When you first bought your property, it probably felt like your dream home. At the time, it had just the right amount of bedrooms, bathrooms, living space and outside space that you needed. However life changes, and families can expand. Over the years you might have had children (or more children) adopted some pets, you might have moved in an elderly relative to care for them. You might have even started working from home, which is becoming more and more common these days thanks to the internet and technological advances. There are lots of reasons why you might end up in a home which no longer feels quite right, but it doesn’t mean you need to pack your bags and head to new pastures. If your children’s schools, your work, your friends and family are all nearby then it would make sense to want to stay where you are. Plus, while the house might not be perfect for you right now, you loved it once and you can get the love back again! Here are some ideas.
If you love your home but are lacking in space then an obvious solution would be to extend. This can be pricey, but it will add value to your home so it’s often worth doing. You could look into homeowner loans, use savings or even remortgage for this. Your could check out a property valuation tool from a company like Flying Homes to work out exactly what’s worth doing based on your house and the area. Extending outwards is a good option, especially if you need a lot of space as a double storey extension would give you rooms both up and downstairs.
However, this might not be an option if you don’t have the space to do this or you’re not granted planning permission; but there’s no need to have your hopes dashed. How about extending down into the basement or up into the loft? A conservatory or orangery could add space downstairs, or you could even consider a free-standing garden room. These aren’t like a shed or summerhouse, they’re insulated and are fitted with electrics and even plumbing if you want to add an en suite. They can be used all year round, and are a great option as a guest room, an office, hobby room or teenage hangout. Garden rooms are good as they’re quick to go up and don’t usually require planning permission, so could be a great way to get some extra space if you’re stuck for options inside the home.
Change the Layout
In some cases, just changing the layout can be enough to make life easier. For example, if children are too old to share a room or are just complaining about it, putting up a stud wall and rearranging the layout a little can make two smaller bedrooms. You might need to put in a window if there’s not one in each of the newly separated rooms already, but it can help make the most of the space. Another option if your home feels cramped would be to tear down walls downstairs to create an open plan layout. Far more spacious, and if you go a step further by extending the kitchen outwards with a glass extension you’ll get lots of light too. It’s a major renovation but it could be the difference between getting to stay in your home and loving it, or having to move. Open-plan living is very desirable in the modern world and so making these changes can boost the value if you do decide to sell later on.
Another way to change the layout would be to think about how you’re using the space. If you have a conservatory for example that’s not used much, could you make this into your office or a playroom? If your dining table is currently in the living room, could you move it into the conservatory and give yourself more living space? Try to get smart with the rooms you have and the way you use them.
Improve the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and such an important room especially when you’re feeding a family. A kitchen that feels spacious, is well laid out and has plenty of storage will make your life much easier. If you’re in the market for a new kitchen then it’s worth taking the plunge. A kitchen designer will work with you to help you make the very best of the space that you have. Built in appliances, smart storage in nooks and crannies and other cool features mean that even if you’re not extending, you can still have a kitchen that’s much better laid out with more of what you need contained within it. If you have an old cupboard, pantry or unused corner of the kitchen then why not consider creating a proper food storage area? Build shelves and put your dried store cupboard ingredients into glass or plastic containers which will keep them fresh for longer. Having lots of jars, tins, herbs, spices, dried grains and other long-lasting ingredients means it’s easier to feed your family — even if you’re all out of fresh food until you go shopping, you can whip up something healthy and tasty from the store cupboard. It can also save you money too. When your family starts to grow, the kitchen is one room that will quickly feel inadequate and so a revamp here can be money well spent.
Add an Extra Bathroom (or Two)
Lots of families have issues when it comes to fighting over the bathroom. When the kids are trying to get ready for school and you and your partner are trying to get ready for work, it can be hectic if you only have the one bathroom. One way to get around this is to have another bathroom or two installed. One could be added as an en suite to the master bedroom, and another could be added downstairs. Under stairs bathrooms are handy and make the most of this small space.
If you’ve extended into the loft or basement or had a garden room created, then these could be made into en suites. Just having one extra place to wash your face and brush your teeth can help to take the strain off when you’re all waiting for one bathroom. It will add plenty of value to your house, so spend the extra making sure it’s done well. It’s easier to do this in some houses rather than others, so check with a plumber if this will be a possibility for you. If the mains plumbing is in a hard to reach location for where you want your bathrooms, in some cases macerator systems can be an alternative. These work in a slightly different way and can be used even without lots of plumbing in place.
Find Good Storage Solutions
A cramped and cluttered home can be stressful. Things are easily lost, nowhere has a proper place meaning mess accumulates and you find yourself digging through items that no one has needed or used in years. Your first step here is to have a thorough declutter. Kids grow quickly and their interests change, get rid of old clothes, books and toys. Keeping these things for sentimental reasons will simply rob you of precious space. When your home is free of things you have no need for, it can make organising so much easier.
Invest in storage solutions that work for you. One option would be to have built-in wardrobes fitted in bedrooms. These can be built around any nooks, crannies or funny shaped rooms, and as they’re floor to ceiling you get far more space inside than you would with a normal wardrobe. Have hanging rails, racks, drawers and shelves fit inside which will give you lots of places to store all of your possessions. In drawers, use drawer dividers to keep smaller items neat and tidy. Use plastic boxes or wicker baskets in cupboards and on shelves so that everything stays tidy — in kids’ rooms you could label these so they know where to put things away. Utilise under bed storage, either with a storage bed or just by using boxes or under bed storage solutions. On desks, pots and dividers keep everything neat. A hanging rail with pots can keep everything organised without taking up desk space.
There are so many cool solutions out there so do your research. In some cases, a thorough declutter and reorganise could give you enough space to live comfortably.
Don’t give up on your home, a few changes could really help you to fall back in love with it again. Even something as simple as redecorating throughout can help to bring back the pride and adoration you once had for your home. Even if it’s not quite right for your needs as it stands, there’s plenty you can do to transform it into what you want.