Even though, the new homes are being built roomier, there are some of us that live in older homes and are facing the problem of a space crunch. However, thanks to creativity, there are many ways to optimize the available space so that your home looks more spacious. The smaller floor plans from the era gone by are a reflection of the routines that were followed back in the day. There are also many people coming to settle in the urban environment where the space is much smaller than the countryside. If you are struggling with space limitations, then these interior ideas will make your home appear much larger and roomier.
Introduce movable walls
[Image: Feldman Architecture, Inc.]
By adding a full height sliding door, you can separate a room into living area and sleeping quarters. This method can be specially used for alcoves in larger rooms. In this image, the room has the flexibility of being converted into a play area by the day and guest room by the night by adding barn doors and a large pull down bed.
[Image: Feldman Architecture, Inc.]
You can easily move the barn styled doors, however, do note that due to their size, they can be very heavy. These doors need to be fastened by a track that is securely joined with a wall or a ceiling. Also, be sure to add a hidden guide that can prevent the door from swinging away from its base.
Create a fake foyer
[Image: Schrader & Companies]
If you have the main entryway that opens directly into the living room, then you must be tired of seeing all the available space taken up by shoes, coats, etc. However, there are some spaces defining features that can create an illusion of foyer that can make the place look open. In this image, a small-height wall with a combination of bench and a big post refrain the entryway from filling out into the dining room. The space has been further defined with the help of false ceiling and ambient lighting that forms a small spot within a larger room.
Add a Juliette Balcony
[Image: Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Inc.]
When you are living in urban environments, there are a few things that one values more than outdoor areas, even though you may live in a small house. However, as much as you like, you may not be able to bring in a deck or a balcony due to size limitations. But, there is a way to still add a balcony with the help of huge sliding door and in-swing patio that creates a micro balcony with a small railing to define the area. This provides an innovative connection to the outdoor and also fresh air into the room.
If you are living on an upper storey, this can be a great idea as adding an actual deck may be structurally complicated and even an expensive affair. The railing of the balcony can be attached to the outer wall to conform to the safety standards as well as building code requirements and still give you the comforts of having a balcony facing room. Be sure to add proper weather sealing to refrain the cold, heat or rain from entering your house.
Install skylight for greater headroom
[Image: Smith & Vansant Architects PC]
If you have a staircase with less headroom, then it can be an uncomfortable one to use. It can also discourage the homeowners to use the rooms that are on the upper level of your home. In most cases, low clearance is only a problem for small areas located at the topmost landing. If you plan to raise the roof area, it can cost a lot of money for a small space.
However, if you install a proper skylight, it can be used to increase the height of the ceiling without making it an expensive deal and also improve the clearance where it is needed the most. It not only provides more ventilation but also make the space look roomier. You can take help from an architect or an engineering professional to evaluate how to add a roof opening in the structure. Also, make sure that you consult the local building code to conform to the minimum headroom that is required for a stair.
Add two connecting doors to bathroom
The biggest challenge faced by people living in small and older homes is a single bathroom. However, even if your bathroom can be accessed from the master bedroom only, you can add another door, which can be reached through the hall. The functionality remains the same as the bathroom can be reached from both the bedroom as well as the living room.
[Image: TRG Architects]
When you plan to add multiple doors in a small bathroom, you need to be careful with the locations so that the doors don’t interfere with one another. They should also make structural sense so plan the doors carefully before the installation. If you have a tight space, then you can consider using pocket doors. Be sure to involve a building consultant before you make any new openings in the existing walls. They will be able to evaluate if it is a load bearing wall and if it needs any further structural improvements.
Go Easy on Wall Hung Cabinets
It is a common design practice to add hung cabinets in a kitchen. However, it can seriously restrict the space if you have a small kitchen. You can instead open up the kitchen by adding more windows or open shelving to create an illusion of space.
[Image: Rick & Cindy Black Architects]
To remove upper cabinets does not have to mean reducing the storage space. Instead, one of the best storage ideas is to use the open shelves for the storage purposes and putting all the items that are used on a daily basis. Opens shelves provide visual depth to the kitchen thus increasing the space. In this image, the back wall has been tiled all the way to the ceiling, which creates a strong focal point and also makes the room appear taller.
These are just some of the basic ideas that can be implemented to improve the square footage of your small house. You can also innovate and come up with ideas of your own to make the best of available space in an interesting way.