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Raise the Bar on Your Fitness Routine: How to Create an Inviting, Elevated Home Workout Environment

Even if you were really disciplined over the holidays and didn’t overindulge in the holiday treats, we all know January is the time of year to start or recommit to healthy habits. With flu (and everything else!) season in full swing, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that a public gym really isn’t the place I want to be at the moment. Though there are so many reasons I love having a dedicated workout space at home, that reason alone is pretty compelling!

A luxurious home workout space complete with leather punching bag, herringbone flooring, and exposed brick wall.
You feel elevated and inspired just entering a space like this, let alone working out in it! Image via Lexi Grace Design

Here in California, we love our outdoor fitness activities (hiking and cycling for me). It can be challenging to find the motivation to work out when we’re stuck indoors in less-than-ideal weather, but I know that having a dedicated and inviting workout space within the comfort of your own home is a fitness game changer regardless of the season.

Interior designer Sophie Patterson recently posted her own home gym. It’s a small space off of her master bedroom but (like everything else Sophie does) it's gorgeous and amazing. It’s clean and minimalistic but the beautiful finishes give it an elevated effect.

As a designer myself, one of my favorite projects is creating luxurious and inspiring environments for my clients’ daily workouts. It’s such a treat for them to have a space that’s beautifully designed and completely customized to their workout and style preferences.

Here’s how I approach those projects.

Prefabricated modular cabin in pale wood used as home workout space with weight bench that converts to a desk
This prefabricated modular cabin, dubbed “Space Of Mind,” is adaptably designed to be built anywhere and makes for an ideal dedicated home workout space. Image via

Set Goals for the Space

SAs with any other space, before we dive into designing a workout area, it’s important to consider what type of exercises my client plans on doing. For example, if they prefer pilates or yoga, the design needs to provide sufficient floor space, as well as storage for mats, blocks, and straps.

If weight training is on their agenda, on the other hand, we have to create a layout that considers the measurements of all the equipment–not to mention we have to make sure the floor can hold all that weight!

Just about anything is possible once we establish what type of environment the client needs. In fact, we recently installed a dance floor in the living room of a client. It turned out beautifully, but even more importantly, this kind of customization sends a powerful message that says, “I care enough about my health and well-being that I put care and attention into my environment.”

The Non-Negotiables

Whatever the fitness activity of choice, light, bright, and airy is my goal when designing workout spaces. I always want to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation and airflow in the room. Unless it’s hot yoga, no one likes a stuffy workout space. Natural light energizes us and contributes to our well-being, so it’s absolutely imperative to have as much as possible in our home workout spaces.

If you have a choice of where to locate yours in your home, choose a spot with the exposure that provides the best light. Adding a wall of mirrors to a home gym is great for working out and also reflects (and thereby increases) the natural light.

Materials Matter

As with any other space in the home, the more elevated, luxurious, and beautiful a home gym feels, the more likely it is to get used with regularity. To ensure these spaces are truly inviting and inspiring, I focus on using materials and finishes that are consistent with the level of sophistication and quality we use in any other space in the home.

Whenever possible, I opt for natural materials like wood and stone not only because they’re beautiful and lend themselves to the inviting, chic atmosphere we’re going for, but also because they’re healthier than most man-made options. After all, shouldn’t our home workout spaces be as supportive of our health and well-being as they can be?!

Though it may not get quite the same level of use as a kitchen or a bathroom, I consider the durability and maintenance of the materials I select for workout spaces in the same way. What might get banged into by a hand weight? How easy will it be to keep the floors and walls clean?

It’s amazing how much of an impact beautiful materials and custom features that support our clients’ favorite fitness activities have on their pursuit of better health. By raising the bar on their home workout spaces with thoughtful design elements, they’re even further motivated toward achieving their fitness goals. That’s the power of good design at work!

Want a truly elevated fitness experience in your own dream home workout space? Let’s get started!


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