How to Maximise Space in the Home
How to Maximise Space in the Home
Smart tweaks and home improvements you may have never considered could well be the answer to your space troubles
Lockdown has made us reassess our homes and we’re looking at every available space in a new light, considering how we can squeeze every bit of potential out of our properties and maximise space in the home.
Advises Nick Horvath, director of architecture firm Momo & Co: “The quickest and most cost-effective structural alteration is to go up into the roof with a loft conversion. If you simply want to add an extra bedroom, home office or study space this is likely to be the best way forward, offering a swift return on your investment.”
But will it make the most dramatic difference to the quality of your home-life? Taking a step back and reviewing your needs and requirements is the most important first stage of any home development project. What are the main issues with the current space and what changes will give you the maximum long term value?
Says Nick: “Opening up the back of the house with a rear extension and/or side return typically results in the greatest transformation, creating space for open-plan living. Floor to ceiling glass doors extend this free-flowing hub even further, spilling out into the garden. Incorporating a new kitchen with a statement island will provide a focal point, naturally drawing the family together throughout the day. This is where you will enjoy spending most of your time with the space zoned for the many different activities of the modern family home.”
And what about all that space underneath your house? While you may have always dreamed of an underground cinema or home gym, consider a basement project with caution. Advises Nick: “Basements are the most challenging and expensive way to add space to your property. To make this worthwhile from a financial perspective you need to be living in an area where property is valued at least around £700 per square foot. Digging down and building the basement is a lengthy and disruptive project. Unless you are living in a high value postcode, this is really only an effective solution, if the other options have already been explored, you are adding to your forever home and have a particular purpose in mind. Media rooms and evening entertainment areas are perfect as they are the least dependent on natural daylight. The key to the successful design of this subterranean area is to include as many light-wells as possible and to maximise the floor to ceiling height, ideally at least 2.7 meters.
These are all major structural works but simpler options can make a world of difference. “There are three changes that you can make, which whilst not the most exciting, will make a significant practical difference, improving everyday life. The first is to make space for a guest loo on the ground floor, particularly if you have children. The second is to incorporate a utility room. If you don’t have space for a separate room, try to make space for a dedicated laundry area, fitting a washer-dryer in a separate cupboard, for example, rather than in the kitchen.”
“Thirdly, the addition of a coat cupboard will help to keep your home clutter-free, avoiding coats, shoes and bags being dropped in the hallway. When all three of these things are in place, any additional, carefully considered and beautifully designed storage, is the best investment you can make, creating a much healthier environment and sense of space.”