When it comes to the size of homes I am equal opportunity when it comes to design and renovation. No matter what the square footage of a home there are always opportunities to create spaces that “wow.” The smallest house I’ve ever worked on was just about 1200 square feet and it was s o long ago that I don’t even have any photos to share.
When it comes to our recent projects many have been on the larger side. As one of my search strategies I typically attempt to find the most amount of overall square footage so that we can add finished square footage and add as much value as possible. Surprisingly, many of the renovation costs don’t change very much with traditional square footage. But our latest project was a bit of a change from what we’ve been doing. And if I do say so myself, the home is truly a city cottage. Blocks from one of our lakes and minutes from many of the attractions that draw people to live in Minneapolis.
This home and how it was transformed were the inspiration for sharing my tips on how to add the most to a small home. It doesn’t always take a lot of space to create major impact. Every home has potential and this is the blueprint for maxmizing the charm and efficiency for everyday living in a smaller home.
Find Opportunities for Natural Light
All of the windows in this home were original so they were on the list of replacement from the beginning. With the existing dining room, there were a couple of windows that were swapped out for a sliding glass door. Now when you walk into the home from the front door you can see through the house and out to the backyard space. A small choice that made a huge difference.
Small Kitchens Can Still Have a Big Layout
Often it’s the thought that if there’s not the room to add the large island and open the primary wall between the kitchen and living room that it may not be worth the renovation. The original kitchen in this home was closed off and short on cabinets and countertop space which are difficult when you’re using the kitchen as intended. To offset the lack of cabinetry the layout was designed as a “u-shape.” Using this layout and relocating the sink to the back window the side window was able to be eliminated and now houses the range and plenty of work surface.
Ensuites Don’t Require a Ton of Space
The ability to create a private bath space attached to a bedroom is very sought after but often very difficult to achieve. Especially in homes that are older. When planning it is common for there to be space that can be re-purposed to create a suite that can accomodate a shower, toilet and, when possible, a double vanity. But even when the space is limited and you have to go with a single vanity it’s worth adding this valuable space.
This style of home is one that we’re familiar with however, this is a home that had the type of kitchen and dining room layout many people aren’t necessarily looking for in a home. So one of my top priorities was to make sure I created a space that allowed for dining and connection to the kitchen in a very small amount of space.
Bold choices can create impact
It’s all about balance. Though this home is limited on space there is no reason that style can’t be incorporated into the renovation. The dining space is a perfect example. While adding the bench for seating creates versatility the wall presents the perfect opportunity to steal the show. By adding the grid feature this wall becomes a statement visible from the kitchen, the dining room, the living room and the entry. That’s a ton of impact for one wall.
With the close proximity to the lake and the cottage style of the home the exterior could have easily gone in a few directions. But choosing the bold dark hue with the white trim truly set this home apart for blocks. It doesn’t take a large home to carry off this deep shade.
All of these steps and renovations worked together to create a home that functions at its highest potential. Using these ideas and tips in any project is sure to lead to amazing spaces.
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