We’ve found that most houses, no matter the age or style, are quite poorly designed, not maximising the space. We’ve lived in a flat, terraced houses, a semi-detached house and now a bungalow, and all but the bungalow we live in now had lots of wasted space. We now have lovely square rooms so that there are no odd furniture layouts or corners that are just too small to do anything with. We can fit in lots of storage, which in turns gives us much more living space.
We are really lucky in this respect, but most other people aren’t. I look at my parent’s house – a long through lounge and dining room, where the furniture can only be put in certain positions. There’s little room for storage. The kitchen is a narrow galley kitchen, with just one big cupboard – the only cupboard in the house. All the coats have to go in there, and, as it is under the stairs, it’s a funny shape. They have no hallway, as the stairs come off the living room, and upstairs are three smallish and quite odd shaped rooms. When my brothers and I lived there, it was a nightmare. Even as young adults my brothers had to share a bedroom, and it often felt very cramped.
As tenants, we don’t have much of a say on our home, but if you own your own home there are so many ways in which you can create a bit of extra space. Here are a few ideas:
If you have a decent sized loft, this is something that could be done relatively easily. It could be turned into another bedroom, a playroom or a bit of a chill-out room. Our bungalow has a huge loft which Graham would love to turn into a man cave! All it really needs is a big window and some blinds for some light, and a bit of decorating and it would be perfect.
Convert the Garage
Most people who have a garage don’t utilise it properly. We certainly don’t. We have a lovely big garage, but it’s full of random stuff, our second freezer and a broken bed frame. Again, if we had control over our home, we would look at finding a way of using the space much more wisely. It could be knocked through to the lounge, making a perfect playroom and office space.
If you have the space in the garden (which, sadly, we don’t), you could build a wooden summer house. One of my friends did this, and ended up running a nail business from hers! I would love one to escape to do some writing or just to chill out and get some peace and quiet.
This is one of my favourite ideas. It’s like being outside even when you can’t be, with all those big glass windows and light. Before we moved into our bungalow, we did look at a house with a cheap conservatory and it seemed ideal as an extra living area and as a playroom.
What are your favourite ways of maximising space where you live?