When you’re looking to make your home your own, how you make use of the available space is the most crucial of elements. Yet, many people fail to take into account the specifics of their home, their needs from the space, and how to create more or even the illusion of more. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new floor plan or you want to know to make the best use of the space already available, we’re going to look at some techniques to get the best use out of your space.
Think purpose first and foremost
Thinking about a ‘purpose’ for your home might sound like an easy question. It’s a place where you have to live, obviously. But you need to think about the lifestyle you plan on living and how changes you make to the home can make that lifestyle easier or more difficult. For instance, if you want to regularly welcome guests to your home, you are going to have different directions from someone who would prefer to live a more private home life. The same goes for thinking about how many family members are going to be sharing the living space with you.
Let there be light
Some of the initial differences come in with how you manage the lighting in the home. For instance, a more private lifestyle might make better use lower lighting that prioritizes a feeling of comfort. Whereas, if your home is to be a social hub then you want as much light in the home you can get. All the better to see your friends with, after all. When it comes to creating a friendlier approach in, for instance, the hallway, then you might want to think about more than function when it comes to lighting. Accent lighting a table instead of relying just on overhead lights creates a warmer aesthetic, especially when balanced with other accessories such as a rustic, ceramic plant pot.
The colour conundrum
Some people are always going to have some difficulty picking out the right colour for just about any room in the home. One of the best ways to think about the colours you choose is to think of them as a journey. Just as, within a room, you could add depth to the colour of the walls or the main pieces of furniture with accessories of a complementary hue, you should think about that same choice when moving from one room to the next. For instance, if you travel from a downstairs hall to an upstairs hall to a bedroom to an attached bathroom. One hall should complement the previous, then the bedroom should complement that hall, then the bathroom should complement the bedroom. Taking another journey from that hall, for instance to a living room, should mark a step into a different (yet still complimentary) colour.
Think about the foot traffic
When you’re thinking about the realities of how you use a space, of course, you’re thinking about more than just how it looks. You’re thinking about how people interact with the space. Freeing up walkways that are rarely interrupted and rarely interrupting is the start. For instance, let’s look at how you use the living room. Let’s imagine that you don’t have guests over as often as others, so you don’t need a huge amount of space between seats. In that case, it can be better to create a walkway around the seating arrangements, giving them some distance from the wall so that anyone passing through can go around rather than having to get in the middle of the communal space. Bringing things closer together can also cast the illusion the room is bigger than it is. If your room if often filled with people, however, you need to space those seats out against the wall so that the communal area itself has more room to offer.
Turn up the heat
It’s not something that is thought about often enough, but if you have the opportunity to change your heating and HVAC arrangement then you have double the control of the home. Thinking about the flow or heat and air through each room is important for making it easier to get comfortable temperature-wise. Options like vertical heaters, heated floors and alternative radiators direct from Only Radiators and similar providers gives you a lot more options when it comes to making sure that you have the kind of temperature control in a room whilst having more freedom to use the space how you want. For instance, a vertical heater in a bathroom can give you more horizontal space to add storage to without blocking off the heat.
Where you need to be
Function over form should always be the mode of thought when it comes to how to best use your space. The utilitarian parts of the room should always be kept within reasonable reach of one another. For instance, in the kitchen, regardless of what your style is, you should always adhere to the kitchen work triangle. Placing the fridge, sink, and stove reduces the amount of bobbing to-and-fro that’s necessary to use the space. That same psychology should go the same for any part of the house that involves some utility.
What’s your focal point?
Back again to thinking about style as well as function, for a moment. A great basis to arrange any room from is the focal point of that room. Where is most attention going to go, where will it be drawn and how do you arrange things so that the rest of the room doesn’t jar against it. For instance, in most living rooms, the TV serves as a focal point, so it’s a good idea to find a central, dominating space to place it and then decorate the rest of the room around it. It doesn’t have to be the TV, of course. In many homes, it’s the fireplace, or it might be a central piece of art for the room.
Consider freeing up some space
One of the ways that space concerns most homeowners is that they simply don’t think they have enough of it. One of the more expensive and extensive ways around the problem is to turn instead to a more open plan arrangement within the home. Of course, this requires a lot of preparation, including making sure that you’re not messing with the structural strength of the house. Other ways to add square footage includes installing an extension or converting an attic, basement, or even a garage.
Making the most of what you have
If you can’t add any more space, then you should think about better ways to use what you already have. There are a lot of little hacks that can help you get space in just about any room. Making more use of vertical space with wall hooks and rack spaces in the kitchen, for instance, requires less use of storage. But you should also consider looking at multi-purpose furniture from Resource Furniture and similar providers. If you can make more use of pieces that do two things at once, you can eliminate the need for another wholly different piece and all the space that it might otherwise take up.
Not all tips above are going to fit all spaces, and not all people are going to have the same needs from their home. Again, it’s about boiling down the decisions to what you truly want from your home and figuring out which points are going to help you best achieve them.