How to Create Your Own Home Gym (on a budget)

I have always wanted a room dedicated to working out, dance, and fitness.  In our new home I turned a spare bedroom into exactly that!  Creating a unique and inspiring work-out space doesn’t require thousands of dollars to design, like I once thought.  With a little hard work (hey that’s exercise too, right?), I made my own home gym.
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Locate a Spare Space:
We are lucky enough to have a spare bedroom, but if you don’t any spare space can be utilized.  Some ideas may include an unused nook in your master bedroom, a garage, or even converting a guest room into a multi-purpose space.
home gym
I actually worked on this project while my fiancé was out of town as a surprise for him. 🙂 Demo was the first step.  As you can see in the photo above, I removed the carpet first.  I cut the carpet into manageable 2 foot wide strips with a utility knife so I could easily roll it and carry it out.  Next, I had to remove the carpet tack strip, which was a pain.  I used a pry bar (you can see it in the pic above) and a hammer to pop it out of the concrete sub-floor.  The little nicks and holes left behind didn’t matter since I was covering the floor with a semi-solid surface.
Anti-Slip Aerobic Flooring:  
 home gym
After a thorough sweeping I decided to install aerobic impact sub-floor along with an anti-slip flooring surface in my room.  This sounds really fancy and expensive, but for such a small room it wasn’t too bad. The sub-floor helps absorb shock, which is better for your joints while the anti-slip surface is safer when wet and much easier to keep clean than carpet.
The aerobic impact sprung sub-floor comes in pre-made panels made by Stage Step. They can ship them to you ready to go or you can download the instructions from Stage Step and you can buy most of the materials locally.  It’s a rather easy DIY project and the 2 foot panels are kind of like putting together a big puzzle.
Springstep IV Subfloors
courtesy of
I also purchased my anti-slip vinyl flooring surface from Stage Step Flooring.   Do you see those big black rolls leaning on the wall in the picture below?  That’s the vinyl flooring! Once you try this floor you’ll fall in love…like a fitness fanatic! It’s easy to clean, install, and the best part is that if you move to a new home, you can roll it up and take it with you!

By purchasing remnants from Stage Step you can really save $$.  Installation is soooo easy.  The pieces arrive either “cut to exact length” or with the remnants you can easily cut it yourself with a utility knife.  It comes in 6 foot wide sections and I only needed two 6′ x 12′ strips for this room.  The middle and sides are seamed together with special vinyl tape (sold at or in a pinch, you can use plain old duct tape. 🙂 This floor will provide more traction and prevent slips and falls when you’re sweating and burning all those calories.

home gym


Finalizing a Color Scheme:
home gym
I chose bright colors for this space because I wanted to feel awake and alive walking into the room.  I chose 3 colors from Walmart’s Better Homes & Gardens line and found two colors in the oops bin at Walmart and Lowes. (If you aren’t familiar with oops paint, it’s paint that was previously mixed and returned sold at a discounted price).
  • Modest Magenta – 1 quart Satin BHG Walmart
  • Green Saddle – 1 quart Satin BHG Walmart
  • Orange Spice -1 quart Satin BHG Walmart
  • Blue oops paint  – 1 quart Walmart
  • teal green oops paint – 1 gallon from Lowes
  • Country White by ColorPlace – 1 gallon Satin from Walmart
Three walls were painted with the teal green “Oops paint” I found at Lowes.  I actually had a rebate for $5 for  Valspar paint, so in total I spent $5.00 on a gallon of green paint.  Love me some Oops paint!
On the fourth wall I used Country White pre-mixed paint from Walmart.  Then I used the four bright colors to stencil some motivational words in a splash type design under the ballet barre.
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With textured walls, I purposely chose letters that would look okay with messy edges.
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I used a level to get the letters straight and then erased my pencil lines after I finished.
home gym
Stenciling on textured walls is enough of a pain so I decided on a graduated design under the ballet barre that would allow the words to trail off.  I like that it has an asymmetrical feel; it gives it some interest and the wall doesn’t look so cluttered with all the different colors.
 home gym
We didn’t have a budget for floor to ceiling mirrors so I decided on a semi-temporary solution.  Lowes sells sheet mirror cut into 24″ x 30″ pieces.  I used 4 of them together to make a larger mirror.  I hung them using mirror mastic and with the help of these handy dandy little suction cups.  They are meant for moving glass and hold 12 lbs each.  At only $7 a piece from Home Depot I can’t beat that.
 home gym
Before applying mirror mastic, I drew a level line at the base of where I wanted the mirrors.  Then I screwed in some temporary mirror clips for support.  After dabbing on the mirror mastic as shown in the photo below, I used my suction cups to carefully place the mirror on the wall.
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Mirrors all in place and of course I decided to add another color.  Great lack of planning on my part!  The painters tape helped to hold the mirrors in position as the mastic dried.
home gym
I mounted a small TV to the wall for watching all those exciting work-out DVD’s.  The corner shelf keeps the DVD player and stereo within easy reach, while the mounted TV swivels to make viewing easy from all angles.
home gym
The fridge is an obvious necessity in a home gym, while the file cabinet was something I had on hand and decided to revamp for storage.  I used a DIY chalk paint recipe with the Green Saddle color I purchased.  For DIY chalk paint I use one part plaster of paris (mixed) and 3 parts satin / semi gloss paint.  You can read more about my DIY chalk paint recipe here.
home gym
 The file-cabinet-turned-storage is great to have in the room.  Now all the ankle weights, yoga blocks, and other accessories have a home and will (hopefully) remain organized and neat.
Exercise Equipment: 
For us this includes mostly basics (a treadmill, some yoga mats, exercise bands, and free weights) and one non-basic, my ballet barre.
Even the cat is getting a work-out.  🙂
These inexpensive hooks provide a great way to organize exercise bands and my fiance’s pull-up bar.  They are easily within reach when needed.
And…of course, I had to install my ballet barre. 🙂  I’ve had this barre for years, but a coat of magenta paint on the mounting support made the natural wood stand out.  Want a barre like this?  Visit

Lastly, some weight racks help to hold our free weights.  Can you tell which ones are mine? 😉

This room is more than functional and the bright colors are energizing when I don’t feel like working out.  Anything that helps fight the battle of the bulge while being an element of style itself is a great addition to a well-groomed home.
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