1. Reclaim lost space
Is your home is pretty much full? Would you like it to have a sleeker and less cluttered look? Do you want it to feel calm while going about your everyday life?
- Analyze the home to find and utilize any unused space from basement, to attic and the garage.
- Analyze what should stay and what should go over the long term
- Create construction plans for custom storage and built-ins where there is wasted space
There is always a way to make a bad under utilized area into a functional and beautiful space. Now that you have more storage- figure out how you can re-purpose other areas of the home.
I recently created a nice sitting area out of an area that was a cluttered office and storage room. The plus points of the space were that it had great windows with tons of natural light. We used small scale furniture, light walls and drapery,after we closed in built an actual closet for the storage. A TV area and wall display area from ready made furniture held more storage so the room remains clutter free.
Important things to consider when reclaiming space:
- Lighting and Electrical: what kind of lighting is possible? If you don’t know what is in the ceiling you need a professional to help. Built-in lighting can really expand small spaces.
- What is your budget? You may not even know what is a realistic budget therefore have to figure out a plan first with your entire wishlist and then work back from that to fit your budget.
2. Make your multi-functional space work
Are you thinking of re-purposing a space? A multi functional space or “flex room” can have an office, a guest bed, toy storage, storage, not to mention a hobby, piano, or crafts area all in one space. Fitting all these functions and furnishings into one space is not easy to do successfully, but it can be done with some thought and planning.
- Work out several options that keep within the theme of the home.
- Work out a reasonable budget including the cost to install.
- Research the options: space saving multi-functional furnishings, built-ins and mirror and light can help to expand a space
Recently we helped an Actor/ Film Editor work out several multi functional spaces into his new studio apartment. We worked out a design to put his personal editing bay into a large niche sort of like a 6′ wide closet without doors. Its attractive and functional even though its open to the rest of the apartment.
Important things to consider in making multi-functional spaces work:
- A space that appears really uninhabitable or uncomfortable can be greatly improved by using noise absorbing materials. Stress goes down with quieting carpet, fabrics, and drapery. You can make a nice haven to retreat to.
- Chose the furniture that is the exact right proportions to the room. Very comfortable small scale furniture is available. Consider what makes it comfy: the foam, the frame, and the type of cushions. The heightof back, depth of seat, and texture of fabric all lead to more comfort and less stress.
3. Make your kitchen work
You have always wanted an island and every time you try to work out a plan you run into problems, you have to remove a wall, you are not sure how it will affect the rest of the home – may it will be too open, you don’t know how big it should be. You need to work on the flow plan.
- Take every measurement from height, length and width of the entire space and do a scale drawing
- Consider moving a wall, widening a door or clawing back space from an adjacent room
- Work out the best flow for the space by actually drawing arrows to show graphically how you move through and use the space.
- Determine the ideal size for your kitchen and what would need to happen to get it that way and work out the budget
Recently we completed a small French Country chic condo kitchen. It’s was only 10’ by 7 ½’. But with all the space saving appliances the client improved the flow of the kitchen. We took available space and improved it with more effective storage like deep drawers. So a kitchen does not always need a major renovation to improve its flow and efficiency.
Important things to consider when you are planning a kitchen:
- Don’t start building until all the materials chosen. This will enable you to stick to the budget. Get a quote on everything and add up the costs before you start.
- Think outside of the box! Create a kitchen with character – check out My Blog post: Create a Great Foodie Atmosphere in Your Kitchen
4. Make a bathroom a spa retreat
- Make a plan and get all the costs before you start.
- Find the best contractor to do the job that suites your schedule and budget.
We recently created a sleek and zen bathroom in one bedroom a condo for a business executive. We used a 5′ wide storage cab mirror soft under cabinet lighting, and a soaker tub with glass rolling doors. To enlarge the space we wall hung the vanity and under mounted the sink. We used a large format tile and only 6 were needed so there were less distracting grout lines. The whole look feels so relaxing and stress free.
Things to consider when you plan a new bathroom:
- A bathroom can be the most difficult room in the house. This might be a job for a designer who is doing bathrooms all the time. City bylaws and national building codes are very important to follow for the safety of yourself and others, not to mention the resale value of your home. Get a good plan and get permits when you rebuild a bathroom it will reduce stress in the end.
- Lead times – we are living in a modern city but some of the products are not in stock and can take up to 3 months. A designer will help you to pick the items that are stylish and will not hold up your timeline. A designer will also know alternative sources to reduce the stress of products arriving on time.
1) Build in storage and de-clutter underutilized spaces.
2) Get more space by making muli-functional spaces work better
3) Get your kitchen to flow better
4) Upgrade your bathroom to a spa retreat
We have found that by addressing these 4 areas we have been able to greatly help reduce stress in the home. We are happy to share our expertise and if you have any questions please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org