20 Jan 5 ways to make your home look or feel bigger in North London
Did the celebrations of Christmas and New Year get a little crowded around your place? Have you had the in-laws round to stay or are you planning for a big birthday bash and just realised that your home hasn’t the space to invite all the people you want to invite? Or are you simply falling over one another all the time, wishing that you had a little more room?
As experienced builders we know that there are many ways to make your home look and feel bigger, some of them requiring actual structural work, but others just need you to think a little more carefully about the space you already have.
Here are our top 5 ways to make your home look or feel bigger, ranging from the most obvious and costly to the least expensive options:
1. Extend your family home
I did say we were going to start at the obvious end of the scale. If you want to make your home look and feel bigger then you can actually make it bigger with a side or rear extension (or go crazy and have a little of both with an L-shaped rear extension). The cost will be as high as the space and taste you have, so if you’re going to go for a double storey extension with bifold doors and floor-to-ceiling windows, housing a new open-plan kitchen, dining area and sun lounge with underfloor heating, imported Italian floor tiles and marble surfaces, then you would probably be looking northwards of £100k. That being said, a more modest extension can be achieved for as little as £30,000 (depending on a whole host of factors). So, before you go writing this off as too expensive an option, ask a builder to give you a quote – it may be more affordable than you’d imagine. It’s also important to remember that a well-designed, well-built extension raises the value of your home.
2. Convert your loft space
Often a little less costly than an extension, a loft conversion provides you with a similar amount of choice, from converting the existing pitched space or raising the ceiling level for more headroom, to the addition of dormers to give you more useable floor space. What you do depends on what you’d like to use the space for – bedroom, bedroom and en suite, study/office/studio, teenager breakout space or playroom – and the budget you have available. Clients often have the impression that to convert their loft is going to cost an arm and a leg, but with a basic loft conversion starting at just £20,000 you can see that quite a bit more space can be gained for a relatively small sum. Once again, this is something that will add a significant sum to the value of your home, so it could be considered an investment rather than a cost.
3. Remodelling – time to get the sledgehammer out
However, you don’t need to build more rooms to create more space. Sometimes, homes – often older ones, but some newer ones as well – have been built or converted with awkward spaces, oddly shaped rooms, large hallways and small rooms, and so forth. Other homes may have been built or converted in a time when architects or developers placed specific focus on the size of a particular room, which simply does not suit today’s preferences, or they may have separated the space into multiple individual rooms, when today’s lifestyle preference is for more open-plan living. Remodelling reimagines the space you have and with the help of an innovative architect you can knock down walls, put others up, and create a far more spacious feeling home that works for you.
4. Time for refurbishment
Knocking down and building walls can also cost more than you have, or it might not be appropriate for your home, so the next option on our list is to look at the space you have and consider how to make it feel bigger, lighter –more open. This is where a clever use of colours and materials comes into play – dark woods and wallpapers can make a space feel cosy, but they also shrink a room, whereas lighter colours skilfully selected and matched can make a room feel more spacious. Space is all about the light, so it may be worth considering where newer, bigger windows or glazed doors (such as French doors and bifold doors) could replace older, smaller ones or be added to a room. Other refurbishment ideas to increase a feeling of space include:
- Ways to keep the clutter from your floors such as floating shelves or a clever conversion of your understairs area into a useable storage space.
- Conversion of underutilised rooms, such as redundant home offices or formal dining rooms, into spaces that are used more often, such as playrooms or a TV room for the kids.
- Removal of space dividers such as screens, glass walls, oversized furniture, etc.
5. A clever use of furniture
Whether you were given a piece of furniture, or it was bought for you, you brought it from your last home, or because of a fashion faux pas or poor planning, if you’ve got the wrong furniture (or too much of it) your home can feel unnecessarily cramped. First think about what you need and remove all the rest. Sofas, coffee tables, shelving, cabinets, chairs and dining tables can all be too big for your space and buying smaller/slimmer versions could have a transformative impact on the look and feel of your rooms. Another way of gaining more space is to buy multipurpose furniture. A sofa bed for your spare room, a seat/bench/pouffe with storage underneath, an extendable dining table and so forth. Getting clever with your furniture can have a huge impact on the look and feeling of space in your home.