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Anatomy of: A Home Gym

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Looking to up your fitness game? Don’t limit yourself to just a gym membership or a single set of dumbbells in the living room. If you have some extra space, a home gym might be the perfect project to kickstart your at-home fitness routine. Even if your available space is small, there are some creative ways to turn even the corner of your office into the home gym of your dreams. And it definitely won’t have to look boring! Home gym ideas can be creative, colorful, and most important of all: inspiring.

Setting up a workout space at home that’s functional and stylish is possible—just ask Orlando Soria (@mrorlandosoria). The designer and former host of Build Me Up on HGTV transformed an empty room in his California lodge into a bright and cheerful spot to break a sweat. He’s going to walk us through his process for choosing the space, adding the details, and crafting a home gym he actually wants to work out in. Now grab your yoga mats and your water bottles—it’s time to get physical!

Pick a Spot

Before you choose a room to set up in, think about what kind of spaces you’re drawn to. If you setup your gym in a room you’re hardly in, like a guest room or unfinished basement, there’s little chance you’ll want to wander over there to do some weightlifting either. Because you want to encourage yourself to work out, choosing a room that has a draw (be it the natural light, open space, etc.) will make it all the more thrilling to turn into your studio. “I love bright, airy rooms, so I knew my gym needed to have great light,” Soria says. “If I put it in my garage, it would be too dark for me to want to spend any time in.”

If you have the perfect room in mind but it doesn’t have great natural light, or you want to find creative ways to maximize your space, there are some quick and easy hacks to get your new gym looking sharp. Hanging pendants from the ceiling or walls, and installing hooks for gym equipment are two great ways to give your space exactly what it needs to function at its best.

londo lodge gym equipment home gym ideas

Brighten It Up

There’s no rule that gyms have to be dark and dreary! Consider adding some color so you don’t have flashbacks to P.E. class. “The space should give you energy and make you want to move your body,” Soria says. He went with a bold-but-soothing palette of pink and beige. Incorporating soft but inspiring colors like this into your home gym ideas, either by painting the walls, adding art, or installing wallpaper, will boost your mood while you’re in the room and get you pumped for your workout.

artwork on shelf in redesigned gym home gym ideas

Avoid Clutter

Take stock of the equipment you’ll be using (weights, machines, mats) and arrange them for easy access and orderliness. Make sure you have the right items to organize the room so it doesn’t become cluttered, but also avoid trying to fit too much in the room, says Soria. “I originally had a lot more shelving, but once I started using the space, I realized there wasn’t enough room to actually exercise, so I had to remove some of it. Working out takes up more room than you think.”

Shelving and closed storage are still super important, though. Just make sure you’re choosing pieces that won’t crowd the space. In smaller rooms, this can be tricky to manage, but it’s absolutely doable. For example, if you’re looking to double-up your office as a home gym, consider adding a room divider screen to visually separate the spaces. You can place a tall cabinet nearby and store your dumbbells, workout towels, and miscellaneous gym equipment inside so it’s out of sight when you’re working, but easily accessible when you workout.

The Finishing Touches

londo lodge gym satie dog home gym ideas

Nobody wants their home gym ideas to feel sterile. Look for opportunities to add good, functional design where possible. “I made storage into a design element by adding simple wood pegs to the wall to keep pull-down attachments neat,” he says. Pretty bins and baskets keep smaller equipment contained, and open shelving keeps your gym feeling airy. And don’t forget to add art and smaller accents so there’s plenty of personality. At the end of the day, it should be a room you actually want to spend time in!

By Hannah Baker | Portrait and gym images courtesy of Orlando Soria | All other images courtesy of the brands

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