You’ve thought long and hard about it and have come to the inescapable conclusion that you need more space. There are just two problems that need presents. First, you don’t want to sell because you love your home and where you live; and second, you’ll have to give-up outdoor space to get more interior space.
Since you don’t want to sell and buy a bigger home or forfeit a sizable chunk of your outdoor living space you worked so hard to transform into an oasis, you’re stuck with the task of making space from nothing. Well, you probably have a lot more space in your home that’s taking up otherwise useful space and you’re just not aware of it or how to re-arrange it to get more room.
Pros and Cons of an Open Concept Layout
The good news is you probably have at least one of a few options at your disposal, you just don’t yet know they exist. Take the open concept floor plan as one example, its popularity over the last several years has grown to monumental proportions, but it might not be the best option. We all know that since the time the first residential homes were built in the country, those residences contained separate rooms for separate purposes. There was a distinct dining room, a kitchen, a living room and/or family room, and bedrooms.
“Stop and think before you knock down that wall: a recent piece in the New York Times notes that buyers are beginning to reject the popular ‘open concept’ trend. The article argues that more people are entertaining at home, making a traditional floor plan more attractive to home cooks who want to shut the door on the mess in the kitchen.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Several years ago, the trend of tearing down walls to create an open concept took off, especially in the midst of the housing bust. Now, a new trend is beginning to take shape, one that’s attractive to homeowners who like separate spaces, to keep the chaos and mess of the kitchen in a specific area. It’s also advantageous for families with children who want to keep the noise and confusion relegated to one room.
That’s the upside of an open concept, the downside is that you have to cleverly use decor and color schemes to demarcate spaces, creating a sense of distinction for each “room” within the open space. Another problem is the fact you’ll have fewer walls, which means fewer places to hang pictures and fewer places to back furniture against. Yet another downside is the fact your kitchen is exposed, so, if your entire home is clean, but a pile of dirty dishes in protruding from the sink, the whole house looks dirty.
Making a Home Bigger without an Addition
Now, onto how to squeeze more space out of your interior space without taking space away from your yard. As mentioned, there are a few ways to make a home more valuable and bigger without putting on an addition. Here are those options:
- Repurpose those catch-all storage rooms and spaces. It’s not uncommon for a room to become a catch-all space for storage. You can either migrate that stuff to the garage, a shed, or storage facility, or even sell it and donate it, but this is one way to gain livable space.
- Remove walls for an open concept. By tearing down non-load bearing walls or replacing load bearing walls with decorative support columns or posts, you’ll open up the interior, creating more space. When there’s less of a visual barrier, the possibilities come alive.
- Porch and patio enclosures. If you have a screened porch or even a dedicated patio, you can enclose either one and add electrical outlets, along with heating and cooling. Then, you’ll have another room to use as you like, for entertaining and relaxing.
Another option is to rearrange existing spaces while reducing furnishings and decor to maximize space. Sure, you might lose a few things, but you’ll have more living space to relax and entertain. This will help to increase the visual continuity and provide you with more room in your home.