Our homes are the hub of our family. A space to relax and unwind, to share precious moments and to create memories. We design our houses to include areas of social activity and more intimate and private zones. As our family expands and children get older, we could find ourselves outgrowing a home we love. A move to a bigger property doesn’t seem possible, so what can we do to improve the space we have and reach the true potential of our home.
One space living often throws up images of the studio apartment. One space that houses your bedroom, living room, and kitchen. Instead of walls, each area is defined with innovative solutions or intelligent storage units. However, in your home, you don’t have to go so extreme.
Three main areas could be opened up into one main room. Becoming the social hub of your home. The kitchen, dining room, and living room. Often the three are located next to each other, separated only by a few dividing walls. By opening up the space into one and using creative lighting and furniture design, we can maximize the space we have. While retaining a cosy, intimate feeling when we need.
Before you start knocking down any walls, you will need a professional to come and discuss the structure and integrity of your home. Some are load-bearing, and if you go at them with a sledgehammer, you may find your bedroom ends up in your front room. Once you have established what is possible and what isn’t, you can move forward in opening up the space.
To save money, you can hire all the equipment you need. Make sure you cover everything, including cheap skip bin hire for the rubble. It’s much easier to have someone else take it all away for you!
The knockdown stage will feel fun and exciting, the next step, the clear up and the prepping for decorating is harder. Prepare to feel a little bit deflated by the progress, however, the time and care you take here will make all the difference to the end result.
If you have the budget, hiring people to do this for you can make things run a little more efficiently. It’s not easy to live on a building site. Everything is dusty and looks a mess. Given that you have just knocked through into three of the man areas of your home, you won’t have much time for relaxing! With a team of professionals, you could get the job done within a shorter space of time. You’ll also know when the end is in sight.
Designing how you are going to make the most of your new open living space is the next step. You’ll have a good idea of the light and the feel of the new area. There are some really innovative ways to create divisions between your spaces. Using a large island in the kitchen will give you a breakfast bar for quick breakfasts, bring your family into one smaller area while you cook. Here you can talk about your day. Using different flooring can also define the spaces. With a carpeted area in your living space, wooden flooring in the dining area, and perhaps tiles for your kitchen. Remember that flow is vital when it comes to open plan living.
Colour schemes can help divide your space too. Picking a scheme that incorporates two or three shades of grey, from a soft white grey all the way through to a dark feature wall. You can choose any color you like, but make sure they complement each other and the flow of your room.
Furnishing will add a dramatic effect. If you have chosen to go super modern, then you want to stick to clean and simple lines throughout all the areas of your new space. White units in the kitchen work well. Keep lighting functional by using LED strips under your units. You can find some great LED systems online, which can change to any color using your iPhone. This allows you to have brilliant white light for working in the kitchen, or you can create moods by using colored lighting. You can even find systems that work with your music to create a party atmosphere!
If you have opted to theme your space, perhaps looking at french chic or going for an opulent feel, then you should pick striking, bold furniture. Your sofa and dining table can add a dramatic feel. There are some great lighting units that could become a statement in your space. If you have high ceilings, consider a hanging light or chandelier. You can find modern twists on the traditional chandelier which look more like a piece of art than a functional piece of furniture.
Your living space lighting should include lamps. This can help you create a more intimate setting. You can dim the lights down in the other areas and then use warm-colored lamps to make you feel snugger. You can also use shelving options to give you the effect of a room divider without the imposing feel of a wall. These could be used to display your favorite books or to keep your wine in. Try to ensure light can still pass through your shelving though, perhaps opting for a box unit, so the flow of the rooms can continue naturally.
Open space living isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t want to move, or you aren’t in a position to buy a new home, it is a great solution. It also gives you a more social atmosphere and can help keep you connected with your children. Teenagers have a habit of locking themselves away in their rooms or the living room. While they can still enjoy the privacy they need in their bedroom, they will now be able to share a space with you. You may even be able to have a conversation with them while they watch TV and you cook the evening’s meal!