By Julia Malacoff

Published on January 18, 2017

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Photography by BOAT PEOPLE BOUTIQUE

A home gym might seem like an unattainable luxury, but these crafty examples prove that if you have even a sliver of unused space in your abode, you can make one work. It all depends on a smartly-designed layout, of course. From creative storage solutions to optical illusions that will make your own little fitness space feel bigger than it actually is, take a cue from these sweat-friendly interiors and get inspired to create your own—no matter how tiny your living space.  

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Photography by Melissa George via Polished Habitat

Use a pegboard

These babies aren’t just for desk supplies anymore. Store exercise essentials like towels, workout guides, headphones, and even your yoga mat on a pegboard that also serves as wall decor. You can even display your workout mantra on or above it. These are super useful as a storage solution because you can customize them however you want, creating a layout that works for you and allows you to maximize the space you have. 

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Photography by Janis Nicolay via HGTV

Organize it like a closet

Do you have a free wall where you could set up a closet organizer? Instead of storing clothes, keep your workout gear and sports equipment in it. A mix of open cabinets and doors lets you display some of your brighter pieces while putting away anything that looks messy or boring.

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Photography by IKEA

Repurpose book storage

These shelves and storage cubes might be meant for books and decorative items, but they work perfectly for fitness equipment, too. Stash your heavy stuff like kettlebells and dumbbells closer to the floor, and stick lighter items like jump ropes and resistance bands up high. If you like to watch workout videos while you get your sweat on, prop your computer up on a shelf where you can see it clearly, rather than having to strain your neck looking down at the floor. Hooks that would normally be used to hang light bags and coats also come in handy for lighter items.

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Photography by I Heart Organizing

Don’t be afraid to keep it compact

Your storage area and workout equipment don’t need to be far away from each other, as long as you’re not knocking into anything while you exercise. This bookshelf and mounted shelf combo are a prime example of making the most of a corner space without losing precious real estate. A mix of neutral and brightly colored bins and baskets provide a way to keep things looking clean and organized.  

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Photography by Lowe’s

Symmetry is your friend

As you can see, wall storage is definitely an ally when it comes to creating a home gym that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Keep things looking visually appealing by building in symmetry. Even if your fitness area isn’t quite as neat as this one, a setup that’s even on both sides will imply an organized environment. Switching up the types of baskets and storage containers you use from shelf to shelf will make the setup feel more personal, and a pop of color on one wall is a great way to make your exercise retreat feel like your happy place. 

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Photography by Bowl Full of Lemons

Make

the space

multitask

You’d never know it, but this treadmill actually flips up against the wall, meaning this room can be used for other purposes when it’s not serving as a workout space. While a treadmill is a large financial commitment, a set of resistance bands will run you less than $50 and can be used for a variety of exercises. Even if you don’t want to invest a lot of cash decorating your home gym, simple touches like equipment in different colors and a bright bulletin board can make things feel less monotonous. 

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Photography by Studio Gray House

Don’t be afraid to DIY

If you can’t find the exact thing you’re looking for to finish off your workout setup, why not create it yourself? This custom yoga mat holder looks clean and polished and can fit well into any space, plus could be used for other items like barbells or light dumbbells. 

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Photography by Interiors by Kenz

Adapt your space to the workouts you like most

If you love to barre so hard, go ahead and install your own personal ballet barre. If you like doing your own bootcamp workouts, make sure you stock up on medicine balls and dumbbells and have enough space to successfully bang out those burpees. Having a home gym you actually want to use is all about customizing it to your own preferences. 

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Photography by In My Own Style

Use the mirror trick

This spare bedroom gym is actually pretty spacious, but its use of mirrors is what’s so genius about it. First, you don’t have to invest in a huge, expensive wall mirror if you line up several small ones for a similar effect. Second, mirrors work wonders for making a room feel larger than it actually is, so if your area is feeling especially cramped, give this a try. As a bonus, having a mirror is very helpful for all kinds of workouts, including pilates, barre, and dance cardio. 

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