Creating more space in your home
Space. One way or another, everyone wants it, and everyone needs it. Here are some clever ways of maximising the space in your home.
You can get the measure of it with our floor plans and the built-in storage that our homes offer, you can be inspired by our showhomes, and you can see what our Brand Ambassadors have done – and then you can add your own ideas and make your space work just for you.
There are two sure-fire ways of creating space. The first is to use clever storage solutions, something you can really get a handle on. The second is all an illusion – simple trickery to make a room seem bigger than it really is.
Either way, it’s all down to your imagination, and so whether you’re feeling cluttered or starting from scratch and planning what to put in your new home, it’s time to start thinking outside the box.
First things first
Clever storage is all about what you want to see and what you don’t want to see. What you don’t want on show needs to be kept behind closed doors, and what you want to show off deserves a home of its own.
This means you need to sort out what you want to keep (think Marie Kondo, Stacey Solomon), then decide which things to store out of sight, and which things to store in plain view. Now you’ll be able to think about what sort of storage to go for and how much you need – it’s easy to underestimate, so the ‘buy one get one free’ approach to furniture that leads a double life as storage will feel like a bargain.
Drawers under beds, benches with seats that lift up, and sofa tables with integral storage are classic solutions but you don’t have to stop there. Bedside tables traditionally incorporate drawers, but so can coffee tables which traditionally don’t. Baskets for shoes don’t have to trip you up in the hall, they can hang on pegs in a cloakroom or utility room.
Shelves don’t have to be low level. A single block shelf for pretty things high up towards the top of a wall becomes part of the architecture rather than part of the furniture and creates a showcase that doesn’t impact the practical space in the room. Fit it neatly from wall to wall and paint it the same colour and it’s not the shelf you’ll notice, but the things that have pride of place on it. It’s time to break the rules.
Mirrors reflect your style as well as playing a trick with light and space. Simple plain frames will blend into a wall. Their focus will be on doubling your sense of space and are an ideal ploy in narrow hallways. Give them something to reflect on though – perhaps a row of pictures on the facing wall – it’ll brighten up your day.
Pretend you’ve got a dual-aspect room with a window-pane mirror, without the need for curtains! Set one up facing an existing window and you’ll double-up on the view. Or you could put one on a landing, where it’ll do a good job of imitating a window. They’re an in-house version of the garden mirrors that work so well outside.
Super-size gilded frames leaning casually against a wall will create a new spatial perspective, bringing a feeling of height – as well as good looks - to a bedroom in a glance.
And finally, an over-mantle mirror above a fireplace will enhance a special feature and add to the depth of a living room. It’s a tried and tested technique in a period house that also works wonders in a contemporary space, and may be the perfect excuse to introduce an antique shop find into your new home.
Trick of the light
Colour and lighting work hand in hand when it comes to creating space too. A dark colour next to sparkling white will never look gloomy - instead, the contrast will show off the space. You may have to watch your headspace in a room with sloping ceilings, but if the walls and ceiling are painted the same cool calm colour it won’t cramp your style.
A wall light casting its light upwards rather than down will raise your room to new heights, and a chandelier style pendant light will sprinkle light in every direction, banishing the shadows that try to cut corners.
No matter what style your home is, and whatever size the rooms are, creating space is much more than cupboard love. It’s about making the most of every room and giving yourself headspace as well as floor space.