Billiards and ping-pong tables are nice, but your basement can be more exciting. Think home bouldering walls, indoor lap pools, interactive exercise mirrors…If you’re interested in transforming your basement into a unique, expertly-designed home gym, keep reading.
Most South Bay beach towns, such as Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, have square footage and height limitations for new builds, in order to preserve ocean views and neighborhood integrity. Fortunately, basements aren’t counted in these square footage tallies. The custom homes White Sands build in Southern California typically have a basement, and one fantastic way to use this magical, “invisible” space is to create a hyper-personalized home gym.
Photo by Anatase Marago /Unsplash
How To Choose An Exercise Room Flooring
Flooring in a home gym should be strong enough to protect sub-flooring. It needs to support heavy equipment, but it should also cushion falls. You’ll want an impact-absorbing material with a non-slip finish. Good flooring increases stability and power, which helps you get the most out of your workout. There are other options, but these are some of our favorites.
Tried & True Rubber
Rubber is the primary choice for commercial gyms, for good reason. It’s durable, dampens sound, and cushions impact. It’s great if your routine involves lifting and big machines.
If your routine is mostly yoga and pilates, foam may work for you, but it’s not durable enough to stand up to heavy equipment.
Blend With Wood
Want your exercise space to have a similar vibe to the rest of your home? Wood floors look great and can be fitted with foam backing to be more impact-absorbent. They’re perfect for dancing and aerobics but can splinter if your routine involves heavyweights.
Cork is a mold-resistant and eco-friendly option. Rather than cutting the whole tree, the bark is harvested—so one cork tree keeps giving and giving. Cork works well for low-impact work-outs, but can’t handle tons of weight.
Design Basics: Walls, Lighting, & Ventilation
When you hear the phrase “accent wall,” a home gym is probably not what springs to mind. But wallpaper, decorative wall-covering, or bold paint color can help you maintain energy and focus during a workout.
Lighting Your Workout
Lighting has a huge impact on the overall ambiance of a space. Bright lights can elevate energy levels, while more soothing lights can be great for stretching, barre, and yoga.
Natural light is ideal for most home gyms. If that can’t be managed, we create an artificial lighting environment that mimics natural lighting.
Ventilation Is A Must
If your basement doesn’t have above-ground windows, your gym may need an exhaust fan to deal with moisture and odor issues.
Think Outside The Weight Room
The best part about your home gym is that it can be personalized to meet your family’s needs.
Hone Your Technique On An Indoor Rock Wall
Photo by Eli Christman
Into rock climbing, or have a kid with pro-ambitions? Nearly any pro-climber will tell you that home training is an important part of developing skills and strength. You can turn all or portions of your home gym into a climbing facility, with boulder walls and padded flooring. You can even create a multi-story climbing wall with an automatic belay system.
Make Those Laps In Your Basement Pool
Photo by Jurre Houtkamp / Unsplash
What does Manhattan Beach have in common with London? Space is in short supply, and everyone wants more of it. Basement pools are hugely popular in luxury homes in London, and they’re entirely doable in the South Bay, as well.
You don’t need to have a huge basement to have an efficient exercise pool—you simply need a pool that fits your space. A long, narrow pool is perfect for laps. A small water treadmill, with jets that provide resistance, will allow you to swim while staying in place. You can also build a larger basement pool with a moveable floor on top, so that you can use your basement as a social space.
Aerial Yoga, Exercise Poles, & Ropes
Into aerial yoga or want to be? You need a ceiling at least nine feet tall, with five feet of clearance in every direction, and a structure designed to handle the extra load. All of these things can be easily accomplished with a custom build.
Along the same lines, a climbing rope or a fixed pole could be amazing additions to your exercise routine.
A squash court is 18.6’ x 32’. A 16-foot ceiling is recommended but not entirely necessary. A youth half-court for basketball is 37’x42’, with a 10-foot tall goal. Your basement can be designed around these dimensions, or these courts can be modified to fit your basement.
Spas, Smoothies, & Smart Mirrors
A wall of mirrors makes any exercise studio more fun. Mirrors help you keep proper form, which is important to avoid injury. They also bounce light and make a space seem larger and more open.
The newest tech in home gyms is interactive or smart mirrors. Smart mirrors look like regular mirrors but can also function as display screens with wi-fi features. You can stream internet exercise classes or have one-on-one sessions with your personal trainer. You can also stream the latest episode of your favorite show.
A home sound-system with mounted speakers or mounted TV’s can make your workout seem less like “work.”
If you love protein smoothies, why not dedicate a corner of your basement gym to a beverage station, with a mini-fridge and blender?
Add a home spa, with a shower and sauna, for a relaxing post-workout detox and cleanup.
Photo by Lauren Pressey
Basement Bells & Whistles
You can make your basement gym whatever you want it to be. If you need some help brainstorming, please reach out. We’re full of ideas and creative suggestions!
Thanks for reading,