An easy way to start is to re-examine how you use each space and what function it has.
Like many families, you decided what each room should be when you first brought, or built the house, and moved in many years ago. Doubtless the family has changed since then but for most of us the rooms remain as they were- just less used.
A kind of permanence sets into what should be a much more dynamic experience. At best these rooms become an unused space that consumes heat or AC. At worst they become the forgotten room or start to carry negative associations.
Families change over time and the functions we require in our home changes too. When kids are young a playroom or toy space seems essential, but when they get older a place to be with their friends that’s (seemingly) apart from adults is required.
Parents progress from focussing on the needs of their young children to going back to work and maybe needing a home office, or even a workspace where clients can visit.
Nannies no longer live in and pets become bigger or sadly pass on and aren’t replaced. Our hobbies change with fashion, technology and even our financial situation.
To get more out of your current house, try going room by room and examining them individually. Ask yourself, ‘what is this room for?’ ‘Do we really use it like that (does anyone, anymore)?’. Be realistic and analytical and you’ll be amazed what insights you can get. Perhaps the boot room should become a homework room; or we finally admit the garage is really a workshop and hobby room, and now we can set it up and organize it properly. Maybe the pantry or prep room starts to get used as a breakfast nook.
At its most ideal this strategy involves no construction or redecoration work – it’s simply a redefinition in our heads, accompanied by moving some furniture.
But while these thoughts are floating around in our heads, we might start seeing the opportunities for changes that do require some building work like taking that fifth bedroom/ensuite that hasn’t been used in years, adding a separate entrance and kitchenette and have it become a granny flat, guest unit or even an Airbnb opportunity.
Alternatively, we may decide that it’s time to think about moving house or perhaps design a new home for our existing lot/site. This is where Opoplan’s ‘Make Your Design’ feature can help.
To receive regular updates from Opoplan, subscribe to our newsletter below.