Anyone who lives in a small space knows, making changes to find a few extra square meters can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of your home.
The first step to squeezing more space out of a small home is to throw out any of those “rules” you’ve believed you needed to stick to. This is exactly what we did to create more space for our clients who loved their 2-bedroom terraced home but were rapidly running out of space.
Our clients brief was to get the most out of the space available whilst maximising the amount of light getting into the house. They had a very small garden which they loved spending time in so were reluctant to lose too much outdoor space. They also loved to cook and entertain so wanted to create a more open living, dining and kitchen space on the ground floor. The bathroom was very small and our clients really wanted a luxurious space with a bath and shower.
Rule No. 1
The first rule that we broke was to extend despite there being very little outdoor space. We wanted to create a more generous kitchen for our clients so building a very small extension allowed us to do that. By designing the outdoor space in conjunction with the new extension we were able to make design decisions like running the same floor finish inside and out that helped to give the illusion of additional space both inside and out by blurring the lines between both areas.
Rule No. 2
The next rule we broke was widening the landing to allow light into the living space below. Normally you shoudl try to minimise the amount of space devoted to circulation spaces like corridors and landings. However, getting as much natural light into the house as possible was essential to create the feeling of space. When you extend a house it is important to try to maximise the amount of light that gets into the center of the house. What you want to avoid is your lovely new extension blocking light getting into the original house.
So we widened the landing space above to allow us to create an opening in the living room ceiling into the void above to let light in from an existing Velux roof light. This worked really well and provided a lovely feature both on the ground and first floors.
Rule No. 3
We turned the 2nd bedroom into a luxurious bathroom. This is probably the biggest rule that we broke as the house became a 1-bedroomed home. However our clients never used the second bedroom and it had become an overflow space for clothes and items that needed to be stored away.
On the other hand the bathroom was used everyday and was simply not fit for purpose. By making the decision to convert the 2nd bedroom our clients were able to increase the size of their own bedroom and create the bathroom of their dreams. Meaning that every space upstairs was optimised and enhanced in a way that dramatically enhanced our clients day to day lives.
The most important thing when doing any home improvement or renovation is to make changes that significantly enhance your enjoyment of your home, if you do you will most definitely be adding real value.
Other small space design tips
Creating space and making the best use of every square meter was very important with this project. Swapping solid doors to glass helped to flood all of the rooms with natural light and created a visual connection between rooms making them feel larger.
We used sliding glass pocket doors between the living room and kitchen to give separation without taking up space when the doors were open.
The bench seat in the kitchen allows for a lot of guests to be accommodated but is much more economical on floor space than a traditional table and chairs.
And the use of a continuous colour palette throughout the ground floor gives continuity to the space and extends out to the garden drawing the eye out as far as it can go.
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