If you are undertaking a remodelling project in your home it can be beneficial to step back and consider space redefinition, rather than simple redecoration. Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall looks at out how radical thinking can revitalise your home.
For most of us, January comes with a host of resolutions, which often include sprucing up our home. Whatever the project scale, it can be beneficial to step back from your original ideas and look beyond the constraints of your existing space to consider how you would like your home to work for you in an ideal world.
Once you have thrown the net wider, it can be surprising to discover that structural changes that may make your home perfect are not that insurmountable. Some extension in budget at the outset, can give you considerable payback over many years.
This is also a consideration if you feel you need to move, with the increase in stamp duty you could find that it is cheaper to adapt your current home than pay tax to trade up.
One of the biggest obstacles to development is historical layout. The housing market has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades, with more emphasis on combined living areas and a focus on square footage. This is in stark contrast to a plethora of rooms (however small), which was the principal drive of the housing market for most of last Century.
A particular example of this is the development of the kitchen, which has moved from an isolated area focussed on meal preparation to become a centre of the home; somewhere that combines cooking, informal dining, homework and TV viewing all in the same area.
In many types of build, the dividing wall between a kitchen and a dining/living room can be partially or wholly removed to open up your space. If undertaken correctly, according to building regulations and consultation with professionals to ensure no structure issues arise, this type of modernisation will not only benefit your everyday living, but also increase the likely saleability of your home. Obviously, this is also dependent upon finishing the project to a high standard with sympathetic design, rather than knocking through and hoping for the best.
Similarly, moving walls, or even just doorways, to make better use of space can present perfect solutions. In an apartment we worked on recently, the master bedroom was undersized and backed on to an unnecessarily large kitchen. As part of our redevelopment project we were able to reposition the dividing wall three feet into the kitchen. This may not sound considerable, and in terms of loss of space in this particular kitchen it was not, but extending a bedroom width from fourteen to seventeen feet meant a 21% increase in floor space. This allowed us to refocus the bedroom so a bed could look out of commanding window views, rather than a blank wall – a major improvement that revitalised the whole space.
So before making do and papering over the cracks or embarking on an expensive extension, look first to the internal space you have on offer to see if it can be adapted to give you your ideal home for the modern era.
When undertaking space planning, consultation with an interior designer or architect can help to identify solutions that may not seem immediately obvious.
If you are considering undertaking structural work, it is important to ensure whether planning permission is required and that any changes will comply with current building regulations.
Money spent on professional services may seem an added cost, but they can help alleviate expensive mistakes and ensure that your project is both legal and structurally sound.