10 Inspiring Small Home Gym Ideas

published Sep 28, 2023
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As many people know all too well, the success of a workout regimen does not depend on the size of a gym or the aesthetic of an exercise studio; it’s about committing to personalized, bite-sized goals. This can happen anywhere, on any budget, despite what the fancy gyms and high-end studios want you to think. 

But when most people think of home gyms, they think about ugly garages or bland storage rooms that also have a treadmill thrown in. We’re here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’ve been thinking about crafting a space in your home that’s dedicated to working out, we’re here to drop some friendly doses of inspiration. Here are 10 inspiring examples of small home gyms that pack a big punch and are actually aesthetically pleasing. 

Think vertically.

There are so many personalized touches in Marie’s eclectic, modern home in Raleigh, North Carolina, but her favorite DIY moment is her home gym. By making the space beautiful with plants and eye-catching wallpaper, Marie has made it easier to commit to a workout. The punching bag installed to the ceiling means one fewer thing on the floor. Additionally, sticking to a sleek color palette creates visual cohesion.

Stage your space.

It’s well-known in the world of closet organization that staging your closet like a boutique can elevate your space and, oftentimes, make your space more functional. The same goes for small home gyms. The little touches count if you want your home gym to feel like an actual gym. 

Toni Hammersley of A Bowl Full of Lemons stores towels, small weights, and exercise bands in labeled baskets. This method means you always know where your items live and when they need to be restocked. It’s especially helpful if your tiny home gym is shared with roommates or family members.

Credit: Kim Thomas

Clear the floors.

Fitness is an important part of designer David Quarles, IV’s life. When gyms shuttered due to the pandemic, Quarles, IV decided to convert the unused car park of his Memphis mid-century ranch home into a home gym. Because he teaches Zumba, he needs equipment off the floor, which is where the simple hook system comes into play. Storing weights on a rack also ensures maximum movement area. 

Select your hero equipment. 

Pamela Kaupinen knows how to make the most of small space — and I mean really small. Her 385-square-foot Chelsea rental has its own home gym and office. Kaupinen was first nervous about adding the Peloton out of fear that it would disrupt her home’s sleek design, but it turns out she is “quite pleased with how it integrated seamlessly.” If you’re low on space, prioritize a piece of multifunctional equipment to help you reach your fitness goals, whether that’s a mini trampoline, yoga ball, or stepper. 

Credit: Esteban Cortez

Show it off.

It’s typical to hide workout equipment, but Joyce Chen’s West Oakland Loft defies tradition. The vintage Everlast punching bag hanging in the living room is an invitation to sweat it out and a reminder that everything can be beautiful. When selecting workout equipment, find pieces that fit your vibe and keep it visible. Bonus: The more you see workout equipment, the more likely you are to use it. 

Find smart space savers.

A rollaway cart is the perfect way to store gym necessities in a small space — especially if your hanging space is limited. Taking up just 2 square feet and costing just about $30, this IKEA cart can store towels, light weights, exercise bands, shoes, and more. The punchy color of the cart complements the wallpaper and gives the space a whimsical feel. 

Credit: Lela Burris

Peg it up.

Blogger Lela Burris of Organized-ish uses a galvanized metal peg board to store objects in her sunroom-sized gym. This multifunctional storage solution keeps equipment visible, organized, and off the ground. The color-coordinated workout equipment is an extra nice touch. 

Credit: IKEA

Use room dividers unconventionally.

An extendable curtain rod works overtime in this slim studio as a space for hanging extra items. A mirror mimics yoga class, and the see-through room divider provides extra space for storage (and privacy). The proximity to the window creates an open feel. 

Get crafty.

Courtney and Brent of Gray House Studio are DIY experts. They crafted this custom yoga mat rack to help create a home gym that complemented their design style. This solution makes mats easily available, and the rack doesn’t scream “gym.” 

Make it beautiful.

Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions has a home gym that’s more than a home gym. It’s a place for morning meditation, journaling, and centering. She opted to purchase Lululemon’s Studio Mirror as her hero equipment and made the place beautiful with natural plants, statement wallpaper, and essential oil diffusers. A Gorilla Mat sits on top of the carpet for extra padding. This space is a reminder that when a room is intentionally designed for purpose, it gets more use.