Published: May 19, 2021 | Updated: Jun 22, 2021

7 Must-Have Features for Your Home Gym Design

Other than a home office, one of the biggest home essentials in 2021 is a basic home gym, or even better, a luxury home gym! Don't leave out these essentials!

Custom home gym

Keeping active has to be a huge priority whether we are working at home or in an office downtown. Exercise boosts your mood, keeps your immune system strong, and gives you energy.

The tricky part is: finding the time to squeeze in a good workout can be tough. Thankfully, exercising at home is very convenient!

But wouldn't you like a dedicated workout room so you don’t have to put your stationary bike in the formal living room anymore? We’ve got the home gym ideas you need to achieve the workout routine of your dreams.

Here is our list of must-have home gym essentials…

1. Plenty of space to train

One of the most important elements of your workout room is… space! You need a lot of elbow room to do cardio or jump rope. If you plan to have multiple people working out together, don’t forget to design enough space for everyone to exercise at the same time.

Include space for all of the equipment you want to have and room for other people to walk around the equipment safely when it is in use.

2. A wall-mounted smart TV

This may seem like a small detail, but it is an essential part of many people’s workouts. You’ll have a lot more fun if you can watch a favorite show or, even better, participate in an online workout group.

Let's be honest, staring at a plain gray wall isn’t very motivating for anyone.

Home gym flooring - black rubber tiles

3. Quality home gym flooring

What is the best home gym flooring for your dream home gym? Here are the pros of our favorite options:

Rubber flooring

  • Durable, reduces noise
  • Perfect as a yoga mat, for lifting weights, or doing cardio
  • Easy to clean

Luxury vinyl plank flooring

  • Waterproof
  • Great for basements
  • A little cushion
  • Lots of beautiful styles

Hardwoods or tiles with a rubber mat on top

  • Rubber mat protects the floor
  • Can remove the mat if needed
  • Easily replace the mat


  • Perfect for aerobics, dancing, or kickboxing
  • No odor retention
  • Easy to clean

Artificial turf

  • Better athletic performance
  • Goes well under many machines
home rock climbing wall on woo

4. The right equipment

Home gym equipment is a very personal choice. For some people, a treadmill and place for a yoga mat may be all they want. Others want extensive weight-lifting equipment, a dance floor, or a custom rock wall.

The real question is...

What types of exercise will you and your family want to do in this space? 

Rock climbing with a custom climbing wall.

Yoga to help you relax, maintain flexibility, and melt away your stress.

Cardio workouts to get you ready for a long, productive life.

  • Jump ropes
  • Stationary bike
  • Rowing machine
  • Elliptical machine
  • Treadmill
  • Other cardio equipment
  • Space for jumping jacks or high kicks
  • Vibration platform machines
  • Ski exercise machines

Kickboxing/boxing, fencing, or martial arts training to provide cardio and an added bonus—self-defense.

Strength training to build up your core and get you ready to tackle the world. Figuratively, of course!

Dancing individually, as a couple, or as a family on a large open floor space.

Indoor sports for the family to enjoy staying active together.

Conquering an indoor obstacle course (a la American Ninja Warrior).

Swimming laps in a blissful indoor endless pool.

And for a real luxury home gym, don’t forget to include a sauna!

natural lighting: a wall of windows in a home workout space

5. Proper lighting

This may not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it is. Great lighting is one of our home gym must-haves. 

If you have to go down to a dark basement with no windows and one lightbulb hanging from the ceiling, you’re probably not going to enjoy being in your home workout space, even if it has everything else you could want.

Inadequate lighting is depressing and dreary.

Be sure to include these three types of home gym lighting:

Natural lighting 

  • Large windows 
  • Skylights
  • Glass walls
  • Glass doors
  • Mirrors to reflect light and monitor your form/posture

Ambient lighting from multiple sources in the ceiling.

  • Recessed lighting
  • Multiple ceiling fixtures if it is a large space
  • bright LED bulbs

Mood lighting

  • Include some accent lighting to brighten up dark corners and make the space cheerful and welcoming

You’d be amazed at how the right lighting can make all the difference in your mood and energy level for your home workout.

6. Built-in storage

If you have a place to stash your smaller equipment in beautiful built-in cabinets under a window seat or along one wall, your workout area will stay a lot more user-friendly.

While you are thinking about storage, we would encourage you to have a built-in drink cooler or mini-fridge in your workout space. Hydration is important, after all.

7. The perfect walls

Depending on what you want to do and on your particular architecture, you’ll want different types of walls for your workout space.

  • Interior glass walls 
  • Moveable walls
  • Soundproof walls
  • Reinforced walls to handle wall-mounted exercise equipment
  • Brick walls
  • Walls of exterior windows
  • An open basement concept with no obstructing walls and flexible space
Custom home gym with stationary bike and weight machine and hardwood floors

Home gym setup ideas

The best setup for you depends on your particular lifestyle, fitness goals, and workout routine.

1. Decide on your home gym’s location

2. Plan to face the light… or the tv

It’s important to have your workout equipment facing your TV and the windows or natural light sources, if possible. Why have a gorgeous view if you aren’t going to look at it during your workout?

3. Select your focal point

Think about the amount of space required for all the pieces of equipment and exercises you want to do. Then create a home gym designed around the pieces of equipment and individual workout space each family member needs.

What will be the main attention grabber in the room? Design your decor and traffic flow around it.

4. Involve a trusted interior designer

For extra special home gym design ideas, involve a professional. Creating a home gym that matches the rest of your house design is important. An interior designer can help with this to provide a result you and your family will adore for years!

The perfect home gym decor can give you that extra boost that entices you to spend more time working out.

Ready to design your custom home gym in Lexington, SC?

At Blythe Building Company, we specialize in building luxury homes in Lexington and the Greater Columbia, SC area.

Lee Blythe is a Certified Master Builder, on the board of directors of the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina, and a very experienced custom home builder.

Please contact us today to build your dream home.

We build in areas around Lake Murray, Lake Carolina, downtown Columbia, Pine Ridge, Ballentine, Lexington, and more.


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