Not all home renovations need to involve the entire re-modelling of any room or of a floorplan. Indeed older houses in particular often need a little design creativity in order to reshape them a little and help ease their living conditions into a more modern solution. These design ideas can truly transform the feeling of your home without having to resort to major changes – and you’ll be surprised by just how big an impact they can have.
Glazed Glass Walls
Older properties don’t always present room layouts that are as compatible with modern living than were with old, and installing glazed glass walls can help segment them a little differently.
Creating a distinct junction between living areas without darkening or dulling the light, glazed links can work to join rooms or split them, as well as address any differences in flooring levels and give new views throughout the house and out into any garden or green areas.
Utilising Voluminous Space
Homes with high ceilings frequently have a large percentage of their space overlooked – simply because it rests above usable floorspace and is not accessible for practical usage in the same way.
That isn’t to say that transforming the area above your head can’t be hugely beneficial to the look and feel of a room. Including picture windows, rooflights or opening up a vaulted ceiling increases the light into a space and can make it feel airer and bigger. Keeping internal walls to a minimum can also enhance the sense of space but where not possible, installing windows to the outside world helps boost brightness.
Breaking A Floor Plan
Open plan homes aren’t for everyone, but they feel light and easily navigable which are qualities most of us want in our properties. A ‘Broken Plan’ layout is therefore a great compromise: keeping the floorplan open but zoning it through partial walls, internal windows and subtle room divides.
Light flows through Broken Plan homes without keeping everything completely open; so you don’t need to knock down all your walls and leave them open. What’s more, these plans can work in both small and large homes and with almost any existing layout.
Transforming Defunct Doorways
Lots of older homes, especially ones in rural areas that were not originally designed to be used residentially, have openings or doorways that are no longer required but will look messy and unkempt if simply bricked up and left.
Installing shutters, large windows or suitable external-facing glass walls to existing openings that are no longer required allows for more light to enter the home without compromising on its existing structure or period features.
Exposing and Embracing Original Features
It is very common in many older non-residential buildings for plastered and artificially created walls to be pared back and original brickwork exposed – and this is fast becoming a popular feature in homes, too.
Salvaging original materials for the property and exposing and painting timber frames, original brickwork and other wooden materials allows for work to be completed for both structural and aesthetic purposes and to honour the original workmanship of the home.
Including Supporting Columns
Columns, which are no longer often included in properties as supporting structural features, can be reclaimed and/or installed afresh into homes to provide an industrial look and feel.
Whilst columns don’t need to be included always for structural purposes, they can remove the need for load-bearing walls and alongside steel framed doors and timber vaults, shift a home’s structure whilst allowing for space to open up.
Creating Bespoke Roofing
Extensions on properties often result in differing roof structures as unless the original roof tiles can be exactly matched, the appetite to re-roof the entire property is rare.
Roofs can be created bespoke and in working together, roofers and architects have created some special and unusual designs. One such innovative roof is that to incorporate a window at the back of a property whilst still providing sufficient head height along a spiral staircase. This was worked using a standard warm deck roof construction but with each rafter at a slightly different pitch to incorporate a twist throughout its curved features.
Installing a New Floor
Although there are three storey properties in the UK, these remain few and far between in most towns and cities and so as such, permission is usually required for extension into a third floor.
When planning permission is granted, installing a third floor above the existing living space can hugely improve not just floorspace (of course) but also the value of a property. Newly rendering exterior walls and matching sash windows to existing ones can allow a new storey to sit seamlessly above the existing without the extension looking too obviously different to the original construction.
Bringing in Bifolds
Terraced homes are often limited to extensions and renovations alongside the rear and side of the property, but extending outward can prevent natural light from entering the home as it draws closer to neighbouring and adjoining buildings.
Installing bifolds or even non-traditional versions of them allows for a huge run of steel-framed windows and doors along walls; providing a floor-to-ceiling glass wall if desired and drawing the outside in in an unrivalled manner.
Build In Storage Space and Furniture
Unless a home is a new-build, rooms are rarely exactly square or rectangle – which can make renovation projects tricky. Building in furniture and storage solutions to the existing space rather than purchasing it and making it fit is a space-optimisation technique.
Uneven walls and sloping ceilings can still provide space but should be worked with, rather than around; incorporating every nook and cranny and awkward angle in. Storage units can be built in where furniture may not fit and tables and seating spaces can be easily incorporated into walls. Cupboards can even be enclosed and hidden to give the illusion of walls where actually, you can store your belongings within!
If you'd like to discuss your design ideas, and find out how Refresh Renovations can help you totally transform your living space, get in touch for a free no obligation chat with one of our renovation specialists.