When it comes to getting more space in your home, a lot of solutions are smoke and mirrors - sometimes literally, since adding mirrors to your home is an all-too-common tip.
While turning your home into a hall of mirrors can help give the impression of space, it won’t do much good if you have an extra suitcase full of winter clothes or stack of paperwork that you want to hide away. Sometimes, you need to carve out real space where you can keep your things, helping to keep your home tidier and better organised.
Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to create real space with the help of a handy tradesperson, so that you can have a place for everything, and everything in its place.
Putting up a shelf is a DIY staple, but if you want something that can take more than a couple of paperbacks and a few holiday snaps, then it can be worth getting a professional.
They can size up what wall space you have, including spots you might have overlooked, and create shelves that fit, including floating shelves without visible brackets for a cleaner, simpler look. A carpenter or handyman would both be able to tackle a set of shelves.
If you’re struggling for space, freeing up your floor is key to giving yourself more room. Bare walls can be used for storage, not just for shelves, but also for other items.
If you’re squeezed for space when it comes to dining, folding chairs can be hung from wall hooks, or in the kitchen, pots and pans can be suspended from hangers to free up cupboard space for other things.
Bikes, guitars and other hobby items are also good candidates to put up on a wall, out of the way, where they can also double as decoration - depending on how much you like your bike...
The spot beneath your stairs can be an awkward place to put anything, with low headroom and not much depth. While it might fit a boy wizard, these makeshift cupboards usually end up being holding cells for any kind of junk - out of sight, out of mind.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. With a bit of thought, a carpenter could adapt the space to make it really useful, either fitting customised drawers and cupboards to fit the things you want, or even opening it out to install a permanent desk and drawers, to create a small but useful home office space.
Lots of the rooms in our homes feature slightly odd shapes and layouts, whether it’s sloped ceilings or intruding chimney breasts making things slightly awkward. However, you can use those odd elements to your advantage, giving over those spots to storage.
If the ceiling is too low to walk comfortably underneath it, why not devote that side of the room to an inbuilt wardrobe? Similarly, if you have a section next to a chimney breast which isn’t much use, why not level it off by turning it into storage? It means you won’t have to find a piece of furniture which might prove to be an awkward fit - instead, you’ll make the most of every inch.
It’s surprising how much space a door needs to swing, forcing you to squeeze around pieces of furniture every time you want to leave a room.
One possible solution is to make use of sliding doors. Rails are added above and below for the door to run in, which will then move back and forth parallel to the wall, giving you back the space while keeping the benefits of having a door.
If you have a garden or yard, you can make use of it for storage. You can think beyond a simple shed though - work around what it is you need to store and go from there.
Dedicated bike lockers are popular, making a safe and secure place for your bikes that also keeps them out of the elements. You can also get stylish wooden chests for storing tools and gardening equipment, and even ones which double as garden furniture when space is really at a premium.
Thinking bigger, when it comes to space, sometimes the only thing that will do is another room.
If your home is fit to burst, you might be able to make use of the garden instead, by installing a garden room. Whether it’s a simple wooden construction to sit in when the weather’s good, or a high-end, high-spec modular garden office with running water and electricity, there’s something for most budgets.
Looking to bring the outside in? A conservatory has always been a popular way to achieve that, creating a light, bright space that can be used for dining, hobbies, or just relaxing.
Conservatories come in all shapes and sizes, and are usually cheaper to install than a full blown extension, so speak to a conservatory installer to see what the options are.
Sometimes, the thing you’re looking for is right over your head.
If you’re desperate for storage space, making use of your roof space is a no-brainer. Putting down boards and using the area for storage is a simple way of putting things out of the way, as long as you can carry things up and down the ladder.
But if you want to radically overhaul your home with more space, you could consider a loft conversion. Whether it’s a simple dormer or a full hip-to-gable, it’s a big step, but one that can massively impact your home’s value. Loft conversion specialists can talk you through your options.
The ultimate way to expand your home is with an extension. Whether it’s a sleek, modern concrete design, or a sympathetic addition that blends seamlessly with your existing home, extensions can be anything you can imagine - as long as the local authority’s planning office approves.
Extensions take a lot of work and require a healthy budget, but can utterly transform how you use your home. If you just need a place to put a few boxes it might be overkill, but if you want to futureproof your home, find a great local extension builder and get planning.