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Architect Tips

How To Make Your Space Work for You

How To Make Your Space Work for You

For many homeowners, the number one issue is space, especially for growing families who may find that their two- or even four-bedroom property no longer provides the space they need to enjoy their home fully.

But this issue can be overcome by adopting a proactive approach. By using some clever tricks and making the most of your property’s space, you can create a space that works for you and your family.

Clear Your Space

Looking for a quick, easy, and profitable way to make your home look and feel bigger? Then a clear out could be the thing you’re looking for. It’s easy for homes to overflow with clutter you no longer need. After all, many of us are good at buying items but could be better at getting rid of things. Over several years, that can result in a cluttered house.

The best way to start is to do it in stages. Otherwise, you risk feeling overwhelmed. Make a checklist to prioritise specific areas. Then focus on one room or zone at a time, completing each job fully before moving on to the next.

By spending a weekend clearing out items, you’ll find that your space feels more extensive and better. Plus, you can sell those items for money, which you can use to improve your home in other ways.

Make the Most of Your Loft Space

You might have a fantastic room in your house and not even know it. If you’re looking to add more space to your home, then an excellent place to start is by making sure you’re utilising all the space.

If you’ve got a loft that currently holds little more than a few old boxes, and enough head clearance (2.2m minimum from FFL to ceiling/joist) for you to stand up without being obstructed, it could be worth hiring an architect to propose a scheme for a new loft conversion. In most cases, you won’t need to get planning permission for the project, either.

Once the job is complete, you’ll have an extra bedroom, living area, or office. While not guaranteed, adding a bedroom can also add value to your home in the long run, offering a ready-made option for larger families.

However, the best advice regarding a loft conversion is always to build for what you want to live in, not to create one for profit.

Add a Garage Conversion

Only some lofts are suitable for conversion. If the loft has less than 2.2 metres of usable head clearance space, then it’ll likely have to remain as a place for storage.

However, there could be another part of your home, the garage, which is suitable for conversion. Most garage conversions do not require planning permission (though necessary if you’re turning it into a habitable room), making them an ideal option for homeowners who want to add more living space to their property. If the project is designed well, you can create a ground-floor bedroom with access to a shower room that can be a great asset for attracting multi-generational families.

Alternatively, you could look at a partial conversion to form a dedicated utility space with the front of the house having a garage for storing bikes and equipment for outdoor pursuits. If that is popular in the area, this can be a great selling point.

Add More Light

There are many well-known interior design tricks for making a room look bigger. Using storage built into furniture, adding a huge mirror to the wall and rugs on the floor are all great examples of achieving this.

Sometimes, the most effective way to make your space bigger is to trick your mind into thinking it’s bigger. For example, a light and airy room will feel more prominent than a dark and dingy room. So, if you’re unsure about making extensive changes to your home, look at adding more light. Other tips include:

  • Adding new skylights or rooflights to maximise on natural daylight into a space
  • Insert new bi-fold, sliding patio doors to the rear of your house to maximise on both daylight and visual connection to your garden.
  • Cleaning your windows.
  • Moving bulky furniture away from sunlight access points.
  • Adding mirrors (and other reflective surfaces) to the room
  • Painting walls and ceilings with lighter colours

All these tips will ensure that as much sunlight as possible can pass into your property.

Create Additional Storage

Living in tight quarters shouldn’t hold you back from creating more storage. If you can’t have a clear out, then consider adding some creative storage solutions to your home. In this day and age, there are storage options that extend beyond the classic shelves, drawers, and bookcases.

Concealed cloakrooms and concealed under stair storage drawers are great examples of giving that great first impression when a potential buyer first walks in.

An experienced architect can work with you to identify any dead space within your home that, with just some modification, could become an ideal storage space. These ingenious storage solutions are often more than functional, they look good, too.

Extending Up and Out

The most effective way to add more space is to simply add more space. Extensions in London are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners to get the most value from their properties. Many extension options are available, including traditional house extensions and glass side extensions.

Also, before looking at extending, consider an internal refurbishment in the first instance. This can be particularly beneficial if the current space doesn’t work hard enough for you as is. It also ensures that, if you then choose to extend, any new extension spaces can either be merged or moved around to a better location to suit the needs of its user.

For example, an existing separate kitchen and dining area, once knocked through, complete with the new extension could be better suited to a more contemporary style open plan kitchen/living/dining space – complete with utility and snug.

Offering the family a space where they can always be in close reach of one another whilst at the same time being able utilise the same space doing various things simultaneously.

An experienced architect can provide an in-depth assessment of the feasibility of an extension, as well as provide innovative yet practical designs, guide you through the planning permission process, and offer many other acts of assistance from beginning to end, tailored to suit your needs.

Ready to Add Space To Your Home?

Ready to live better in your own home? Here at Formed Architects, we create partnerships with our clients to help them make the most of their space. As the leading architect firm in Chiswick, we’ve worked on a range of domestic projects during our time. To get started, simply book a free 15-minute consultation or give us a call at 020 3601 3480.