Big isn’t necessarily better. When it comes to house layouts, resourceful design can mean small and perfectly formed too. Space is at a premium. Land prices are consistently high and designers and architects seek to get the most for their square footage. Whatever your floorspace and height, there are a variety of aspects of design that be used to make the most of the space available.
Space is fundamental
Space is one of the fundamental elements of design in architecture. The way space is used inside and outside defines a building’s functionality, appearance and success. One of the great aspects of house design is the way an architect can create effects that disorientate spatial perception. Rooms can appear elongated through the use of windows, oblongs and space. Openings and reveals can create a sense of depth and space, through glass-panelled interiors doors or temporary, extendable screens.
Sometimes an entirely open-plan design, a multi-function space, can make a room seem much larger than it actually is. Using an underfloor heating system, for example, can make interiors feel much more spacious. The need for wall-mounted radiators is eradicated and the interior floor and wall area are maximised. This creates the impression of space. In a multi-function room, zoning your open living spaces can create a sense of size too. The subdivisions use spatial trickery to make areas appear bigger. Lighting can be used imaginatively too.
Interesting ways to use small spaces
There are many inspired ways to use space in interesting and inventive ways. Simple designs include the use of open or spiral staircases, so that the stair area does not need to be enclosed and become a divisive aspect of a room. Decorative aspects can make an impact too. In terms of interior decoration, wrong choices such as dark colour schemes or busy floor patterns can cramp spaces and make them appear smaller. It’s what you put into your home too that makes it feel smaller. Maximise the use of wall space and use shelves and especially built-in wardrobes, and other storage such as under-eave storage, or attic spaces to their full potential.
Make every bit of space count
Whatever the size of your property, you want to make every bit of space count. Incorporating ceiling rooflights can capture natural light, while the use of glass wall panels or patio doors – rather than windows – can blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. This is particularly effective in rural or coastal locations, where views are everything, or in urban areas where living spaces open out into gardens. Whatever space you have available, either as an architect, a designer or a self-builder, make the most of it with imaginative solutions.