By Cherie Barber
Compact living is the buzzword of the moment. As cities like Sydney and Melbourne get ever more crowded; affordable granny flats, studios and smaller apartments are becoming more popular than ever. It’s all about extracting the most from any space, whether it’s a home office, kitchen, living area, or even a ramshackle garage. When you’re designing for maximum economy of space, it’s about making sure there is zero wasted space.
Here are five examples where I’ve used design innovation to fully capitalise on limited space.
1. Floating wall with storage
I designed this gyprock floating wall in the master bedroom of my previous home. On the wall facing the bed is a wall-hung television, with all the wiring neatly concealed inside. On the other side is a huge storage rack for shoes. Neat, eh?
2. Hallway kitchen
In this small studio the entrance hallway was dead space that, quite frankly, the owner couldn’t afford. My solution was to rejig the layout and shuffle the kitchen from its existing spot into the hallway. This provided the added bonus of freeing up internal space within the studio.
3. Raised sleeping nook
I then used the spot where the kitchen originally was to create a raised sleeping area with built-in robes, essentially turning the studio into a one-bedder. There’s now absolutely no space in this small apartment that doesn’t get used.
4. Gran designs
Here’s a two-bedroom granny flat I added to a property in Sydney’s west. This was three years ago, before the explosion in Sydney’s house prices. Fully completed, the granny flat cost $72,346, and way back then, was rented out for $330 per week. You can’t argue with that return on investment!
5. Under stairs display shelf
The space under a traditional staircase is quite often dead space. Even if it is a cupboard, the awkward triangular shape makes for restrictive storage options. However, build in bookshelves or an open display case, as I did for this renovation in the US, and the shape suddenly becomes an artistic asset.
Cherie’s final 2.5 hour free training workshops for 2017 will be held in Sydney and Melbourne on November 11 and 12. To secure your place, click here.
— Cherie Barber is the director of Renovating for Profit, a company that teaches everyday people how to buy and renovate properties for a profit.