Friday Dec 02, 2022

How to Design a Home Gym That You’ll Actually Use – The New York Times


A new year often comes with new resolutions, and for many, those resolutions center on physical fitness. Whether you want to work off all those holiday cookies or stretch your way into a healthier year, a home gym can make that more convenient — and safer, as the pandemic rages on.

A dedicated home gym isn’t a necessity, of course, but if you’re fortunate enough to have the space, it can be a real luxury — especially if it’s well designed. To make it a place where you’ll enjoy spending time, give it some thought and concentrate on the design, advised Sara Story, a New York-based interior designer and exercise enthusiast. “It should have a good atmosphere and good lighting,” she said, much like any other room in your home.

For tips on designing a hard-wearing gym that’s a joy to use, we asked designers how they approach workout spaces.

Although it’s nice to have an expansive space for your gym, it doesn’t need to be a huge room. Nicole Hollis, an interior designer, turned a small, awkward room on the top floor of her San Francisco townhouse — roughly the size of a walk-in closet — into her home gym.

“We have this little room that’s too small to be a bedroom, so we set it up as our gym,” Ms. Hollis said. Rather than trying to de-emphasize the tight quarters, she played them up, painting the walls and floor in dark colors to create a sense of drama, a strategy that many designers use for powder rooms.

Credit…Douglas Friedman

Basements are a popular place for home gyms because they often have leftover space, but for the fitness-obsessed, it’s perfectly acceptable to put a gym in a more prominent spot — like an unused guest room, or a home office.

Olga Hanono, an interior designer, recently completed a four-story home in Mexico City with a gym on the top level, which has glass doors and views over neighboring rooftops. “It’s not the deepest, most obscure corner of the home,” she said. “On the contrary, it’s a space filled with natural light.”

If possible, it’s best to put the gym near a bathroom, said Jimmy Crisp, the principal of Crisp Architects, in Millbrook, N.Y., because “chances are, you’re going to want to shower after you work out.” And if you’re going all out, consider installing spalike features like a steam shower or a sauna.

There are many ways to work out, from free weights to elliptical machines, so knowing which equipment you’ll actually use is important. And if you want a gym that is as attractive as it is functional, you’re in luck: Finding good-looking …….


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