Maximizing the Use of Small Spaces

One of the most common phrases Avenue B Development hears when clients and prospects walk through our homes is “Wow, this feels so much larger than it is!”  We totally agree with them, and our construction and interior selections very deliberately make the most of not-so-vast spaces.  Given that most of our remodels and development projects are subject to City of Austin McMansion regulations, huge, boxy houses are out of the question.  So, how do we do it?  What are the tricks?
Here’s a few we utilize time and time again:
  1. Storage, storage, storage!  Find clever, space saving spaces to maximize storage options, including window seats with hinged tops and shelving underneath stairwells.
  2. Don’t create a room for every function – designate a space.  For instance, many people think they need full home offices, but if you don’t work from home, might a well-placed, built-in desk serve the same purpose?
  3. Line up windows and doors to maximize light.  In particular, we like to line up the front door and the back door to ensure a clear view from the front of the house to the backyard.  This maximizes the feeling of spaciousness within the house.
  4. Who needs hallways?  In general, hallways are a waste of space, especially in older homes.  You generally don’t need them, so don’t waste space on them.
Several years ago, we came across Sarah Susanska, an architect and author whose books detailing the “Not So Big House” were inspirational to us.  She proposed that people actually prefer houses that emphasis quality over quantity of space and is filled with the unique craftsmanship that make a house feel like a “home.”  In fact, in most homes, people are drawn to spend to time in the cozy nooks of the rooms than in the middle of the vast, vaulted, empty space.  Time and time again, we’ve seen this to be true.  That’s why you’ll often find window seats, built-in nooks, and human scale rooms in our remodels.  Check out her inspirational books here: http://www.notsobighouse.com/