schedule according to the Interior Design Instituteincludes a color schedule and specifications of any other finishes that you have decided to apply to any of the structural or fixed surfaces in the space being developed.” Things such as the trim, doors, windows, cabinetry, hardware, lighting, flooring etc. Seeing all these things in one place helps you to visualize the overall design and also helps the builder to see what you’re thinking.

One mistake I’ve made in my current house, is painting all of the rooms without thinking through the overall color pallet and then deciding to paint the doors and trim after this. Whilst the grey doors look great with certain colors in the house, they look pretty bad in others. Meaning I’ll probably want to repaint these rooms at a later date, much to my husband’s delight! Whoops!

Here are my 3 tips for avoiding bad or in-cohesive designs, costly mistakes or rework:

  1. Think through the WHOLE house design before starting on a remodel, even if you only plan to do one room at a time. Having a cohesive end game in mind will help make your design look much more professional.
  2. Make a mood board before picking up the paintbrush, be specific and get samples together so you can see everything together first.
  3. Make a finish schedule of everything that will be applied to a fixed surface and think about how these all interact. Do the door colors go with all the wall colors? And does the flooring match the door color etc?

I hope you enjoyed these tips and have learned from my design mistakes so you can start your design project more confident in the knowledge you won’t have to re-paint any walls!

Until next time…


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