Now that you are ready for that home remodeling project, it may also be the right time to extend your home space without incurring too much additional cost. This is where the ‘Not So Big House’ approach comes in.
This approach budded from the 1998 publication of Sarah Susanka, titled, The Not So Big House – A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live. In the publication, Sarah offered a detailed approach to building smaller, cheaper, and smarter homes. Over the years, we have seen many homeowners apply this approach and attain the expected results.
In this post, we will be sharing five essential hacks, sourced from this publication and applicable in your quest to remodel and make your interior design more spacious.
Hack #1 – It should be visible if you use it.
You see, those secluded spaces behind your staircases or hallways are doing a great disservice to your home’s layout. They do make the whole place not only clumsy but also somewhat confined. While it is clear that some rooms require privacy, this should not stop you from opening up the view through and between the study, dining area, family area, and kitchen. Such openings come with a feel of spaciousness, decluttering, and lightness in every part of your home. Do not be afraid to let go of doors between these home areas. Replace them with a framed opening, wider than the average doorway by one (or two) foot. In cases where you must retain your intervening wall, you should consider creating an interior window. You will be amazed to see how much your home will feel and look bigger.
Hack #2 – Double duty works.
Nowadays, there is a sharp contrast between our current lifestyle realities and our floor plans. Here is an instance – the formal living room option is quite expensive and more ideal for seldom-used real estate to highlight the rarely-used furnishings. A better alternative will be joining the dining area with the living area to achieve a versatile space that handles both informal and formal functions. If you cannot do without a formal dining room, you can make it also work as your library – just add a few bookshelves. These basic consolidations resulting in double duty can free up considerable space in your home while making it more elegant and aesthetically pleasing. Plus, you can use the extra space for other important things, such as a home office.
Hack #3 – Create shelter around activities.
This concept is very common among children. This is why you see your child building lovely playhouses with cardboard boxes. Transitioning the idea into adulthood, you can use inglenook and alcove to achieve a double-duty of creating an alternative space for a specific role inside the larger space. If done well, the larger space will feel larger, and you can dedicate the smaller, hidden areas to semi-private comfort and other specific activities.
Hack #4 – The magic of the diagonal view.
Have you ever considered opening up a diagonal view? Well, having a line-of-sight projecting from a corner to another is a proven hack to make your space feel bigger. You can achieve this by ensuring there are no intervening walls during construction. But if you are remodeling your home, it will mean removing the walls in the way of this line-of-sight. The least intrusive third option is to install an interior window or a framed opening with average width, placed strategically to achieve the diagonal view.
Hack #5 – Avoid uniform ceiling heights.
Differences in ceiling heights help to create contrast and variety. Let’s put this into a clearer perspective with a practical example. A homeowner can adopt a tall entrance ceiling, a moderate-height dining area ceiling, and a lower kitchen ceiling. The result is excellent spatial contrast and a range of activity spaces that give the whole space a more spacious feeling. We have seen this happen naturally severally during new construction. However, in remodeling, it can be achieved by using a dormer or lowering parts of the ceiling while retaining the support structure. The latter is cheaper and easier. After all, lowering the ceiling does not mess up the frame.
Having seen these five hacks applied to hundreds of thousands of new constructions and home remodeling projects, we have no hesitation in recommending them. All you have to do is execute these hacks to the letter and watch your home feel and look bigger and more spacious in no time.