Last time we looked at finding space in nooks and crannies and building left and building right, up and over – this week we look at the nifty ways of getting more space if you need to stay put in this economic climate – and folding stairs, amongst other ideas, provide just the ticket.
So here are some that need reminding as I still visit homes that do not maximise unused and unloved spaces although they are crying out for more space, toilets, desk space,etc…!
- Loos under the stairs – obvious right? So obvious people forget! Just check where your soil pipe is and again you will need a builder to advise you.
- Office under the stairs – a great way to “close that office door” when you are not working. Tidy and compact.
- In high ceiling rooms, where you cannot put a full height mezzanine, do a storage come bookshelves ledge, add a ladder and you have a functional usable storage space without compromising on light
- On a mezzanine floor if stairs are going to take up too much space, use foldable stairs, when you need them pull them down (they even do automated ones now). Ok so they look rather ugly still as they have mostly been used to get to lofts, unless you want the industrial look , but it can be done with clever design and engineering. Perhaps not that cheap but something to consider?
- Use your outside space to have a garden office – convert the shed. Ensure that if you are going to work there it is insulated and that you can have utilities run to it (phone, water, etc) check with planning again. Off course this can be a granny annex too – but again check with planning.
- Add a conservatory – a room outside a room inside! These days conservatories can be really swish sun traps adn added space.
- Add a wine cellar in your floor- Spiral Cellars do amazing ones.
- If you have a cellar and enough head room, washing machine and such like can be placed there to make more room in the kitchen. It can also be used as a larder, just put shelves up and stock you goodies there.
- A balcony or a roof terrace – a Juliet balcony allows for the doors to open fully with a waist-height rail. But you need to check with planning. It’s amazing how a full length window gives the impression of a bigger space as well as lots of light. If you are lucky enough to have a flat roof – take care – soil and water combined are heavy! So you will need to have a structural engineer check loads and if the structure underneath you can withstand the additional weight.
- In the bathroom use the few inches under the bath as storage drawers for towels and toilet paper for example
- In a studio flat why not have a slide out bed from underneath your dining table? If you have enough space to pull it out (try sideways too) and in the same space…..A kitchen against one wall can be hidden from view with sliding panels during the day and allowing you to have a living area that is unhampered by kitchen paraphernalia.You can also have a floor to ceiling book/shelving again a wall and all around the door, only needs to be 25cms in depth to give you so much needed storage. Use a mini ladder to get up to the top shelves
- Any sitting benches can also be used for storage: against a sloping roof, position the benches sot hat you have enough head room and then fill the space between the bench and slope with large vertical drawers pull out (shoes, magazines, etc) or the seat can be lifted to store other items too.
- Home office – use a wall to implement a storage and shelving unit incorporating a fold down table to eat or work at
- Garage – convert as a bedroom or extra space and build a carport instead to shelter your car – that’s a really obvious one and I often find that many many people have garages that are so full of junk they don’t have space for a car anyway!
Simples! Well maybe not that simple, it all involves planning and money of course but these days these kinds of work cost much less than moving!