Perhaps you don’t have to move house to feel less claustrophobic at home. Is a renovation project the answer to your current challenges in your compact living space?
Simply because you don’t have much floor space doesn’t mean you have to feel cramped. When you and the construction contractors you hire apply a little wisdom, even small spaces can become sought after living rooms, bedrooms & kitchens.
Not sure how to go about it? Everything will be revealed.
Should You DIY or Go Pro?
Do an online search and you’ll find myriad ways to optimize your current space:
- Use the right size furniture
- Change the layout of rooms
And yes, most tips will work giving you some temporary relief from feeling pressured in your own space. But isn’t it time to make a huge shift? It’s not necessary to go into debt and get an enormous home. You simply need to sit down with a building contractor and architect & discuss your needs.
The term ‘renovation project’ may sound overwhelming but even a relatively small project—when done right—can lead to a sigh of relief. At last, you’ll breathe easier when you enter the front door.
Or perhaps you’re looking at the space around you and you can’t fathom how you can fit anything else in there. That’s why you need the pros on your side. Optimizing space and using elements such as light in the right way are why these professionals get paid decent salaries. Imagine feeling less trapped in your home. You know it’s worth using their services.
So, DIY for now, but plan for these changes with the help of construction services to make your current small house a real, long term haven.
10 Changes to Transform Your Small Home
Using the Correct Colors
Painting the room a different color is still something you can do on your own, but don’t forget to discuss color with your renovation crew too. They can incorporate a more practical palette in the wood, granite, marble and other products they use.
It’s well known that lighter colors will help make a room feel bigger, so it’s worth swapping out your dark kitchen counter for a light marble surface or redoing those dark floor tiles.
See? It doesn’t have to take much to get this project started.
Can You Add Some Cupboard Space?
The next thing you should probably take care of is clutter. The key is to allocate a specific place for each item so you don’t end up stacking your coffee table or desk with your belongings. Having this storage space within easy access is also important—you’re not going to feel like climbing into the attic every day to put away books or toys.
Once again the professionals are bound to point out unique areas you didn’t think of putting drawers or cupboards:
- Drawers may fit under beds
- Rethink the floor plan and have cupboards built into unused spaces
- Add cupboards high up for less used items so you can fill the bottom ones with everyday utensils
Let the odds and ends disappear from your counters & you’ll already breathe easier.
Doing More with the Rooms You Have
What is the reason you’re considering a new home? Is it because you need an office or family room to make your home more relevant to your current lifestyle?
You don’t necessarily need a new house—you simply have to figure out how to use your rooms more effectively.
Double Up with Purpose
First up, see if you can give one room two purposes.
To optimize this plan, be creative or you’ll quickly find yourself amidst clutter again. The key is to design the layout and furniture so you can quickly switch the space’s application without much effort. Here are some examples:
- A study can still be spacious during the day while a Murphy bed turns it into a bedroom whenever you have guests over.
- If you lack a guest bedroom, get quality sleeper couches. Your construction team can help you devise a simple room divider solution to give guests privacy when it’s time for bed. Folding doors or a curtain will solve this problem without robbing you of too much floor space.
- A bay window surface can be part of a living room’s seats and become a bed or children’s play area when necessary.
Make a list of the spaces you need and start brainstorming how to make the most of what you have.
Open it Up
One of the main challenges with small spaces is that homes must serve so many purposes:
- Food preparation
Because of the need for privacy, you may think you need all the rooms you currently have. But what if you break down a wall or two?
Changing your kitchen, study and living area into one large room will give you the spaciousness you’re after. You gain the floor space previously taken up by walls and now all you have to do is use it wisely, as mentioned above:
- Be clear what each area is used for
- Make it easy to utilize an area in a different way with practical furniture
- Install storage space so your home doesn’t seem cluttered to you or anyone who walks in the door
Of course, you may sometimes want to have some privacy. Don’t underestimate the power of unique partitionings such as curtains or room dividers.
This tip is also a definite must if you realize you’re losing a lot of floor space to hallways that don’t serve any real purpose.
There’s Always Space for a Loft
The other solution to getting an additional room is to move up, not out.
Firstly, lofts are trendy additions to small spaces that will boost your resale value if you do need to move one day. From kids wanting to sleep ‘upstairs’ to adults wanting retro office areas, lofts make for attractive sales angles.
And you can create one much easier than you think. Construction contractors can lift your current roof so you can fit in a loft above a bathroom or spare room. These rooms aren’t used consistently so it’s a worthwhile sacrifice if their ceilings end up being a bit lower than usual.
Also, if the loft will serve as a bedroom you don’t need much height. A few low cupboards and a futon bed will be all that needs to fit.
Once again, moving a bed and some personal clutter out of other spaces will help make the rest of the house feel more comfortable too.
Use Materials in Unique Ways
We already mentioned how a different type of marble could be the answer to your challenge. Other building or decorating materials can also do the trick, especially mirrors.
Adding a large mirror to a room will make it seem bigger, but don’t stop there. The effect can be optimized if you and your team get creative. What about:
- Decorating an entire wall with mirror bricks. It adds character, reflects light and gives the illusion of more space.
- Use polished metal furniture pieces that serve the same purpose as mirrors. A steel table with a solid side panel can make your kitchen or living room seem bigger.
- Any door can get a full-length mirror which will change your perception of the room’s dimensions.
Doors Should Slide Not Swing
When doors simply slide open along the walls instead of swinging open, it has benefits such as having more options for positioning furniture.
Once again, this could be a DIY project if you really know what you’re doing, but trusting the pros will ensure your doors won’t be safety hazards in the future. To exchange swinging doors for sliding ones you may also have to rethink layouts to ensure there’s enough space for the door to slide.
Bonus tip: Adding mirrors to these doors will give the illusion of a larger area whether the door is open or closed.
Got Stairs? Then You Have Space
You’ll either love or hate the cubicle under the stairs. Is this where all your clutter ends up?
Then simply repurpose it:
- Create large drawers.
- Install a cupboard.
- Turn it into a small room such as an office so everyone living there will change their minds about it being the ‘storage space’. When we don’t give spaces specific purposes everyone living there will form habits and use it the way they want.
Good Construction Contractors can Make the Outside Your Inside
The space inside your home may be limited, but what about outside?
The thought of expanding may seem like a daunting project but it doesn’t have to be. Get an innovative architect on your side and discuss adding an enclosed porch. This can serve as a living room, a bedroom or whatever space you’re currently in need of.
Remember the tips mentioned above: Give the new area more than one purpose to optimize its potential.
Figure 1 Photo by Adrian Schwarz on Unsplash
Exchange Your Wall Space for Windows
We know you value all the odds and ends you hang against your walls. A large wall is a favorite spot for family photographs. But if you’re feeling claustrophobic it’s time to exchange that wall space for windows.
Windows will let in more light which will already help change the atmosphere inside. Similar to mirrors a window can also make a room seem larger than it is.
The challenge is to find the right ratio between your window and wall surface. Unless you love the ultra-modern look of glass houses you probably still want the comfort of protective, solid walls.
Figure 2 Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Bonus tip: Position reflective objects such as mirrors, metal appliances or glass doors opposite windows. The light and view outside will reflect on these surfaces. It will seem as if there’s another window in the room; an instant solution to feeling boxed in.
Let’s stay on the topic of glass and mirrors. With this technique, you take the idea of windows to a whole new level: Glass as walls.
These days you get all types of glass. Use tinted or sandblasted ones and you can still have some privacy in your office even if one side is entirely made out of glass. At the same time, different rooms still feel connected which counters the problem of feeling stifled.
Here’s the one truth you need to realize today: There’s a lot you can do to transform your small living area.
No matter how small your current space is, you and a team of construction contractors can transform what you have at the moment into a more functional, spacious home.
Which of these tips will you try first?