Why It's Good To Open Up Spaces In Your Home
Opening up the space in your home could be as simple as changing the paint & decor in your room, to removing entire walls between rooms. Whatever the path you take to get your home feeling more open with vary, and we are here to help see what options are best for you.
The biggest and most impactful way to open up the space in your home is to open a shared wall completely, or create some sort of framed opening. This takes careful planning as most shared walls tend to be load-bearing walls--but it will be well worth it after you see the result. If the wall isn't load bearing, the steps involved for completely removing the wall include; demolishing the drywall & studs, rerouting the electrical lines, patching the floor & patching and painting the ceiling where the wall was attached.
If the wall is load bearing, you'll have to determine with a professional what type of support will replace the wall, such as a beam or post and how you'll support the wall during the renovation.
Create Half Walls
To receive that open feel you are looking for, you can go the route of creating a half wall or knee wall. This can be done if the wall is load bearing, and it may not be worth it to completely remove the wall.
This is a great way to incorporate a breakfast bar, storage or a nice bookcase that uses the space you already have. Not only will you utilize all the space you have, it will also act as a visual connector from room to room.
Increase Natural Light
Increasing the natural light in your home is a great way to brighten up a space and make it appear bigger. There are a few options depending on your price range and style that can make a huge different.
Installing bigger, more energy-efficient windows is a wonderful way to open up space & also a great idea to increase the overall value of your home. A simple change to a 5" by 5" picture window from a 3" by 5" double hung window can make a huge difference with natural light flow.
Installing skylights is a great way to flood your home with natural light & can help with energy costs. Another option is installing french doors or a sliding patio door where a window currently is. Bonus points if they are able to be opened up to a patio or your backyard. You'll instantly elongate your room & extend your living space.
Staircases can be a huge visual burden that creates harsh boundaries in a home. Sometimes you can open up your staircase to help keep the flow going from room to room. Consider removing heavy wood banisters with slimmer rails, removing risers or the walls edging the stairs.
Most older homes have dropped ceilings that were once thought to help with energy costs. If you do have a dropped ceiling, many times you can alter them and gain at least 6-8 inches in room height. You can also alter the height of your ceiling by creating a vaulted or tray ceiling. A vaulted ceiling can offer 11-12 feet in height and a major increase in home value & not to mention an entirely different feel to a room. A less extreme modification to your ceiling is creating a tray ceiling, where a portion of the ceiling in inverted. Adding lights, different paint colors, or crown molding can add to the overall tone and feel of the room.
Opening up the space in your home is a wonderful way to give the allusion to more square footage, even when the numbers are there for size. It's also a great way to modify a home built before 1990, but keep the charm that may have attracted you.
Other positives that come along with opening your living space are giving more room for entertaining, keeping a closer eye on the kiddos, and aiding in socializing with family and friends. What are ways ways you think you'll modify the space in your home to open it up a little more?