What Can You Do With Two Living Rooms?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

One of the busiest rooms in your house, after the kitchen, is likely your living room. It’s where you gather with friends and family, entertain, and relax, and also one of the first rooms guests see. In older homes, two living rooms were common, but what can you do with two living rooms today?

An extra living room can become a home office, playroom, library, or formal dining room. You could also turn a bonus room into something unique to your interests, like a home theatre, music room, or game room. Other popular options are a home gym, lounge bar, or in some cases combining the two spaces into one large living room.

Since it’s your house, the reality is the sky’s the limit (and your budget). But you can turn a spare living room into anything that makes sense for your home and lifestyle. The most important thing is that the final room adds value and function to your house and your life.

Why Do Homes Have Two Living Rooms?

Older homes, especially Victorian houses, often had two formal living rooms or parlors. Typically this was due to gentlemen gathering in one parlor while the ladies had their own space for entertaining. Also, children and servants were often separated from the adults at various gatherings.

Through the years, the idea of two living rooms continued in some homes, with one space being more formal and the other more casual. For example, the family might gather in the more casual living room, but they entertain guests in the formal space.

You’ll often find an extra living room in larger modern homes. But instead of real estate agents referring to it as a second living room, they might use the term bonus room or flex space. In some cases, previous homeowners might have already repurposed the living room as a home office or playroom.

What Should I Do With A Second Living Room?

No matter why your home has a second living room, the good news is you get to make it whatever you want. Consider the room’s location in your house and what type of space could really benefit your life and your home’s functionality.

Don’t just create a space because it sounds cool or it’s what everybody’s doing. If you won’t use it, then it becomes a wasted room.

In other words, if your idea of working out is taking out the trash, you don’t need a home gym. But a library makes perfect sense if you adore books and spend any free time you have curled up with a novel.

When it comes to location, a spare living room near the kitchen can be a fabulous formal dining room if you love hosting dinner parties. But if it’s in the back of the house, far away from your kitchen, that might not make as much sense. Similarly, two living rooms that connect or are side by side could become one large entertaining space.

10 Things To Do With An Extra Living Room

If you’re wondering what to do with two living rooms, you have lots of options. Here are some of the most popular things to do with that extra space.

1. Create A Formal Dining Room

A formal dining room is ideal if you love hosting dinner parties or holiday feasts. If your second living room is near the kitchen (and many are), this conversion can make a lot of sense. It also doesn’t take much effort; some dining furniture and appropriate decor will do the trick.

2. Make A Playroom

Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you that the struggle to hide toys is real and never-ending. A dedicated playroom can be a lifesaver; just shut the door or pull a curtain across the opening. You can make the space as childlike or mature as you prefer; just make sure there’s lots of storage.

3. Turn A Second Living Room Into A Home Office

Nowadays, home offices are almost a requirement. Many more people work remotely, and a place to get some much-needed personal-work-life separation is necessary. Being able to close the room off is a perk, whether with barn doors, French doors, or even a curtain, if that’s what your budget allows.

4. Design A Library

Any bookworm would be jealous of a room full of paperbacks and hardbacks. If you’re a book lover itching to makeover a spare room, why not fill it floor to ceiling with books? Add a cozy spot or two to read comfortably and include proper lighting. If you love to research and dig into what you read, include a desk area too.

5. From Living Room To Lounge

How about turning that dull flex space into your own personal cozy wine bar or urban lounge? Add a killer bar, storage for glasses, and if space allows, a mini-fridge and wine chiller. With a few cozy seating options and a place to serve snacks, you can have date night anytime without leaving home.

6. Make Two Living Rooms One Big Space

If your two living rooms are next to each other, combining them into a larger space might make sense. This is undoubtedly one of the most extensive ideas on the list, but if you want more entertaining space, it delivers.

It can be a great way to add extra seating for larger gatherings or provide space for guests to spread out more. However, before you go knocking down any walls, make sure to hire a reputable contractor.

7. Create A Game Room

If your second living room is a larger space, you could add a pool table, ping pong, or Foosball (or all of the above). Hang a dartboard on the wall or set up a Pinball machine to create the ultimate game room.

Or, for a simpler version, choose your favorite game table from above or opt for a multi-game table. Then add a second playing area for board games or card games. Include a television to set up video games, too, along with some comfy gaming chairs.

8. Add A Home Theatre If You Have Two Living Rooms

If you’re a movie buff, hang a large flat screen, get surround sound, and hang blackout curtains on the windows. Decorate the room with movie memorabilia, have some snack storage, or even a popcorn machine. Add some cozy seating for multiple people and prepare to host a memorable movie night.

9. Make A Music Room

Your music room can be a place to listen to music, play music, or both. Make room for your favorite instruments and storage for things like music books, records, and other media. Add some comfortable seating to enjoy your at-home concerts. Don’t forget some quality headphones, so you can crank up the volume whenever you want.

10. Turn A Spare Room Into A Home Gym

Staying on top of your health can be easier when you don’t have to drive to the gym. If the idea of working out at home appeals to you, a dedicated home gym can be an excellent option for an extra living room.

You can keep it simple with a few basic pieces of equipment or go full throttle with all the gear. But make sure to have adequate storage and leave enough space to maneuver comfortably without feeling cramped.

Mirrors are another good addition to an exercise room so that you can check your form. And if you can swing it, a hydration station; perhaps a small mini-fridge for electrolyte-replacement drinks and protein shakes, etc.

Finally Deciding What To Do With Two Living Rooms

Your final choice about what to use your second living room for depends on your lifestyle. It’s important to utilize every space in your home as wisely as possible, so it functions well for you. Therefore, choose a room that makes the most sense for everyone living in the house. It might be a home office, formal dining room, library, or game room.

If fitness is a top priority, turn the extra living room into a home gym, or make it a music room or home theatre. If it makes sense with the room’s location, you might prefer to combine two living rooms into one larger space for hosting parties. Families with kids might love the idea of having a dedicated playroom, or if it’s adults only, create a swanky lounge.

Basically, you can do anything your imagination and budget will allow. But make sure what you do with two living rooms makes sense for you, and don’t just follow a trend. The most important thing is that your final design adds value to your life and makes you love your home even more.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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