Exercise Room Makeover

This exercise room makeover was relatively simple and inexpensive to do (under $100). To start, I decided to outline the primary things that I wanted to update:

  1. Fresh coat of paint
  2. Change out the curtains
  3. Find a home for all the accumulated junk
  4. Add some mirrors
  5. Add some simple decor

How it all began..

While we have alway had this room in our home that we called “the exercise room”, it has seen minimal exercising over the years. Yes, it held exercise equipment but it also became home to a bunch of other household items I just didn’t want to deal with (extra pillows, sheets, robes, suitcases, you name it).

My husband had a gym membership and get this… he actually used it. Go hubby! and I simply just didn’t exercise, so there it sat unused…and then COVID-19 hit. My husband stopped going to the gym and with the closure of my physical craft studio my hours dropped from 10-12/day to 8/day, leaving me some time (and energy) to exercise!

So amid all the junk we started exercising. But it felt cramped and dreary in there, so I thought it would be a good time for an exercise room makeover.

Let the exercise room makeover begin!


We started by painting the walls. I stock up on “oops paint” so I have it available for whenever the need to do a makeover arises. For those of you who don’t know what oops paint is, it’s when someone buys paint from Home Depot/Lowes and they don’t end up liking the color, they return it to the store and then it is re-sold at a huge discount as “oops paint”. Generally around $9/gallon for paint that originally cost $30/gallon. I mixed a gallon of purple-ish grey oops paint with some pale yellow oops paint (to neutralize the purple) and off-white oops paint (to lighten the grey) to get a color I wanted.


The next step was to change out the curtains. The curtains that were in there can only be opened by using tie-backs and they are a PIA. It’s nice to have the curtains open, but I was too lazy (yes I get the irony here, seeing that it’s an EXERCISE room) to take the time to tie each side back and then untie them again later in the day when the sun was bearing in, so I wanted something I could just pull open and close.

I installed the ever-so-convenient (and inexpensive) DIGNITET Curtain wire system from Ikea. Using the RIKTIG Curtain hook you can turn anything into a curtain. What do I mean by anything? Well, the new curtains are actually old twin flat sheets that I had sitting in the closet for years. I wanted new curtains but seeing as we only go into this room one time a day, I didn’t really want to spend money on new curtains (remember my tiny budget), so the sheet’s worked out perfectly.


Next on the list – add mirrors. I had 2 old frameless mirrors that I had removed from our bathroom a couple of years ago when I renovated it. They were the boring builder-grade mirrors that come with the house. I wanted smaller nicer framed mirrors in the bathroom – so I removed them and kept them for some future project.

Enter, “some future project”. After storing these mirrors in my office for 2 years, I finally had a project for them! My husband was nice enough to help out and build frames for the mirrors to make them look a little more upscale.

mirror in an exercise room along with resistance bands and towels


The last step was to add some decor. I didn’t want to crowd the room with a bunch of stuff – I wanted to keep it simple so the room maintained a clean and crisp feel. The best way to do that is to take items that actually have a function and turn them into decor pieces themselves. Like my resistance bands and towels.

exercise resistance bands and towels

I used some old wooden framework pieces that we had removed from my dad’s dresser when I helped him renovate his bedroom furniture. Naturally I saved them for a future project (I craft, therefore I hoard). While I went with neutral tones for most of the room, I wanted a few pops of color so I decided to paint the wooden framework teal, then I installed some hooks on them to hold the bands and towels.

Exercise Room Makeover After

I wanted some type of motivational phrase for the room and decided on this one. It’s made with a semi-permanent vinyl, so it’s easy to apply and more importantly easy to remove should I decide to change out the phrase some day. If you would like a custom decal for your wall, we can make them for you at Stencil, just email us!

honeycomb planter

Last but not least, my husband and I built these honeycomb shelves as our main decor piece for the room. I just love how they turned out. I’m thinking of making them into a DIY@Home Craft Kit – what do you think?

Exercise Room Makeover After

That last little decor piece is our DIY “Mojito’s in training” planter, which I placed in the window. Seemed appropriate for the exercise room. You know, because the little mint plants are “in training”, not because I like to enjoy a mojito after working out.

I’m really happy with our new exercise room and even happier that it’s actually being used to exercise!

Update: The Final Piece in my Exercise Room Makeover

I finally got around to making a clock for my exercise room so I can look at it every 2 minutes and say “am I almost done yet?”. I really love how it turned out, but I think it’s one of those decor items that people are either going to love or hate. No in-between here folks.

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Author: Nicole Bolin