Decor Snob Interior Design Ideas and Inspiration
15 Compact Home Gyms for Limited Spaces

5 reasons why it might not be the best idea

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

You may think having a home gym is an impossibility because of limited space. Here’s a little surprise: You can still go and design yourself a home gym even with a smaller room. Don’t believe me? All it takes is the right equipment and know-how (which where I come in).

15 Small-Space Home Gym Ideas

After a deep dive into the world of workout equipment and home gym setups here are 15 Small-Space Home Gym Ideas and what makes them great.

A Fitness Nook

Here’s a cozy space next to the stairs that has everything you need for a good workout. The cardio bike is spaced far away enough from the weights so you won’t have to move it around to avoid bumping into anything. Notice the dumbbells and medicine balls on the left are securely put on a rack and off the floor. One of the best parts of this home gym however is the cable machine (above the grey exercise ball) mounted to the rafters and tucked against the wall when it isn’t needed.

Some Key Takeaways

  • Compact, vertical storage racks help tame clutter without taking up floor space
  • Make use of all your horizontal and vertical storage space, even the walls

Mirror, mirror

It’s common knowledge that mirrors can make the room bigger, but here in a home gym they serve a dual purpose so you can admire your muscles. The shelves make great storage for towels and above them there’s a TV mounted on the wall for you to watch your favorite shows and dream about having the same beach body as the actors on screen. Or maybe watch shows about the food you exercise to eat without feeling guilty about, you do you.

Key Takeaways

  • Mirrors open up tight spaces
  • Storage spaces can play both a functional and aesthetic role in bringing a room together

Multipurpose Equipment

After doing some searching, I was able to find out that this wall-mounted rack can collapse and fold on itself for easy storage on the wall. On the subject of the rack, it also gives you a pull-up bar as well a place to do squats. Equipment like bands and a barbell are hung on different sides of the wall to keep the weight of the space balanced and not look like it’s visually lopsided.

Key Takeaways

  • A folding rack gives you multiple benefits in one easy-to-store package
  • Storage for bands and a barbell are wall-mounted for easy access
  • The box holding the plates keep things organized but also can be DIY’d to save yourself some money

Making the Most of a Small Space

Here’s another good use of mirrors to open up a room. Next to the treadmill is a smaller exercise bike that takes up less space than a traditional one but is also easier to move around should you have the need. The dumbbell rack keeps the space an already small space tidy.

Key Takeaways

  • More compact machines and equipment keep give the room some breathing space
  • Exercise mats keep the machines from leaving indentations on the carpet.

Open Air

Get a breath of fresh air with this open-air workout shed! If you can’t have a gym indoors there’s always a garage or shed that’s waiting to be filled with muscle-making machines and gear. Unless those spaces of yours are crowded with stuff already. I’m afraid at that point you’ll probably have to take that home gym outside. One of the best parts of this one is taking advantage of that nice and warm natural light along with nice airflow to keep things from getting stuffy in there.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use of horizontal plate storage (peeking out from the left) keeps things compact but easily accessible.
  • Neutral tone on the inside balance with the natural colors on the outside

Outdoors Galore

Fun fact: did you know that according to research exercising outside has some great health benefits like improving your mood? Honestly speaking, who wouldn’t be in a good mood with this gym? The highlight of this setup is the concrete rock climbing post and the wall-mounted rowing machine next to the fan, really making the most of the available space without going to the point of overcrowding.

Key Takeaways:

  • DIY projects and features can easily replace expensive specialty equipment and can be custom-fit or made for whatever constraints you have
  • Converting the flooring of an entire area into a lifting platform lets you use the entire space without the fear of damaging your flooring

Small but Tall

This gym has a nice and tall window in the back to give you a nice view and some sunshine, but what makes this one is how well thought-out the arrangement of equipment is. The rack takes advantage of the tall ceiling by having a rope climbing attachment. The choice of shelves keeps things organized and close to the wall, as well as easy to move around thanks to their wheels.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose equipment that plays to the strengths and of your room
  • Shelves are thinner and don’t take as much space as traditional weight storage
  • Besides windows, lighter wall colors lessen the visual weight of the room so it doesn’t feel enclosing

Simple and (pretty) Cheap

We’ve seen fancy attachments and nice rooms, but how about some simplicity? While there are no striking visuals about this home gym setup, it’s strength lies in the basics. Instead of separate storage for plates, the rack has pegs for them, which has the added benefit of holding it down without the need to bolt it to the floor. Speaking of floors, the mats for the equipment covers what’s needed, while it doesn’t look as nice as some of the others on the list, it saves you money, which looks very nice when it’s in your wallet.

Key Takeaways:

  • When/if you can, opt for equipment that can serve as storage
  • If you plan on using horse stall mats, cut them to fit individual machines and racks, so you can space them out as far as you want without being constrained to a single area.

(Almost) a Cabin Gym

With its cozy space and beautiful wood walls you’d think this is some part of a resort of a luxury cabin. But it’s really just a well-balanced space. The walls being made with planks add a little bit of texture without getting busy. While the equipment itself grounds everything with its solid colors. The wall-mounted rack gains some stability from the structure of the room while the rower upfront is light and easily movable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Streamlined and basic equipment like the rower in the photo are money and space savers – machines with extra features tend to take up more room.
  • Texture can ground the flow of a room

Active and Relaxed

This workout room is grounded in soft, natural tones, and shades. It really puts you in a mood that relieves some tension. To keep things from getting overly leisurely (remember, you’re supposed to be exercising!) is an accent wall that speaks actively but not too loudly. It’s done through the painting’s design – straight lines arranged into a sort of maze to retain structure.

Key Takeaways:

  • The equipment doesn’t always have to be the main source of interest in a room
  • Color helps work with tame busyness with a room and can also add movement to keep it from getting bland


Lending itself to a casual and open atmosphere this home gym lets in some fresh air and a nice view outside. Instead of hanging the oversized mirrors on the wall, they lean against them to add subtle angles to the room. The dumbbell rack also does this but also with the benefit of making the weights accessible while also stacking up vertically so it doesn’t crowd the area as a normal wide dumbbell rack would. The red suspension trainer is fed through a ceiling mount so there isn’t a need for a large ground rig.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adding variety can be as simple as adjusting the way you place an object in a space
  • A lot of equipment is still at your disposal even without large rigs or racks, it’s only a matter of finding proper solutions for installing them

Aesthetic and Accessible

While not so much an exercise room as it is an exercise space, this creative storage solution acts like a wall decoration that pays tribute to yoga. Its visual weight is distributed by having the equipment organized by size from smallest to biggest from top to bottom. This also gives it a little flow without sacrificing its utility.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your exercise gear can also play a part in the look of a room.
  • Instead of making the space’s look work with the equipment, the equipment can play to the space


Nobody said a home gym had to be just a home gym. What makes this room work is the way the minimalist design ties things together. One of the dominant colors is a classic white to create some unity and to lighten the weight of the room. Hanging a pull-up bar on the brick wall is a solid choice as it’s sturdy enough to hold the weight, but another perk is that the wall gives some subtle texture to help balance with the visual activity of the books. The mat can easily be folded and tucked away with the other equipment to make this more of a reading room if needed.

Key Takeaways:

  • An open entranceway, like the doorway in the picture, frees up space and keeps it from feeling closed in, this is helpful for multipurpose rooms like this one
  • The visual weight of the bookshelf is lighter thanks to the lighter color and the floating shelves, opt for furnishings like this in your home gym to balance the heft your weights and mat may bring
  • Look for compact and multipurpose equipment like kettlebells, folding mats, and benches that can be moved to the side to give you more space when you need the room for its other purposes.

Wake Up, Work Out

Even if you’re not even much of a morning person having a little spot like this should definitely put you in a mood for some movement. The curtains divide the room to put you in the right mindset for yoga or kettlebell or dumbbell workouts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use room separators to make yourself a workout area without having to expose and use an entire room
  • If you can find it, equipment that matches your room’s colors/materials like the ones pictured can flow and integrate with the rest of the space

Hustle at Home

While this looks like a commercial gym, it’s actually a well-thought-out space that you can take inspiration from. The interlocking foam tiles are good for protecting your floor and can be cut to fit corners and moldings. Gym lockers add storage as well as an athletic flair. The wall art gets you in an active mindset while filling otherwise empty and boring space. The walls are painted with ombre stripes that add movement and they also hint at the image of a running track.

Key Takeaways:

  • Decorative storage keeps the flow of the room but can also be the highlight
  • Experiment with paint techniques and see which ones work best for the organization and design of you gym

Some Things to Consider For Your Home Gym

Like any room, home gyms reflect the work and money you are willing to invest in it. You should always take these things into account:


Look, I know this is about small home gyms but if you can touch the walls with both hands when you reach out with your arms It’s time to find a different room. It’s a bit hard to work out when your room is extra cramped. It can even be dangerous, so make sure your small space isn’t too small.


You don’t want to slip when you’re working out and you don’t want to damage those nice floors either. That is, if your floors are nice in the first place. Sweating on carpet might stink your place up so make sure you have some sort of exercise mats, yoga mats, or a hard floor that isn’t slippery.

Lifter guys and gals who are a lot stronger than me sometimes use horse stall mats, which are thick rubber mats used in….horse stalls. Who would’ve guessed?


It depends on your goals on what you want to fill your new gym space with treadmills, weight racks, cardio bikes, kettlebells, barbells, and the list goes on. Just make sure you factor those in when you’re looking for a room to set up in.

Remember these when you design your small home gym and you’ll no doubt have it in the bag, or rather the gym bag.

Photo: Top House Designs
Photo: Doorsteps
Photo: One Three Design Inc.
Photo: pinterest
Photo: pinterest
Photo: Paul Leonard – Rogue Fitness Facebook Page
Photo: MyFitness Butler
Photo: pinterest
Photo: Ronda Divers Interior Inc.
Photo: pinterest
Photo: Morpheus Gym Design
Photo: Higashi-Fushimi
Photo: BFDO Architects
Photo: Ikea Ideas
Photo: Sawdust 2 Stitches

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