Internal planning and dual use of space
With the internal planning, carefully deciding the location of the rooms within the house and minimising circulation space can all assist in achieving efficient planning.
The goal is to make the best use of the available space. This is a more difficult design exercise which requires some discipline.
The easy solution is always to add more space with the house gradually increasing in area size.
The dual use of some spaces may help reduce the house footprint, for example:
A laundry within a bathroom
A laundry cupboard rather than a separate space
A laundry with a second toilet in lieu of a powder room
A bathroom could have access to the master bedroom and the hall, eliminating the need for two bathrooms
A three-way bathroom could also offer flexible and convenient use, avoiding multiple bathrooms throughout the house
Due to the limited floor area in a small house, it is important to provide adequate storage for linen, appliances, clothing and other household items.
Nothing can make a house appear small and cramped as much as the lack of space to store the things needed for daily living.
Bulging cupboards and boxes stacked in the corners of rooms will make homeowners feel like a person living in clothes four sizes too small.
If storage space is sufficient and the house remains uncluttered, it will retain the sense of spaciousness intended when designed.
Alternatively, a weather-protected external living area can increase the sense of space as well as providing a useful living area that can be used year round. Sliding or stacking glass doors provide generous access and allow views to the external area.
Not sure which materials will withstand the weather? Check out our helpful blog on how to pick external materials in your house design and keep the outdoor areas looking fresh.
Other architectural measures to make a small house feel larger
There are a range of architectural measures that can help a house be perceived as larger than the dimensions suggest.
Some of these strategies include increasing the ceiling height or incorporating a sloping ceiling, using light internal wall colours, larger windows and sliding glass doors (well-lit houses appear bigger) and using the same floor finish throughout.
Consistent internal wall colours and flooring help spaces flow from one area to the next.
With the cost of land and housing rising steeply perhaps it is time to consider what it is we really need to live comfortably. A smaller house may be able to provide all that is needed with the major advantage of lower construction cost.
Undoubtedly, smaller house areas will form part of the solution to our current housing problems. Explore our recent housing projects for more inspiration on how to take advantage of internal space to create a spacious atmosphere in a small home.