Home gym ideas – 10 essential design rules for creating a beautiful space for exercise

These inspiring home gym ideas will turn your spare room into a beautiful space that you will actually enjoying working out in

Home gym ideas
(Image credit: Technogym)

Home gym ideas are a great way to incorporate wellness and vitality into your home without the hassle of an expensive gym membership.   

A cleverly-designed home gym that factors in key interior design elements, which are both visually appealing and fully-functional, makes the prospect of a workout far more enticing. 

'People often assume an at-home gym is all about the equipment; it’s not, just as an actual gym isn’t just about the equipment,' says interior designer Katharine Pooley. 'It’s about the changing rooms, the music, the lighting, the atmosphere; the same is said for your at home workout space. Make sure you’re creating an experience for when you exercise; much like they do in boutique gyms.'

Home gym ideas – 10 ways to exercise in the comfort of your own home

Use our guide on how to build a home gym for home gym ideas that are stylish – and most importantly, functional. 

1. Create the ideal setting for your home gym

small home gym with grey walls

(Image credit: Amy Bartlam / Stephen Kenn Loft Gym)

In order to design a home gym that is perfect for you, first be honest about what you will actually do there and the equipment you need to reach your fitness goals. 

‘When drawing up the floor plan, be practical about the size of the room you have and what will fit in comfortably,’ says interior designer Kelly Hoppen. ‘You won’t enjoy exercising if everything is too close together and you are left with very little space for stretching.’   

It is also worth adding a few individual touches, something to make the space personal to you, such as beautiful artwork, neon signage, motivational messages or captivating photography.

2. Get the acoustics right in a home gym

Home gym with large window and exercise bike

(Image credit: Technogym)

The interior design and acoustics of your home gym are as fundamental as the equipment you choose.   

‘People often assume an at home gym is all about the equipment; it’s not, just as an actual gym isn’t just about the equipment,’ says interior designer Katharine Pooley. 

‘It’s about the music, the lighting, the atmosphere; the same is said for your at home workout space. Make sure you’re creating an experience for when you exercise; much like they do in boutique gyms.’  

These elements help you create a space that matches your specific needs: just as you would design a tranquil bedroom, or a functional kitchen, you should also take care when planning a home gym that is energizing, calming and motivating in equal measures. 

3. Put the focus on functionality

Yoga station for a home gym

(Image credit: Future)

'Functionality is key for your home gym ideas, spaces should be zoned to ensure all exercises can be undertaken with adequate space,' advises designer Katharine Pooley (opens in new tab)

'Size is very important – you need to have enough space to achieve your goals for the space. If you’re a regular gym goer, you’ll be in there a lot so it needs to be space you enjoy spending time in, and have enough space to feel relaxed and not cramped. I find, especially in the current climate, that the equipment itself isn’t what’s vital; it’s having a space you like being in, and that works for your needs. If a simple yoga or meditation space is all you require from your home gym, don't be afraid to keep it as just that – no frills – just pure relaxation.

4. Define each workout zone

Home gym ideas with treadmill and wood panels

(Image credit: Technogym)

It’s a good idea to clearly define the different spaces 'zones' within your home gym ideas for example a yoga area, a weights section, a cardio corner. Each exercise comes with a different mentality, and that should be reflected in the space itself.

5. Install a sauna or steam room if space allows

Home gym with sauna and steam room bathroom

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

The gym isn't just about exercising, sometimes we like to work up a sweat in a more relaxing manner. Fit for large home gyms, a sauna or steam room will help your space look and feel expensive and opulent.

Embrace the best bathroom layout ideas, modern bathroom materials and mood-boosting lighting to create a luxury bathroom that will conjure up the peace and serenity associated with your favorite spa.

As manufacturers have invested in shower and steam room technology, they are giving us more potential to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy at home. 'You could choose a sports-style directional shower head designed to deliver an invigorating experience and help relieve muscle pain should you wish,' says Yousef Mansuri, director of design, C.P. Hart (opens in new tab).

6. Ensure that your flooring is durable 

Home gym with wood floor and rug

(Image credit: Technogym)

Strong, hard-wearing flooring is a must for a home gym. Wood flooring ideas are versatile enough for every room – home gym included– and creates a seamless flow when laid throughout a home. Smart enough for a grand or small space yet with the durability to withstand splashes, spills and high traffic. It's also a neutral base for layering yoga and floor mats when you want that extra comfort or protection from the hard surface.

7. Hang mirrors to perfection 

Home gym ideas with mirror wall

(Image credit: Technogym)

A mirror is another home gym essential. Mirrors are a wonderfully versatile design feature, adding instant luxury and interest, while maximizing light and boosting the sense of space – perfect if your gym is on the smaller side. 

Decorating with mirrors is more involved than you may think. ‘We always recommend going for the largest mirror you can afford to make the most of every ray of light from your mirror’s reflection,' says award-winning interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE.

8. Turn a spare room into a home gym 

Home gym in the hall with punch bag

(Image credit: James Merrell)

If you can create the space for it you really should consider it – a home gym is such an asset, it actively encourages fitness and positivity in your life. There are so many areas in our homes that are underused; spare bedrooms, basements and attics full of clutter, out buildings and garages sitting empty. By comparison a home gym is something you and your family will use and enjoy every day and will be an uplifting and empowering addition to your home.

9. Consider the best equipment for your space

Home gym ideas

(Image credit: Technogym)

When choosing home gym equipment for a space space, Jiin Kim-Inoue, Design Director at Finchatton (opens in new tab) suggest opting for one piece of equipment that can do it all. 

'We have recently seen an increase in requests for home gyms that include the most up-to-date and space-saving equipment such as the new Technogym Bench, which includes dumbbells, elastic bands and a training mat in its compact design.'

This 'Gym-in-a-Box' is designed to offer infinite training opportunities in just one station to help you achieve up to 200 exercises. The cutting-edge design enables customers to improve athletic performance in a very limited space and provides users direct access to a vast library of video workouts for strength and core training.

10. Get the lighting right

Loft home gym with downlighters and grey walls

(Image credit: Amy Bartlam / Stephen Kenn Loft Gym)

Getting the lighting right in a home gym is crucial to the overall ambience and safety of your space. The best lighting for home gyms can be used to highlight architectural features an equipment, create illusions of space and define zones. In fact, lighting is one of the most versatile design tools that can be used to enhance any room in your home.

Classic lighting structures like pendant lamps and wall sconces have stood the test of time, but don’t be afraid to embrace a brave new world. LED technology has made it possible for light fittings to come in a wider array of designs. 

Alternatively, invest in smart lighting. Smart lighting is growing, especially when controlled through an app. These smart systems allow you to set lighting scenes for the home gym. For instance, you could tell the app that you’re now working out in the space so need a brighter light, which can then be changed again later when you’re unwinding or cooling down.

What are the benefits of a home gym?

The benefits of a home gym are endless. At a time when not only physical health but mental health are at the forefront of minds, it is important to exercise regularly, even if only in short bursts. 

If you can create the space for it you really should consider it – a home gym is such an asset, it actively encourages fitness and positivity in your life. There are so many areas in our homes that are underused; spare bedrooms, basements and attics full of clutter, out buildings and garages sitting empty. By comparison a home gym is something you and your family will use and enjoy every day and will be an uplifting and empowering addition to your home.

What is the best equipment for a home gym?

'When it comes to the best equipment for a home gym, we must remember that every client is unique, so the most important thing to take into consideration is what they will use their home gym for,’ advises Kelly Hoppen CBE. 

‘Most people like to have a cross trainer, a running machine, and a floor mat, but they may also want space for a Swiss-ball, a barre for ballet, a set of weights, a rowing machine, pommel horse and so on.’ 

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.