Space. It’s something we all desire. Whether that’s our ‘own space’ to get away from other people, space to be creative, space to play, or space to grow your family. Unfortunately space is at a premium here in West London. While we are fortunate to have many open spaces and parks like Kew, Gunnersbury and Ealing Common, our homes can be a bit of a squeeze.
Luckily there are ways to create more space in your home with some innovative design and clever space creating tips.
Conversion Projects: Lofts, Extensions, Conservatories And Basements
One way to add a room or more to your property it to go up, out or down. While a conversion project is not a cheap option, it can pay for itself when you come to sell your home. As I explored in a recent blog post, a conversion can add 20% to your property value – particularly if it includes an additional bathroom.
Loft conversions make a lot of sense, especially if you want an extra bedroom. It keeps the traditional layout of the house with bedrooms upstairs and living spaces on the ground floor. However, you don’t have to be a traditionalist. We’ve converted lofts for people looking to add a games room to their home, a home office, and even a music studio – you don’t have to sleep in your loft!
A word of warning though – make sure you don’t compromise your downstairs space. I’ve visited some very poorly planned loft conversions where stairs have been installed in the wrong place. For example a beautiful Victorian home where the master bedroom, complete with bay window, fireplace and other original fittings, was now an L-shaped room with barely enough space for a double bed. Instead of putting the loft stairs over the existing staircase, they had stolen a chunk out of one of the best features in the property.
If you have outside space that you’re willing to forego in exchange for more room, an extension is the answer. Ideally a two-storey extension if you have the budget and planning permission, then you can increase both living and bedroom space.
When a two-storey is not an option, a single storey extension is the perfect way to create extra living space. It also helps those in period properties to add a contemporary room to their homes that’s more in tune with our lifestyles today.
If you don’t want to extend too far into your garden, converting a side return could provide a little more space. Many Victorian properties have a passageway either running down the entire side of the building, or from the back living room alongside the kitchen. Extending here can open up both these rooms, creating a more spacious and modern living area.
Conservatories are also an option, but it’s important to ensure it doesn’t look like it’s been bolted on. Successful additions are streamlined with the rest of the property; they flow from your existing rooms. As conservatories are essentially a garden room, they also need to integrate with your outside spaces too.
Other alternatives include converting a garage into a room, if parking is not an issue. This can be very effective if you want a home office, playroom, a utility room or a downstairs bathroom. You could also divide the garage area into more than one room, gaining a utility room and cloakroom or similar.
The need for space in our cities has seen interest in basement extensions soar. If you have already converted the loft, explored other options for extensions and still need more space, going down could be the solution.
We’ve seen some very innovative basement extensions housing everything from home cinemas, gyms, and even a wine cellar / bar.
Space Creating Tips
Finally, if you’ve run out of options for extending or converting your home, and you’re still feeling cramped, these tips could help:
• Declutter: while you don’t have to go for a completely minimal style, clearing away the stuff that collects around the house can instantly make rooms feel more spacious.
• Storage: it can be a challenge to find storage solutions that look good and fit in with the design of your rooms. Hidden storage is the answer. Look for furniture that also provides you with somewhere to put your clutter. Such as an ottoman with a lid and storage inside.
• Bigger is better: larger pieces of furniture or decorative features are better than lots of smaller pieces. For example a large statement sofa will not only look great but also frees up the unusable space you get around a sofa and armchair set.
• Rearrange the furniture: you may be surprised by how much space a different layout can create. Think about how you use your furniture as well. A dining table that’s only used occasionally may be better positioned against a wall and only pulled out when it’s needed.
If you would like to explore the potential of creating more space in your West London home, get in touch. We are happy to give you advice about going up into the loft, out with an extension, or even down into your cellar. Call 0208 819 3883 or email email@example.com