Creating a Home Gym – Equipment Layout and Motivation Tips

If you love pumping iron and zoning out on cardio machines, a gym at home may be the perfect fit for you. Whether you’re converting a spare room or a garage, it can be easy to make your workout space feel like an oasis.

Personal touches like oversize photographs and smart speakers that play your favorite music are great options for a home gym.

Basement or Attic

A basement or attic is a great place for creating a home gym because of the extra space, often with plenty of natural light. Use a tape measure to determine how much floor area you have, and draw up a layout with graph paper. It’s a good idea to have the layout planned out before you make any large purchases, so you know what space you will have to work with and what equipment will fit.

Consider safety as you layout your room, too. If any equipment is too close to walls, furniture or other elements, it can cause tripping and falling hazards. Also, think about where you’ll store smaller workout gear like bands, mats and rollers when not in use.

Finally, personalize your workout space with a few fitness-inspired design details that will help you motivate. For example, if you do yoga or pilates, a fun patterned wallpaper and bright, energizing colors can boost your mood. Also, try hanging a few oversize photographs or even real or faux plants to add visual interest and energy to your home gym.

Spare Bedroom

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, some homeowners are opting to reclaim a spare bedroom, an unused corner of the garage or even their basement to create an in-home gym. Before you get started, determine where you’ll store all of the equipment and fitness accessories when you aren’t using them. Keeping gear organized is essential to keep it off the floor and out of sight, says Arizona interior designer Lauren Lerner of Living with Lolo. Baskets, bins and an etagere are all great options for storing towels, yoga mats and lightweight workout gear like resistance bands.

If you’re converting a room into your exercise zone, consider adding a mirror along one wall to help you see your form and gauge your progress. Then choose a color scheme that motivates you to work out, such as greens or other shades that can be energizing or calming. A pretty print and a piece of uplifting artwork are also simple ways to elevate your workout space.

Living Room

If you don’t have a basement or spare bedroom but still want to fit in workouts, consider setting up a home gym in your living room. This set-up eliminates a commute and gives you control over cleanliness, music, and time spent working out.

If your workouts involve equipment like treadmills and stationary bikes, consider placing the space on a lower level to help reduce sound transmission. Basements are often a good choice because concrete slab floors can absorb vibrations and droning noises produced by the equipment.

A few well-chosen decor items can make your home gym more inviting and help you stay motivated to exercise. For example, a full-length mirror can be helpful when working on technique and form; wall art or motivational posters may inspire you to stick with your routine; and air-purifying house plants are always a plus. Storage solutions, such as ottomans with hidden storage compartments and hooks, can also help declutter the area.


Whether you want to burn calories or build muscle, a dedicated home gym is an effective way to keep your fitness goals on track. Depending on your space and budget, you can create an in-home workout studio in a basement, spare room or garage.

Consider your typical routine before you invest in equipment. Do you prefer to lift barbells or do floor exercises like yoga? This will help determine how much storage you need and what kind of exercise machines you can buy.

Lighting is another important consideration for any home workout room. Soft, uplifting LED strip lighting is perfect for yoga and Pilates, while bright task lights are ideal for high-intensity cardio workouts. Make sure to add plenty of glazed glazing to allow in natural light during the day too.

Decorate your home gym with inspirational fitness wall art, decals and posters to encourage you during your sessions. Personal touches like old sports medals and ribbons can add interest to the space. Keep clutter to a minimum with smart storage solutions like floating shelves or bookshelves that can easily accommodate free weights and other workout accessories.

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