Designer tip: Mary Bryant Smith on creating a chic workout space

Stock photo.

It can be hard to get to the gym on a good day, not to mention during a global pandemic that made us a bit too accustomed to the perks of being a couch potato. Everything looks heavier. Those weights in the corner are an even bigger eyesore. But sometimes, a little perspective—or a new coat of paint—is the first step to a new habit. To learn more, we reached out to interior decorator Mary Bryant Smith of M.B. Smith Design for an expert’s advice on creating a workout area within your own home.

“If you’re looking for an energizing space, look for warm colors like yellows and reds,” Smith says. “In fact, there’s been a study recently on color and the way people respond to it, and apparently the ‘happiest’ color—or the one that makes people feel the best—is pink, believe it or not.”

An industrial chic aesthetic—from exposed brick to metal detailing—might be just the thing for incorporating workout gear into a home space. Stock photo.

Warm and bright lighting are also important for creating energy, though cooler, softer tones might be more in tune with the quieter atmosphere desired for calming workouts like yoga.

But what about the equipment we need? The weights, or even the full-fledged treadmills?

“If you really wanted to hide workout equipment in a room that isn’t a designated home gym, you could try to use a hinged screen in a corner of a room and keep everything behind that,” she says. “Or, if hiding something would be impossible and you wanted to just incorporate the workout equipment into the space itself, I would suggest picking up on a certain style, like industrial chic or industrial farmhouse, that complements the aesthetic.”

Metals, exposed pipes, rustic bricks. Not a bad look for our era’s love of natural textures and comforting details. And as our peek into Title Boxing Club told us, an energizing splash of red may be just the motivator for a mood-enhanced room.


Check out this at-home workout flow from Meredith Waguespack of Don’t Stop Just Geaux here. And let us know your favorite home workout in the comments below.

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