In today’s housing market, square footage is at a premium—especially in urban and suburban areas. Homeowners often have to sacrifice the size they want in order to be centrally located, or vice versa. Striking a balance between the home of your dreams and a location you love is a huge aspect of any potential home purchase.
Existing homeowners often find themselves looking for ways to increase functional space in smaller homes. Space-saving solutions are a hot topic in home design magazines and DIY blogs, and many professional home remodelers are offering unique ways for clients to transform their homes and effectively increase their functional square footage.
If your home is beginning to feel cramped, yet adding on or expanding the home is not a real possibility, you may want to consider these popular interior remodeling projects that help homeowners make better use of the space they have.
1. Skylights and variable ceiling heights
These renovations may not actually provide you with more usable space—but they can give your home the definite appearance of being larger and more spacious. Many smaller rooms tend to feel more cramped than they really are due to inadequate natural lighting. Most professional contractors offer various skylight solutions that can drastically increase the amount of natural light coming in, and give the room a more spacious dimension. Adding variable ceiling heights in heavily used rooms can also add depth to a room and increase the perception of spaciousness.
2. Plug those gaps with handy storage
If you look around your kitchen or living room, you’ll probably find a lot of wall space and empty gaps that aren’t being put to much use. A professional home renovator can help you design solutions that will turn these spaces into highly functional storage spaces. In the kitchen, for example, you might consider extra custom cabinetry, shelving, or overhead racks for storing cookware.
3. Knock down walls
You want to be careful when demolishing walls to open up space. If the average home in your neighborhood is three bedrooms, and you eliminate a wall to make a two bedroom home, your market value could be affected. That said, there are many scenarios in which opening up your floor plan is one of the best possible ways to increase functional space. A tiny kitchen, living room and dining room can be opened up into one large multi-purpose space, adding a clean and modern dynamic to your home.
4. Slide your doors
Some rooms and hallways are just plain small, and swinging doors can be cumbersome. Taking a page from the Japanese playbook, many homeowners are opting for sliding doors that disappear directly into the wall. When this is accomplished by a seasoned professional, the effect can be space-saving as well as aesthetically pleasing.
5. Take a fresh look at attic and basement spaces
Often times, the spaces above or below the main areas of the home are neglected or simply used for storage. But if a functional area (such as a home office or playroom) can be fashioned out of these areas, you’ll effectively have more usable square footage on your hands. You may need the help of a professional contractor to get truly awesome results, but chances are you won’t regret having the extra space.
Saving space on a budget
The number of DIY space-saving projects out there is staggering, and many home improvement stores are full of ideas. For more intricate work (especially things like remodeling basement/attic spaces or opening up floor plans), it’s smart to consult with a pro home renovation specialist. At the very least, you’ll find out whether a professional solution is within your budget or not. Then you can make an informed decision on how to move forward.
Good luck expanding your functional living space, and please leave your questions or comments below!