For many people, the last 10 months have meant more time at home, as the world entered into lockdown, with restrictions placed on venturing out for anything other than essential errands or work. Whilst it’s been a challenging period for everyone, for those with limited indoor space there’s been an extra level of difficulty, as they’ve looked to adjust their home to accommodate work, family and even exercise.
Simply Construction Group, one of London’s leading house extension construction specialists, has pulled together for CrunchyTales a little guide to help make the most of the space and land you have; giving your home a new lease of life as well as new areas to create and enjoy before your safe haven starts to feel like the walls are closing in.
Make rooms multifunctional
There is a cure for the scourge of wasted space: rethinking your rooms. The fact that a room is called a dining room or a breakfast area does not mean that’s the only function you can do there. Don’t be restricted by the rooms intended function; instead, look at it as just a space that can be manipulated and made multifunctional. Sectioning a room out can create dual purpose, for example, a study can easily double up as a playroom for children; especially as the kids are likely to use the room around normal working hours.
Create overlapping zones
Usually, homes have four zones: social zones; work zones, private zones and storage zones, but by combining them, you can give the illusion of more space. For instance, bringing the dining room into the kitchen will often create the impression of added space and could potentially free up another room to use in a different way.
Light it up
Lighting can vastly improve the look and feel of a space. The higher the angle the light is coming in from, the more it improves the perception of space. If possible, roof windows and windows that reach to the ceiling are great for letting your home be magnified by light and creating an airier look and feel.
Convert a dead space into storage
Homes are full of dead space and even if you’re restricted by a small layout, there are hidden areas that can be used for additional storage. Consider adding shelves to the area under the stairs, or even the airing cupboard. Also, the eaves in loft conversions are brilliant for converting dead space into extra storage, as is the space either side of a chimney breast. Your landing could be used as storage if you add shelving, too. This additional storage will remove clutter and unnecessary items from your living space and improve the flow of your home.
Repurpose your rooms
An unused loft or basement could be converted and help you maximise on your existing space. Structurally, there’s not usually too much to be done and it shouldn’t be too disruptive to your home life. Obtaining the extra space without having to endure the cost and stress of moving homes is also a bonus when considering your existing rooms and the purpose of them.
Use compact furniture
If you’re lacking in square footage, there are innovative furniture solutions that can provide you with additional space when needed. Try searching for foldable, flexible, stackable furniture when you next come to redesign your space – from tables to beds, you can make the most of your home by using modern pieces.
Knockdown a non-load-bearing wall
This will help to create more open-plan spaces, which add to the idea of space. It’s surprising how many walls are created simply as dividers and add no structural support to your home; consider which of your walls are non-load bearing and how they’d open up your space if you knocked them down.
Add levels to your rooms
This is especially useful if you have high ceilings; they afford you the option of creating additional storage, a possible annexe or even a mezzanine. Taking items off the floor and placing them on shelving higher up, will quickly create additional living space and help you utilise your space more efficiently.
Consider made to measure furniture
Most rooms are not simple square shapes, especially in modern buildings. Cutouts and alcoves can be hard to plan around but made to measure furniture can help utilise these nooks and offer you additional space, helping you to maximise the square footage in irregular shaped rooms. Couches, side tables, beds are all functional, but sometimes take up too much space so can be customised to perfectly fit a desired space, especially if you already own furniture that simply will not fit seamlessly into your space.
Plan an extension
Last but not least, if you have extra land, then an extension might be the best way to add space. Small house extensions can make a real difference in how you’re able to use your living space. Even if your budget is small, a well-thought-through addition to your house can make a tiny dining area more usable or create extra space for a home office. Extensions also can enhance natural light, link existing areas of the property, improve the overall design, letting space breathe a bit more. An extension can be designed and built-in different ways. Whether you’re adding a porch or a modest loft extension, a small single-storey extension, or a side return extension, you can add both value and space to your home if you get it right.