Kids just moved out? 5 remodeling tips for empty nesters

The transition into the empty nester phase can stir a mix of emotions: nostalgia for the years gone by and anticipation for the new chapters ahead. This period often sparks the urge to repurpose and reimagine our living spaces.

Take the tranquil suburban setting of Hinsdale, for example. Hinsdale’s population statistics, showing a sizable 14.6% over 65, indicate that many are either approaching or have already entered the “empty nest” phase.

In this stage of life, numerous people discover quieter households with their children gone. Homes often echo with emptiness, awaiting a new purpose.

But this isn’t just about personal renewal and refreshment. Given Hinsdale’s median owner-occupied housing value of around $880,100, any thoughtful home modifications could considerably boost its appeal on the market.

So, for those looking to redesign their spaces, here’s an idea: Your next home project may not just reflect your tastes but also be a savvy investment in Hinsdale’s thriving real estate landscape.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Rent Out a Room

The transition into an empty nest can often lead to a reassessment of space within the home. If you’ve got an unused attic or basement, think about converting it into a rentable space. With Hinsdale’s median rent being $1,773, this could be a lucrative option. And if you’re serious about renting out a room or section of your home, consider adding a private entrance and upgrading the bathroom to offer privacy and comfort.

Ensure the room or space you’re renting out has modern amenities. This adaptation not only brings in a supplementary income but also introduces a dynamic vibe, partially filling the void left by the departed youngsters. A quick consultation with Hinsdale bathroom remodeling experts could help ensure you provide top-notch amenities to tenants with modern bathroom fixtures. They could also advise you on how to add more space to a small bathroom if the space you’re renting out doesn’t have spacious baths.

  • Art or Hobby Studio

With kids moving out, this is the perfect opportunity for you to indulge in self-expression. Turning a room into your own art or hobby studio can be an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time as an empty nester. Choose a space with good natural lighting if possible, as this will make artwork and crafts shine.

Install storage solutions like shelves, cabinets, and drawers to neatly organize all your supplies and tools. Consider soundproofing the walls or hanging sound-absorbing panels if noise from hammers or power tools could bother housemates. To spark inspiration, decorate your creative zone with artwork, fabric swatches, or objects related to your medium.

An art studio or craft room allows you to fully immerse yourself in your passion. This personalized space not only keeps the memories alive but also makes way for fresh inspiration and ideas. It will also help you stay motivated and consistent with your artistic practice.

  • In-Home Gym

The departure of children often brings a renewed focus on personal health and wellness. Converting an extra bedroom into a home gym is a convenient and budget-friendly way to stay active as an empty nester. Start by getting rubber exercise mats to create a soft, shock-absorbing floor. Ensure you have enough space for equipment like weights, bands, or a stationary bike. Also, install wall mirrors to check your form as you work out, and consider getting blackout curtains or shades to block out light if you plan to exercise early mornings or nights.

For safety, make sure the room is well-ventilated and has access to water. With the newfound silence and freedom, a workout routine can be seamlessly added to your daily life, offering both physical and mental benefits. And as your fitness level increases over time, upgrade to more advanced equipment.

  • Library or Reading Nook

The empty nest phase can be a time of introspection and learning. Book lovers will adore transforming an empty room or cozy corner into a library or reading nook. Install bookshelves from floor to ceiling to house your literary collection.

Choose comfortable seating like a plush armchair or chaise lounge; bring in a floor lamp for soft illumination and a side table to hold snacks and drinks. It’s a chance to revisit old favorites or explore new genres and get out of your comfort zone at the pace you choose. You can choose to decorate with bookish accents like stacked hardcovers, framed prints of book pages, or literary quotes painted on the walls. And if space allows, add a desk to write or work on your own manuscripts.

A library or reading nook provides a quiet retreat to get lost in a good book. Curling up here with a cup of tea and a favorite novel is a simple pleasure.

  • Guest Suite Upgrade

As an empty nester, there’s often an increased likelihood of friends and family visiting, either to catch up or relive shared memories. Make your visitors feel pampered by enhancing a spare room into a luxurious guest suite. Invest in a high-quality mattress and bedding with a plush duvet and include amenities like blackout curtains, a white noise machine, and a charging station. Also, stock the closet with extra blankets, hangers, and fresh towels. Place water bottles and snacks on the nightstand to greet guests.

In the bathroom, provide essential toiletries like shampoo, soap, a toothbrush, and a razor. Receiving loved ones in a warm, inviting space will make their stay memorable and perhaps even encourage more frequent visits, ensuring your home remains filled with laughter and joy. Add small touches like fresh flowers, a welcome note, or chocolates on the pillows. With this treatment, friends and family will feel like they’re at a 5-star hotel. A guest suite makes visits easy and enjoyable.


When making any of these modifications, it’s vital for homeowners in active real estate areas like Hinsdale to find an equilibrium between personal wishes and possible property value increases. Every redesign should align with the homeowner’s changing needs while also considering general marketability. By thoughtfully balancing personal style and future sale/renting value, empty nesters can craft living spaces that support this next chapter of life.

Written by Francis Underwood

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