Note from the editor: Houzz is an amazing resource for those looking to update their home, do some decorating, and prepare their home for sale. You can share these these articles with your clients who are looking for ways to fix up their home to help it sell. We appreciate Houzz for providing us with this guest post.
By SPACE Architects + Planners LLC, Houzz
So, you’ve come to the realization that your home is no longer the perfect fit for you or your family. Something is missing, you need more space, or your house just doesn’t feel just right anymore.
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that a new home or a large addition is the best option. We are trained as consumers to discard something when it’s no longer useful or practical and buy the next big thing (iPhone 5, anyone?).
Why not simply evaluate your needs and your current space and make smaller adjustments to create the home you want today?
Rethinking Your House: How to Get Started
Make a list of all the rooms in your home. If you have plans of it, even better. Look at each room, and write down what you use it for.
Now write down how often you use the space for its intended purpose. You might be surprised that you use that guest room only two or three times a year.
That formal dining room hosts a celebratory dinner four times a year, and that hall closet has boxes in it that you moved from your last house and haven’t opened since. These are all wasted spaces. Why not make better use of them? Repurposing a room and redesigning within your existing home’s footprint is always cheaper than building an addition.
Next, make a list of the rooms you wish you had in your home. Compare the two lists, and see if anything can have a dual purpose. Can you live without any of these rooms?
Here are six ways to repurpose, recycle and reuse the room you may already have.
Found office space. That guest room you never use could be the new office you so desperately want. Change the bed to a Murphy bed, and all of a sudden you have a space you can use year round — and still have guests over.
Found family room. That large dining room with those large windows can become the family room you always wanted. It’s close to the kitchen and has plenty of space for a couch and a media cabinet. Maybe all you need to do is knock a wall down and connect the former dining room to the kitchen.
Found homework nook. You need a spot for your kids to do homework and use the computer outside their rooms so that you can monitor Internet activity.
Why not purge those moving boxes and convert that closet into a computer station the whole family can use?
Found wine cellar. Too often, we find our clients stuck with expectations as to what things should be and what others will want. They bought a house with a formal living room up front and a family room in back. They never formally entertain, but they feel compelled to have a formal living room that sits empty. Why not make it into something else? You are avid wine collectors; make it a tasting room. You run a home business; make it an office. Make your home what you want. Space is space; it’s how you define it for yourself that will set the tone for its use.
Found drop zone. A mudroom could be created by simply extending kitchen cabinets through your breakfast or family room and creating a bench and closet space.
Found laundry room. A small closet could become a second laundry room with enough space for a folding table.
Put Resale Fears in Perspective
We are bombarded with TV shows and magazines that promote the idea that we should consider the next buyer of our home when making design decisions. Unless you plan on staying in your home for less than five years, throw that thought out the window fast.
Anything you paint, install or refurbish today will most likely be out of style within five years. Consider the things you decided would have to change when you bought your current home. You can be certain that the people you bought it from thought it was fantastic and that you would not change a thing. The same will be true of the next owners.
We all can remember the aunt that covered her couch in plastic, or a grandmother that left the plastic film on the lampshade in the fancy living room with the white carpeting. All they did was miss out on the opportunity of enjoying something they truly loved.
Your home is your largest investment, the place where you spend most of your time and the heart of your family. So enjoy it — don’t be afraid to make it yours.