Space Savers

McMansions are getting bigger and bigger. But for many custom-home designers, this is the age of the incredible shrinking house. Despite a smaller space, there’s plenty of room for movement. We show you how to make the most of it in 3 steps.

1. Create Open Space
Load up on multipurpose rooms: A family or game room; a great room, which combines space for living, dining and cooking; and a loft that doubles as a guest bedroom are popular spaces to expand square footage while combining functions. This design strategy is collectively called “open planning,” because it eliminates unnecessary interior walls, which also helps reduce costs.

2. Don’t Waste Space
Two of the most notorious space-hogging offenders are formal living and dining rooms. Why? Nobody uses them! They just become extra spaces to furnish and clean. Think practically to avoid creating the ill-fated dust-gathering room.

3. Focus on the Kitchen
Everybody congregates in the kitchen. Cooking and eating are very social activities, so an eat-in kitchen is a typical wish-list contender. If you frequently host parties, groom your kitchen for this type of activity by installing two dishwashers and two sinks to lessen the amount of time you spend on cleanup. A large pantry for additional storage is another good use of space.

Read the full story in the 2007 Annual Buyer’s Guide issue of Timber Home Living.


Photo by Rich Frutchey