Rethink your rooms and create more usable spaces

Written by in Lifestyle

2020 has presented a number of changes in our lives, including how we live in our homes. With more people now working from home and an increase in multi-generational living, it’s a good time to think about how to make the most of your home by transforming forgotten or under-utilised areas into useful spaces.

According to the Housing Industry Australia’s latest report, nearly half of home buyers are now looking for homes where there’s spaces, such as home offices or study nooks for them to work from home, and another 28 per cent have a preference for additional living spaces.

There are many ways you can turn a forgotten area into a space worth spending time in, including attic conversions or in a garage, therefore changing the function of an unused room.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when looking to adapt your home to accommodate life’s daily activities.

Rethink your rooms

Many homeowners with formal living and dining rooms rarely use them. Similarly, breakfast nooks and spare bedrooms are often underused – that’s space wasted for most or all of the year.

Rethinking and rearranging your rooms to live more comfortably makes sense. Consider changing a formal dining room into an office. Having one room in the house with well-arranged desks, lighting, seating, monitors and office supplies, where family members can contain their work helps promote calm in the rest of the home.

An unused bedroom could be converted into a playroom or games room, providing an area for kids to enjoy some time out without disturbing the rest of the family.

For renovations that require a tradesman, it’s important you work closely with your builder to develop solutions and choose building materials that allows for versatility in your home, as the initial room plan may not serve that same purpose a few years down the track.

Convert a wasted space

A well-designed attic will create extra habitable space to help free up a busy household and introduce extra living space into your home. Depending on the space you have to utilise, you can also make it self-sufficient by adding a lounge, bathroom, bed and a small kitchen. It’s a really clever alternative to an extension that could increase your property’s value, and is perfect for guests, grandparents or as a teen’s retreat.

To ensure the conversion not only looks great, but feels comfortable and can stand up to the knocks of everyday living, it’s important to think about the building materials you choose, with impact and sound resistant benefits front of mind. Gyprock Superchek plasterboard has sound dampening acoustic qualities that reduce noise transfer within the home – a noisy ‘upper level’ is the last thing you want.

Let there be light

To bring new life into a dark or drab room, think about whether you can add windows or skylights. Taking time to think about the size and position of your windows is an important aspect of a renovation or attic conversion design. As a general rule, glazing should make up 20 per cent of the roof area to maximise natural light.

The position of the windows will often be dictated by the shape of the roof, however skylights can easily and quickly be installed in flat and pitched roofs. Skylights (the ones pictured are created by using Gyprock Supaceil) in raked and sloping ceilings give a stylish yet unobtrusive design element, as well as allowing an abundance of natural light into the room.

Other tricks to help make a room feel lighter and larger include choosing paint colours and furnishings with a light-coloured scheme. Try to pair lighter colours with warm woods and the occasional soft furnishing in a deeper shade to ensure the room feels cosy and welcoming.

Transform your garage

If you don’t have a car or can rely on street parking, converting your garage into a spare room or home gym can make a big difference. Garages often provide ample space for a generously sized extra bedroom, ensuite and kitchenette to create a self-contained studio or granny flat. As an added bonus, bumping up your bedroom count might also increase the value of your property.

If you don’t want a permanent transformation then a home gym is easy to install and remove, and provides an additional personal space for family members and can add value to the work-life balance.