Big Ideas for Small Homes
Small homes have a charm all their own and a warmth that make them inviting, but there is a big difference between a small home that is cosy and one that feels cramped or cluttered. Fortunately some minor creative changes can make a big difference in the feel of these cramped homes. There are a lot of these “big” ideas out there for small homes, to bring that cosy feel to life.
Where there is a loft, then a conversion would be the best way to go. Instead of just storage of clutter you will probably never use again, your loft could become a bedroom, office space, playroom, or anything else you may want but normally wouldn’t have the space for. In London loft conversions are rising in popularity as they not only provide an extra room, but also add value to the property.
Bay Windows and Other Bump Outs
Your budget, lot, or house frame may not allow for you to expand, but you can get some much needed floor and visual space with a well-planned bay window or light-filled bump out. Bump-outs do not require you to alter the existing wall supports or framing plan, nor do they cost a lot of money, but the bit of added space can really open up a room. Be sure to take the time to create an addition that compliments the exterior and historical character of your home so that the inside and outside are improved.
Use rooms for dual purposes to let your home function better in the space you have. Use an upstairs hall alcove as a reading/homework space with a narrow secretary desk with hutch and chair. Use the seldom-used formal dining room as a combination library/sewing room by placing bookshelves that contain doors at the bottom to hold and hide sewing gear. Add a small drop-leaf table and a comfortable chair or two. Use a pantry or guest bedroom closet as an office space, complete with desktop, shelves and roll-out filing cabinet. A pull-down Murphy bed disguised as an armoire makes an office into a guest bedroom.
Open Up Hallways
Remove non-load bearing hallway walls in living spaces wherever possible: This expands rooms by a few extra feet, permits better sight lines throughout the house and allows for more light to disperse through the home.
Find Ways to Use Nooks and Crannies
Use dead space areas like under the stairs, beside chimneys and flues, and other little hidden pockets as a place to install built-ins. This will give you more storage and can help you reduce clutter and downsize the amount of furniture taking up floor space. Done cleverly, it can also add charming architectural elements to your home.
Vaulted and Trey Ceilings
An extra foot or two of height creates visual space that can make a small room feel more open and spacious.
Expand Your Outdoor Living Space
Cover and enclose a patio for use as a screen porch or sunroom, as an inexpensive way to add additional living space. Hard-scape a small courtyard, or build a deck and give access to it from a glass door, so you can entertain using indoor and outdoor space simultaneously.
A small home doesn’t need to be cramped or uncomfortable; there are many ways to maximise space and make the home more cosy.