If you share your living space, there are times when even the most spacious house can feel crowded. It may seem like especially close-quarters during changes of life: when you become empty-nesters, begin working from home, retire, or are simply spending more time at home than usual. Perhaps it’s not the cozy home you might have envisioned, but don’t worry! You’ll find unused space hiding in plain sight. Read on to learn how to create more space in your home by giving attention to these 5 neglected areas—without building an addition.
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CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about creating more space in your home, including how to:
- Get More Space in the Garden
- Escape to the Attic Space
- Double Your Living Space in the Basement
- Converting A Garage to a Living Space
- Creating a Personal Space in the Shed
- Final Thoughts on Creating More Space At Home
Create A Space for Yourself: Why It’s Important
As a single Mom and “head of household,” I’ll be honest. Though bittersweet, empty-nesting was a welcome reprieve.
I hadn’t realized just how little time, space, or peaceful moments I had to myself over the 18+ years I spent alone with my (wonderful) kids until they went off to college.
It was heavenly.
I started a business.
I slept well.
And then, when it came time to share my space with my beloved significant other, who also works from home, it was all too clear what I’d become accustomed to and would now miss:
Oh sure, the benefits outweigh the losses. But it was a transition.
Many life-partners have mastered the balance between together and alone time. Others have not. (Guilty.) To boot, it’s especially difficult under today’s stay-at-home circumstance.
And that’s all the more reason why you need to carve out a space for yourself.
Don’t get me wrong.
It might seem like I’m suggesting withdrawing to your little corner of the house.
Not so. (At least not for too long.)
Making time and space for yourself–especially when you’re essentially homebound–allows you to refresh your spirit and come back to your relationships anew. It will actually strengthen your commitment to a healthy relationship with yourself and your housemate(s).
So, I urge you to look beyond the common areas like the kitchen and the living room when you’re considering making changes at home.
Instead, give some TLC to the overlooked and underutilized areas in your living space.
Scout out a place for yourself.
When you give some extra love to these neglected spaces to create your own space, you’ll make the most of your home and restore your peace of mind.
And now, for the ideas.
1. Get More Space in the Garden
It may seem counter-intuitive to begin finding space at home outdoors, but the fact is it may be expansive and overlooked. Have you thought of creating more outdoor living space in and around your garden as you would the interior of your home?
You might think it’s a very different process to care for an outdoor space. However, if you know what you want from your garden, plan your landscaping, and even bring in a professional to take care of it, you can make your garden into a beautiful space where you will really want to spend your time.
Not only that, but you might come to realize the therapeutic benefits of spending time and working in your garden, too.
If you’re in a region like New England with various seasons, you’ll want to think ahead to incorporate inviting elements, like shady areas and fire pits to accommodate the changes in weather.
Plus, creating space in the garden can be a relatively inexpensive renovation.
2. Make an Escape to the Attic Space
For a lot of people, the attic basically serves as a space to dump all the stuff that they can’t fit anywhere else.
It’s the space that the Christmas decorations live eleven months out of the year, and it’s where bags of old clothes lie in wait when you just can’t be bothered to take them to a thrift shop.
Does this sound like you?
Then you’ve got an opportunity right under (or over) your nose.
An attic remodel could well turn this neglected area in your house into a far more valuable and enjoyable space.
In fact, loft conversions are fairly common and often are a lot simpler than many people realize. Consider that something as simple as an attic skylight can transform a dark space into a new, light-filled haven.
By converting your loft, you can turn it from a glorified dumping ground into an attic studio, spare attic bedroom, attic spa, working space, or any number of attic conversion ideas.
The goal is to create a space for you that’s incredibly enjoyable to spend time in, where you can relax and get some peace and quiet for a while.
It’s a perfect, private escape.
3. Double Your Living Space in the Basement
If you’re still wondering how to create more space in your home, another often neglected opportunity is the basement.
When left to gather cobwebs and become musty, this clutter catch-all hardly seems to be an inhabitable space.
But with some clean up and climate control (think dehumidifiers, heaters, and ventilation), it’s got huge potential literally underfoot.
If you decide to leave it unheated, temperatures will likely remain cool through most of the year. This makes it an ideal candidate as a root cellar, where you’ll store and stock up on your garden vegetables and dried herbs for cooking.
Or, it also might be a suitable wine cellar or area for your own craft brewing hobby.
But think about this.
You could practically double your living space when you renovate your basement.
Even better if you happen to have a walk out basement and windows in the basement.
If you build out a full compliment to your above ground living space, you could carve our space for yourself and perhaps even create a hub for family activities and entertainment.
Depending on the size of your basement renovation, yes, it could get pricey. But compared to buying a house twice the size of your current living space, it’s still likely the more affordable option.
To see some fantastic ways you might convert your basement, have a look here.
4. Converting a Garage to a Living Space
Does it seem to you as though most garages store everything except cars in them?
Whether detached, attached, or garage-under, garages seem become the make-shift tool house and storage space, overflowing with sports equipment, bicycles, and soccer cleats, and other dirty things.
Sure, you could turn the space into a garage on steroids, with a thorough cleaning, ultra-organized cabinets, overhead garage storage, shelving, and utility space. That would be useful.
But why not think more creatively–especially when you have a bay door that is poised to let in so much light and air?
And, it makes especially good sense to consider converting a detached garage into living space since it’s that much further from the main house.
Innovative Ways to Repurpose Your Garage Space
Here are some more innovative ways to repurpose your garage space.
How about converting your garage into an impromptu art studio, where paint spills on the floor might add some creative flair to the space?
With the right lighting and maybe some seasonal heating, this high-ceilinged industrial space might rival a loft studio in an old mill building for a fraction of the cost.
Or, maybe it’s time to create that home gym you’ve always wished for.
Glaze the garage floors, order up the gym equipment, and line the wall with mirrors.
It’s like your own private gym membership. (Also a fraction of the cost.)
Bonus: Once you work up a sweat, you can easily let in some fresh air and regulate the temperature with the bay door.
A garage also makes a perfect yoga space at home. You might even try some yoga with the doors open so you can hear the sounds of nature and find your inner Zen.
Or you could think about how to create a meditation space at home, here.
Of course, you could always convert a garage to a bedroom. If it has a high enough peak, you might add a bonus room or loft space overhead, too.
You’ll breathe new life into your garage when you repurpose it any of these ways.
Garage Conversion Tips:
- In cold-weather climates, you might invest in a space heater for the garage or even install a new heating zone.
- Some people even replace the bay door with built-in French doors for private entry.
5. Creating A Personal Space in the Shed
If the garage is traditionally thought of as a ‘man cave’ for men, then maybe you need a ‘she shed.’
What is a she shed?
A ‘she shed’ is an outdoor space for the woman of the house where she can relax, rejuvenate, practice hobbies, and have a moment of privacy away from others. It’s the female equivalent of a ‘man cave.’ You might also hear it called a ‘lady shed’ or ‘she shack.’
I think every woman should have a backyard she shed.
Once you kick the tools and lawnmower out of the shed and tidy up, this cozy space might be just the simple she shed you need for a little alone time.
To really capitalize on the opportunity, slap on the white (or light) paint, string up battery- or solar-powered lights, bring in a cozy chintz chair, and make a place for your feet and your drink.
Ah, doesn’t that feel better already?
No doubt, you’ll have plenty of ideas for decorating a she shed and can search for inspirational design ideas for inside a shed. (Funny, you’ll even find plans for a she shed with bathroom facilities online!)
Remember, you can always bring in a space heater for the cooler months.
And if you find you enjoy having this private space detached from the main house, you might even splurge and insulate it, and wire in heat and electricity. It’s such a small space, it may not cost nearly as much as you think.
You’re totally worth it.
Final Thoughts on How to Create More Space At Home
The truth is that if you want to get the most out of some of the more commonly neglected spaces in your home, it doesn’t really take all that much work. And, let’s face it, everyone needs a little time to themselves–especially when the house seems eternally crowded with everyone working and learning from home.
The good news is, now that you know how to create more space in your home, you can stop looking elsewhere to create your dream home. Consider that it only takes a few changes here and there to take the space you already have from completely unloved to an amazing space.
Is there an unused or neglected space in your home that you can revitalize? Which of these ideas about how to create more space In your home is most feasible for you? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
Photo Credits: Door Mat – Kelly Lacy, Attic – Joanna Bogacz, Basement – Lisa Fotios (Pexels); Garden Room – jjekafluf (Pixabay); She Shed – Arno Smit (Unsplash)
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