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Room To Move

Short of space? You’re not alone. We need to become more creative in our use of the space we have.

Current trends are not simply for open-plan living areas, but for multi-tasking spaces in which we can relax, work, play, eat, entertain and more.

How can one space accommodate this multitude of uses?

Where to put it?

Built-in furniture has long been a trick used by architects to enhance a small space and make it more liveable. Windows can be designed with wider sills to transform them into useful and welcoming seating; the area underneath can then be transformed into storage space.

Floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases are safer than the free-standing alternative. They can be used not only to store books, but to display photos, extra glassware and crockery from the kitchen and children’s toys when not in use. Wider shelves at desk-height can double as work surfaces – make sure extra power points are incorporated to allow laptops and other devices to plug in.

The clean lines of a frameless system provide an uninterrupted, stylish floor-to-ceiling feature to conveniently conceal both storage and workspace. Segmented system options allow for combination panels to create a striking design feature.

Out of sight

Still tight for storage? If you don’t have enough room to store those extra bits and pieces, consider turning your roof space into storage space – simply incorporate attic stairs into your design.

Inconspicuous at the ceiling level, Fakro Attic Stairs from HomeTech integrate flush into your ceiling space. With an insulated hatch to minimize heat gain and heat loss, these simple fold-up attic stairs are robust and thoughtfully designed.

The writing’s on the wall

If you work from home or just need space to let your ideas run wild, your walls are an ideal space. New from Resene, Write-On Wall Paint turns your walls into a whiteboard. It’s designed to work with your existing décor by allowing the colour of your walls to show through the clear finish.

Keen to display information on your walls or decorate the space without damaging the wall with nasty pin holes or tape? Loaded with iron oxides for maximum magnetic effect, Resene Magnetic Magic can help you do just that. Once applied, you can use rare earth magnets to decorate your magnetic wall, or use magnetic strips on the back of posters and brochures to display them – all without damaging your walls.

Underfoot, but out of the way

If a fire or wall-mounted heating or cooling system will take up too much precious space, consider the space beneath your feet. Underfloor heating enables you to enjoy a pleasant, comfortable temperature throughout your home day and night, with the added benefits of no strong air movement or noise.

For either new homes or renovations, underfloor electric heating is straight-forward and economical to install for surface warming and space heating under tiles, carpet, stone, ceramics and for use in both internal wet and dry areas of a building, on both ground floors and upper storeys.

Food for thought

Although we don’t have such intense population pressure as micro-housing specialists such as Japan, the quarter-acre ideal is becoming less attainable for many kiwis and compact living more of a reality. But that may not be a bad thing. Necessity is the mother of invention, so more innovations in space maximisation are no doubt on their way.

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Find out what you can do to be Space Management savvy in the articles linked below.

Resources

Room To Move
Download Spatial Design
FPB - Future Proof Building Principals
Energy Smart Health & Safety Life Cycle Quality Smart & Secure Sound Control Spatial Design Sustainability