Re­con­fig­ur­ing a small space

Just like De­clan Moy­lan’s house, there are ways to en­hance the space in a com­pact home

25 Beautiful Homes - - IRISH TERRACE -

Along­side the rise of prop­erty prices, peo­ple are in­creas­ingly re­sort­ing to re­con­fig­ur­ing their homes to max­imise liv­ing space, as it is now con­sid­ered less ex­pen­sive to mod­ify your in­te­ri­ors than to ex­tend. If you choose this route, you must make a Build­ing Ap­pli­ca­tion and, usu­ally, con­sult a struc­tural en­gi­neer to ad­vise on load-bear­ing walls.

Chang­ing rooms

‘ With the help of an ar­chi­tect, rooms that aren’t the right size or shape for ev­ery­day use can be trans­formed imag­i­na­tively,’ says Ben Paul of Neu Ar­chi­tects. ‘It’s about al­ter­ing the way you use the space, or chang­ing the spa­ces to suit how you want to live.’ Per­haps the most pop­u­lar sin­gle mod­i­fi­ca­tion, and the one that has the most ef­fect, is the re­moval of one wall to turn two rooms into one. As well as cre­at­ing an open-plan space this also has the ef­fect of in­creas­ing the flow of light from one area to an­other. ‘A small space flooded with light feels brighter and big­ger and pro­vides a link with the out­doors,’ says Ben. This link can be ac­cen­tu­ated with the ad­di­tion of glass doors lead­ing to a gar­den.

Out of the box

To in­crease ac­tual space within an ex­ist­ing shell, we are mak­ing the most of the space above and be­low us: adding height by ex­pos­ing vaulted ceil­ings, and ex­ca­vat­ing to cre­ate sunken rooms. In ad­di­ton to struc­tural changes, there are many ways to in­cor­po­rate space-sav­ing features, such as slid­ing pocket doors that are con­cealed in in­ter­nal walls. A spi­ral stair­case is more com­pact than a tra­di­tional one, as is a wall-mounted lad­der, which is perfect for ac­cess­ing a mez­za­nine level. But as well as cre­at­ing ac­tual phys­i­cal space, the per­cep­tion of roomi­ness is all-im­por­tant so even the act of dec­o­ra­tion, us­ing pale colours with a sim­ple ar­range­ment of wall art, will in­crease the feel­ing of spa­cious­ness.

a large area of glass cre­ates light and spa­cious­ness

a spi­ral stair­case is ideal for a small space

ex­pos­ing a room’s rafters leads to an ex­pan­sive feel

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