9.20.2017

Crammed Family Home? Reshape Your Home For More Space

If you’ve rented a holiday home abroad with your family, you’ve probably noticed how big some of the houses are on the continent. The truth is scary: our British houses are incredibly small in comparison. In fact, a recent research has revealed that the UK has the smallest homes in Europe. Did you know, for example, that the average three-bedroom home – which is a standard for small families – measures 88 square metre, which is truly tiny! In reality, the growth of the population in certain areas of the country is already forcing people to ignore legal requirements. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that is going to change soon. Besides, recent changes in regulations allow to convert former commercial properties into residential, which means that the minimum size value can be easily and legally ignored. In other words, it’s no wonder your family feels a little tight in your home. In the worst case scenario, people have barely enough space to stand up comfortably in any given room. It’s about squeezing in and ignoring the clutter. Naturally, you could get used to it if it weren’t for the constant commercialisation of bigger-than-life household items – XXL TV screen anyone? So the big question is: can you adapt your lifestyle to make the most of the British shoebox homes or are there ways to make more room for real-size life?


Problem 1: British houses present a health problem
Everything that is small might be cute, but it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Tiny homes are the British response to the housing crisis. But the price for any home is higher than it’s even been: the value of small-sized flats sounds like the worst kind of joke, with £810,000 in London for a 41.7 sq metre apartment – yes, you’ve read me well!  But it’s more than just a problem of how expensive your home is. Riba, the Royal Institute of British Architects, have produced a report about the British shoebox homes to warn that half of newly built homes are not fit for purpose. They are too small for the family of two, three, four or more that they target. People are confined to a tiny space where they can’t socialise together comfortably and healthily. As a result, when your everyday job isn’t stressing you out, it’s your tiny home that’s driving you mad.

Besides while the homes are getting smaller, our everyday items are growing in size. It’s a nightmare situation!


Problem 2: people still want everything bigger
Your smartphone doesn’t fit in your pocket anymore thanks to an XXL screen. And when was the last time you could watch TV without your eyes turning blood red from the light? That’s a common problem in small houses where you’re forced to sit with your nose almost caressing the screen of your home cinema equipment. There simply isn’t any possibility to combine modern luxury and small homes. According to the Time, the British population prefers a king-size bed in their bedroom. With the size of bedrooms shrinking, it’s easy to see how there soon will be just barely room for a bed in your bedroom. So how do you best tackle this contagious case of shrinking homes and keep your favourite modern items at the same time?


Problem 3: who can afford a big family home?
Becoming a homeowner is difficult enough, but climbing the property ladder to buy a bigger home is almost impossible. The average price for a family home in the UK is over £307,000, according to MoveHub. Naturally, you can still find more affordable homes in certain areas, but that doesn’t change the main problem. Homes are more expensive, and they are not getting bigger. Comparatively speaking, for one extra bedroom, you end up paying in average £30,000 to £45,000 more. At that price, you could expect golden walls and ceiling! Unfortunately, this isn’t a trend that is going to stop in the near future. Within the past decades, the price of houses has increased faster than the growth in earnings. So, a bigger house is often too expensive for a family with young children and only one source of income, which means that for too many families a shoebox home is the only affordable option.


Abandoning your dreams of a family?
Young adults all over the world are refusing to have children. The primary Millennials’ arguments for not having babies – at least less than previous generations – are financial and practical. With everything becoming more expensive, they don’t think that they can afford to raise children. And finally, they don’t want to face an increase in their rent or to feel crammed in a small flat. While this might sound like an extreme view, there’s no denying that the young generation doesn’t have much of a choice when it comes to finding the perfect-sized home for their family!


Maximise your family garden
But there’s another solution that doesn’t mean buying a bigger house or ignoring your desire of having a family. You could be looking for a way to increase the size of your garden. Sounds mad? Bear with me an instant and everything will become clear. If you can find around your property an affordable land for sale that is also constructible, you can be looking at a cost-friendly solution to your size issue. Naked plots tend to be considerably cheaper than houses, and they generally indicate whether they come with a planning permission. More importantly, they offer the ideal alternative to a home office or even a guest bedroom – assuming you add a small bathroom! The thing about buying a land that touches your garden, or the back of your house, is that you can build an extra room outside of your home. It’s the best compromise between a bigger home and keeping your budget under control! Besides, there’s nothing trendier than a separate home office in your garden.


Minimalism and your family
If you can’t make your home bigger, then you need to consider changing your lifestyle to match the size of your home. The minimalist look does just that for many families. By focusing on the essentials, a minimalist lifestyle keeps your family home free of clutter and can make room for more life within. As a result, you need to get rid of everything that you don’t use and embrace a simple and clear lifestyle that emphasises space. In other words, fewer decorative items, smaller wardrobes and minimum furniture need to be your new way of living. If you prioritise your comfort and the one of your family, you’ll soon see that clearer rooms give you more space to focus on each other and bring your family together.


Smart furniture for family homes
Last option, but not least, is to purchase smart furniture that makes it possible to live in a small space without missing out on any function. Flexible furniture is a trend for tiny homes and, while it might seem expensive at first, it’s often a matter of buying only one item instead of two or more. Combining functions saves a lot of room for your family! The streamlined sofa bed is a renowned favourite to make the most of a small home: welcome your guests even if you don’t have a guest bedroom.


In the end, whether you choose to adapt your lifestyle to your tiny home or to transform your home to fit your lifestyle is a matter of finances and availability. One thing is for sure, though: Families can’t continue to live in tiny homes without making a change. A little organisation can make a big difference!

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