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27/07/2023
By Emma Hooton

The No-Sweat Way to Designing a Luxury Home Gym

A luxury home gym can be a great investment in your health and wellbeing and should increase property value, according to George Clarendon of Knight Frank Winchester. It can also be a space the whole family enjoys. Interior designer, Emma Hooton, of Studio Hooton and Mark Paris of FitHire, set out the steps to creating a premium workout space that brings joy to everyday living.

Choose your location

“A home gym needs the right location”, says Mark. “You need a room with natural ventilation or a good air con/climate control system.” Stuffy gyms are bad news for health. An attic with views or purpose built, air-conditioned garden room is ideal – a natural outlook adds to the sense of wellbeing. Multi-use barns can also work well as gyms and keep the clank of weights away from the main house.

Mind your head

Low-ceiling rooms aren’t cut out to be gyms. Mark recommends a minimum ceiling height of 220cm+ as stepper machines and cross trainers can elevate the gym user by as much as 2ft. Likewise, a Peloton needs plenty of headspace to ensure a smooth ride. The height of the tallest gym user will also influence how much ceiling height is required.

Consider the floor

Hard-wearing, sustainable oak, ash or bamboo flooring or polished concrete floors not only help to create a luxury gym vibe, but they can withstand high-impact workouts. You’ll also need recycled rubber gym mats beneath the equipment to protect the floor. Gym mats also absorb gym sounds and reduce vibrations and can be used to define fitness zones – distinct areas that aid your workout regime.

Dress the walls

While floor to ceiling mirrored gyms walls are often a gym staple – see our reference to fitness mirrors too below – the remaining walls need to be practical yet reflect the room aesthetic. Durable, water-resistant, sustainable finishes such as slatted oak panels or tough paint finishes are preferable for gym walls. Oversized backlit mirrors can help to create more of a boutique vibe.

Zone your space

While there are no hard and fast rules on where to position gym equipment, zoning helps to clearly define spaces. “Most people put cardio equipment at one end and strength training equipment the other,” says Mark. “However, mirrors, windows and wall-mounted TVs also influence layout.” You won’t feel inspired to exercise staring at a blank wall. In large gym spaces, a chill out or changing area, bar/snack area, games zone or even a luxury spa can be added, with materials and paint finishes used to create a cohesive overall design.

Build in storage

An overcrowded room impacts the enjoyment and flow of any space. To keep everything safe and organised, Emma suggests using vertical storage space as much as possible to save floor space. “You can also take advantage of existing architectural features such as alcoves and build-in bespoke gym equipment storage for free weights and accessories. This can be created using materials found within the gym and on equipment for a unified look.”

Set the mood:

Nothing makes or breaks a room quite like lighting. While natural light is less important in a gym, it’ll need a mixture of lights, from a medium-bright light for blood pumping, high energy workouts, to warmer dimmable lights for cooling down and activities such as yoga. AV will also help to ignite the mood. Some gym machines have entertainment for a more engaging workout. You can also install TVs to gym walls. “At FitHire we do a product called the fitness mirror (note: set to new window) where you can see yourself in the mirror, while following a trainer or doing a live class. It’s really very clever,” says Mark.

Additionally, “infrared panels are increasingly finding their way into gyms”, says Emma Hooton, “as clients tap into the benefits of infrared therapy.” The panels can be installed high up on gym walls or ceilings to heat the space and improve health-related conditions.

Buy to last

“One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying gym equipment is buying online without testing the equipment first. Gym equipment such as cross trainers are all very different and suit some body shapes more than others,” says Mark. “It’s also better to invest in high quality equipment as cheaper brands tend to stop making replacement parts after a few years. If serviced yearly, good quality gym equipment provides a better user experience and far better value for money for the gym owner in the long-term.


Installing a luxury gym is just one of the features that helps you create the ultimate home to live in. Studio Hooton has delivered whole house renovations for numerous clients bringing new life to old properties. So, if you’re planning your own interiors upgrade contact us to see how we can help with your next project.

Photography: martingardner.com | Interiors: studiohooton.com | Architecture: blunnarchitects.com

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