20 small home gym ideas

‘motive8 Home’ is an expert gym design and installation service that transforms unused residential spaces into energising and dynamic fitness spaces, enabling customers to maximise their potential when achieving their fitness and wellbeing goals.

Looking for ideas when you design your dream small home gym? This feature highlights what design solutions and ideas can be put in place, space-saving equipment and suggestions for the best place to locate your gym within your home.

Potential Gym Locations

Are you considering creating a home gym, but unsure where you could possibly fit one? Here are some of our top suggestions for maximising your space and including a home gym within your property.

1.     Spare Room

Do you have an empty room in your house that you’re trying to decide what to do with, perhaps you currently use it for infrequent guests? Why not change it into your own personal home gym and say goodbye to travelling to your local gym which disrupts your training plan. By using a spare room, you can create a space to plan your workouts seamlessly into your routine, whether that’s before, or after work, and space the whole family can engage with.

2.     Garage Gyms

Your typical UK garage is likely too small to host a car, and often, becomes a storage space for unwanted items. Such a space is considered ideal for a home gym, as it provides separation to working out verses within your home. It’s maybe time to turn your garage dumping zone into a work-out at home.

3.     Conservatory

Do you want to feel like you’re exercising outdoors, but knowing British weather, want to stay dry? Converting your conservatory can provide you with the feeling of being outdoors that you need, whilst appreciating your own home comforts, and warmth, indoors.

4.     Shed or Garden Building

Convert a garden room, shed, or outbuilding into a fully equipped home gym or studio, providing you with a separate space to complete your workouts, and a private area to relax away from your main home. Our experts know how to maximise space and create flexible solutions that change with the times.

5.     Basement

Do you have a dark basement, that collects junk, or is perhaps unused? A basement can provide a great use of space to create a home gym, where motive8 are able to create a design with modern lighting, to suit your needs.

Gym equipment to save space

The majority of gym machines require a minimum of 2×2 metres of space, and we suggest you allow additional space for flexibility and movement around your home gym, allowing you to perform exercises safely, and effectively, during your workout. Below, we have listed what we perceive to be, the best space-saving equipment, including functional equipment and cardio machines.

1.     Dumbbells

As an inexpensive piece of equipment, dumbbells allow you to work all major body parts, including the bicep, triceps, and major leg muscles. You can select dumbbell weights according to your physical ability, where they require minimal space and can be stored away easily.

2.     Folding Treadmill.

You can engage in various types of exercise using a treadmill, including long-distance running, interval training or sprinting. As a cardio machine, treadmills are a great choice for a home gym for all fitness abilities, and an easy way to get your daily steps in. One of the primary benefits of a folding treadmill is it occupies less space so particularly useful for small properties.

3.     Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are great for high-intensity exercise, raising your heart rate and training your cardiovascular health. Including a rowing machine in your home gym utilises a small space wisely, as rowing machines can be stored vertically, or folded for storage.

4.     Exercise Bike

Alternatively, exercise bikes for cardio-based workouts are more beneficial to those who want to strengthen their legs and lower body muscles. They are great for weight loss too and are often recommended for rehabilitation. Additionally, they are very compact, light, affordable and offer a fairly quiet and safe form of exercise.

5.     Folding Half Rack

A folding half rack is designed to fold against the wall whilst not in use, with the majority being mounted to the wall for maximum stability. Folding half racks are a great piece of kit for a small space, maximising the use of your spare room, or garage, to create your ideal home gym.

For further inspiration, check out our blog describing some of the best home gyms in Surrey for every kind of workout.

Gym Design Solutions and ideas

Always consider design solutions that can create the illusion of more space including:

1.     Mirrors

Mirrors give the illusion of space and depth, using reflection to make a room feel like a larger open space. The larger the mirror installed; the greater illusion of space is created. Similarly, mirrors are also a great tool to reflect light into your home gym, creating a brighter space with natural light.

2.     Natural Colours

Natural colours keep the design of your home gym timeless, so you can ensure your home gym won’t need renovating in the short-term and will continue to be a productive contribution to your home.

3.     Ceiling Height

The height of the ceiling can provide extra space to play with in a home gym, whether that’s installing types of equipment, such as rigs and squat racks, or decorative attributes. High ceilings can bring a spacious and luxurious feeling to your home gym, creating a tranquil atmosphere in a room to work on yourself, for yourself.

4.     Additional decorative items

Including additional decorative items, such as artwork, display pieces, photography or plants, are a great way to create a theme within your home gym, or to personalise it to you, and the overall design of your home.

5.     Storage

Integrating a good storage system into your home gym ensures that your space doesn’t feel cluttered, every piece of equipment has a home and you are able to organise your workouts by locating equipment efficiently.

Tips to maintain your home gym

1.     Buy well-established equipment

It is important to buy high-quality equipment that will last a long time in your home gym, and won’t require replacement in the near future. At motive8, we have created our own range of equipment, Erimus.  Erimus offers a range of equipment that is considered ideal to begin piecing together your dream home gym.

2.     Regularly clean equipment

It is important that you regularly clean your home gym equipment, to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt in your machines, and on your equipment. Wiping down machines with an anti-bacterial product after using equipment, should be regular practice to keep machines clean and germ-free.

3.     Review machine manuals

Ensure you review all home gym machine manuals, to ensure that all directed methods to cleaning the machines are followed, and to prevent damage by inappropriate cleaning products.

4.     Keep the air fresh

Keep the air fresh and ventilated in your home gym to prevent the build-up of dampness, leading to the development of mould. This can be done by opening a window, installing an air system to circulate clean air, or by integrating an air de-humidifier.

5.     Set a budget

We all know what it’s like to get carried away! It’s important to set a budget for your home gym, so you can prioritise which pieces of equipment are the most cost-effective, and will maximise what you can achieve from your workouts.

Please contact us on 020 8481 9700 or info@m8group.co.uk to find out how our motive8 home gym design team can support you with your small home gym ideas and design solutions.



Emergency Response

Keep disruption to a minimum with our emergency call-out service. Our engineers will quickly run diagnostic tests and carry out repairs during the visit if possible. motive8 know how important it is to get your pool, spa or water feature back up and running as soon as possible.

Kim Mead

Gym & Spa Design

Kim’s career began in the property industry, where she spent a number of years working for both estate agents and developers, giving her a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge of how the industry functions.

Kim has worked alongside Nick for the past 11 years and transforms his ideas & designs into 3D visuals and 2D floor layouts via CAD & Visio in line with the architect’s requirements. She brings together all project documentation including equipment specifications, quotes & project drawings. Once finalised and agreed, Kim procures all the required equipment.

In her spare time, Kim loves playing tennis, cooking and travelling.

Nick Sadler

Managing Director

Nick Sadler is the Founding Director of motive8 and has worked in the industry for 18 years. He has worked as the lead Gym and Spa consultant on projects across all sectors on a number of prestigious schemes with developers, architects, interior design agencies and managing agents. His expertise and consultancy on projects have ensured that the original design concepts are always met or exceeded whilst maintaining the future operational efficiency of the facility.

Jenny Cromack


Jenny’s specialism’s are fat loss and endurance training, she has a proven record in helping clients to lose weight, change their body image and simply feel amazing about themselves! Having seen what we can achieve with clients on a 1:1 basis, Jenny transfers these skills to be able to impact the health and wellbeing of corporate clients and groups.

A keen duathlete and triathlete, Jenny has recently started representing Great Britain for her age group. So, if she isn’t at work she will be cycling, swimming or running somewhere!

Sarah Cleland-Smith


Sarah has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years and is a co-owner of motive8. She has worked across all areas of the business, predominantly the day to day operations of the Gym and Spa facilities we currently manage on behalf of our clients. She has a key understanding of how design must meet operational requirements, ensuring the client and end user receive the best possible service and ongoing running costs are considered in the design. Her current focus is project management and financials.

Richard Moon


Richard has headed up the motive8 maintenance team for the past 12 years and became a Director and co-owner of the business in 2016. He provides service contracts and maintenance for all motive8 equipped facilities to ensure longevity and value for the client. The maintenance department currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK. He works with the client and their onsite team to provide H&S best practice which includes daily checks of the facility. Richard also manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard.

Rob Clarke


Rob has worked in the leisure industry all of his working life and brings with him a huge amount of experience from the commercial leisure sector. He has provided consultancy to the majority of the country’s leading developers, architects and property management companies and is widely considered as one of the leading experts in residential leisure facilities.

Rob’s role at motive8 is a varied one and involves business development, overseeing the maintenance and management departments whilst also consulting on a variety of client projects.

Outside of the office, you will often find Rob walking his beloved Labrador in Windsor Great Park. Rob also enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Nikki Spratley

IQ coordinator

Nikki has always had a passion for helping people and after spending a number of years working in and running the Gym & Spa department, an opportunity to develop and grow motive8’s training division presented itself and so Nikki moved from overseeing the Gym & Spa team and managed sites to developing the training of our own team along with those from outside of motive8.

Outside of motive8, Nikki continues to work at a sports massage clinic helping her clients with various injuries along with making time for her own fitness and wellbeing.

Nisha Hansewraj


Nisha graduated from university with a BA Hons in Accounting and Finance. Since then, she has gained significant experience and knowledge in all aspects of accounting and finance. She has joined our accounts team and is responsible for managing our books and preparing relevant financial reports for the business. She is very productive in challenging roles and as a self-motivated and meticulous person is willing to learn new skills and develop existing knowledge.

Outside of work, Nisha enjoys spending time with her family and exploring nature, especially taking scenic countryside walks. Cooking and baking is another of Nisha’s passions. 

Rolstone Langmead

Logistics & Gym Install Manager

Joining motive8 back in 2013 with the Gym & Spa department, Rolstone brought his experience from the customer service industry as well as 8 years’ experience as a personal trainer, the knowledge of which was spread into the department.

Rolstone now manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard. Providing H&S best practice and service support to our customers for all our products with the aid of our team of engineers. Rolstone is also working with our Maintenance team that currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK to ensure longevity and value for the client.

Albert Spangenberg

Refurb and Technicians Manager

Albert started his career in facility maintenance and operations; he is now motive8’s Refurb and Technicians Manager. Albert launched a new department providing refurbished gym equipment to rent or buy which his background in mechanical engineering and manufacturing perfectly suits. He has worked in the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Albert is meticulous about how the equipment is maintained and is always looking at ways to improve the service motive8 can offer to their clients.

In his spare time he likes spend quality time with the family and work on mechanical projects.

Monika Blaziak

Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager

Monika is the Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager for all gym and pool/leisure equipment and has a background in maintenance and accounts administration for property development companies.

Monika’s skills include accounting, IT and of course the backbone of all busy administration roles, multi-tasking!

In her spare time she likes to spend her free time with her dog Cezar, walking through parks and forests and also likes to relax with a good book at the end of the day. Monika is also interested in psychology, which she is currently studying.

Kamil Reyad

Maintenance Admin Assistant

Kamil is a recent law graduate with a background in customer service and sales, working within the maintenance administration team. His skills include IT, Multi-tasking and customer service.

In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, boxing, practicing MMA, playing guitar, reading and gaming.

Sally Ottewell

Gym & Spa Consultant

Sally has over 10 years’ experience in sales. She has worked within the communications industry for 12 years and made the move to motive8 because of her love for all things fitness.

Sally is passionate about gym and spa design and takes pride in each individual project, whether that be residential, corporate, commercial or within the hotel market. She consults, designs layouts and provides product advice on schemes nationwide with a range of developers, designers, project managers and private clients.

She enjoys being active, is a regular gym goer and has practiced yoga since being a teenager, qualifying to teach it in 2014.

Repair & Refurbishment

Keep your facilities looking fresh, modern and in pristine condition. motive8 can advise you on the latest trends in design, sustainability and efficiency to make sure your pool and spa continue to give your site a competitive advantage.

Yaasmeen Muhammad


Yaasmeen (Yaas for short) has recently joined the Gym and Spa Team, after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a master’s in Architecture. She is experienced in CAD and creating 3D visuals and has extensive design knowledge especially when it comes to gyms as she also used to be an athlete and personal trainer and so she knows what it takes to design a well thought out gym and bring the ideas to life.

In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, martial arts and spending time with her family. 

Ashley Wright

Head of Gym & Spa Management

Ashley moved back to the UK after working as a singer in production shows around Europe. Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Ashley joined Motive8 as an Area Manager in 2019 before moving into the role of Head of Gym and Spa Management. Ashley oversees the Gym and Spa Department ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Ashley still teaches spin classes at a number of gyms across London and enjoys cooking and travelling.

Josh Remedios

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Josh has worked for motive8 since 2013 after graduating from University of Portsmouth. He has worked his way up through the gym and spa department from Spa Operative, to Supervisor, Manager and now Area Manager. Josh works with the managers he oversees to provide facilities residents can enjoy as an extension to their homes as well as working closely with the estate management companies to ensure the standards at all sites remain high.

Outside of motive8 Josh is a keen on his travelling and adding to a growing list of countries he has visited as well as being passionate about his own fitness and football.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager. Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.

Bradley Dixon


Bradley has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 16, starting as a Lifeguard and progressing through various management roles which also took him to working and living abroad both in Dubai and Australia. Bradley joined motive8 in June in 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager before being promoted into the role of Area Manager.

Outside of motive8 Bradley also enjoys teaching various group exercise classes as well as spending time with friends and travelling.

Kate Halsall

Personal Trainer & Biomechanics Coach

Kate is an enthusiastic personal trainer, and qualified biomechanics coach, who specialises in posture and back care. She has worked in the industry since 2009, and her other specialisms include weight/fat loss, group exercise and working with specialist populations.

On top of that, Kate loves working with groups of pregnant ladies as she is also pre and post-natal qualified! Exercise is a real passion of hers, and she can often be found riding her bike, going to fitness weekends, walking in the lake district – and she’s recently started participating in cycling sportives.

When it comes to advice, she claims “give it a try – what’s the worst that could happen?” is her greatest piece.

Emily Forbes

Personal Trainer

Emily is motive8’s in-house nutritionist, and doesn’t stop at just being a great personal trainer. Her effective programming and nutritional advice is highly popular and aimed at helping clients achieve a variety of fitness goals.

Not only is Emily passionate about nutrition though, as she also loves strength training and Yoga. She takes a holistic approach to exercise, nutrition and health as a whole, which no doubt makes for a recipe for success across the board.

Her greatest piece of advice is simply “consistency…this will help you achieve your goals for the long term.”

Warren Killeen

Head of Maintenance

Warren started his career as an Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration engineer servicing a wide range of commercial and industrial systems. He has over 20 years’ experience in the FM industry working for major players across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. With his technical and hands-on experience, Warren has always been happy to roll his sleeves up and get involved with works on sites when needed. In Warren’s spare time he enjoys DIY, quizzing and country walks. He is also involved with helping at his local Irish club organising charity fundraising nights and other events.

Alice Ward


Alice has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, one of her first places of work being motive8! Since then, Alice has gone on to work for some of the leading U.K gym providers and most recently managed a large corporate gym in Surrey, implementing innovative fitness trends and overseeing the health and wellbeing of the clients, alongside opening a second corporate club and managing a team of personal trainers and instructors. A keen interest in health and fitness drives Alice outside of work, spending regular time working out in the gym, outdoors or at home.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager.

Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. 

Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.


Maintenance and servicing

Protect your investment, meet compliance regulations and prevent costly breakdowns. Our experienced pool engineers schedule regular maintenance visits or can attend as requested for events such as preparing an outdoor pool for summer. Our maintenance covers all kinds of pool, spa and water features for: