Why Dividing Up a Small Room Can Maximise Space
Often, it seems the obvious way to make a small space feel bigger is to knock down walls, but it’s not the only solution
Open-plan kitchen/living spaces are hugely popular on Houzz. In a small home, though, with just one living area, you could end up feeling as if there was nowhere to get a little me-time.
In this petite urban garden flat, Lisette Voute of Lisette Voute Designs gave the owners the best of both worlds by installing glazed double doors between the two spaces. It means there can be two members of the household doing their own thing, with no arguments over the kitchen radio or living room TV being too loud, and all the intimacy of small-space cosiness.
When a more open layout is desired, the doors into the kitchen can be thrown back to connect the rooms.
In this really clever layout revamp, one room has been turned into three to make better use of the space.
Smart design by Eva Byrne at houseology means it feels anything but cramped – in fact, the whole rejig lets so much more light flow through the property, it actually seems bigger.
Opening up rooms is often as much to do with the flow of natural light as the gaining of undivided floor space. This cleverly designed midcentury house tackles the issue ingeniously using a half wall, open shelving, strategic glass and a sliding door.
Rather than creating one big, open downstairs room, R2 Studio Architects worked to keep the kitchen feeling very much like a standalone zone and give the entrance area room to breathe.
The home office (and a tiny adjoining cloakroom, not seen) at the far end of the space can easily be tucked away behind a sliding door. During the daytime, having the door open boosts light levels in both the kitchen-diner and the office, but at night, files and screens can be kept out of sight and mealtimes can be cosy (and unencumbered by work stress).
This half wall acts as a headboard and screen, creating two walls for shelves and rails, rather than one, and leaving the bed area calm and uncluttered.
Although this shower room isn’t struggling for space, it illustrates a neat idea that can work wonders in a smaller bathroom.
Building a wall, or half wall, in a room that’s already petite might not seem sensible. However, when it can serve the double function of giving your loo some privacy and creating a walk-in shower, as here, it’s a no-brainer.
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In this flat, knocking through to create a kitchen/living space was an option, but it would have resulted in a rather narrow room and meant storage space was limited.
Instead, Olivier Bourdon at Bambù has ensured that light still flows between the two areas, but that there’s also wall space to put the TV against, heaps of shelving, and concealed storage in the hallway connecting the two rooms.
This slim glass panel barely takes up any floor space, yet it very effectively gives the sense that there’s an entrance area and a dining room without losing any light – no mean feat in a teeny one-bed flat, pulled off by Stephan Bidoux Studio.
He’s refused to lose walls in the rest of the place, too. Instead, sleek pocket doors, even to the kitchen, save space while maintaining distinct rooms.
Could any of these ideas offer a solution for your own small space dilemma? Share your thoughts, photos or tips in the Comments section.