Stay at home – you don’t have to move

Some ways to enlarge your living space

You have a bit of a problem, don’t you? You love your home, but it just isn’t big enough anymore and there isn’t room for a built extension outside, or the configuration of the property makes that difficult. Perhaps your family is larger than when you moved in, your lifestyle has changed or maybe you’re working from home now. Whatever the reason, it’s sadly looking as though you’re going to have to move to somewhere bigger, even though you don’t want to.

Well, maybe not.

With some clever thinking and designing, you could be making much more of the space you already have but aren’t using to the best advantage. Check out these brilliant space-creating ideas to increase the useful size of your home.

Going up

Perhaps the most obvious way to make space inside the house is to extend into the loft or attic if you have one. In a lot of cases, no planning permission is needed either. There are rules and regulations about what classifies as a ‘habitable room’ for safety standards, particularly regarding bedrooms, ceiling heights and ventilation, but your architect will know all about those and will be able to guide you.

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You can create almost anything you need up there – perhaps more bedroom space with en-suite facilities, a hang-out-and-chill room for your teens and their friends or a fabulous home office or studio, to name just a very few ideas.

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Even if the space has sloping walls down to the floor or awkward nooks and crannies, these can be used to advantage so not a square inch is wasted. Thoughtful siting of extra windows can provide masses of light and airiness too.

Clever thinking can create acres of floor space during the day and a cosy retreat at night, combined with loads of invaluable storage room for a clean and tidy look.

Going under

If you don’t need another room but want to clear clutter and be more organised to give the appearance of having space, explore the possibilities of under-used areas of the rooms you have already.

A lot of homes have those awkwardly shaped under-stairs areas which always either seem to be completely unused or have an inconvenient and cramped cupboard, only good for cramming with junk. The under-stairs area can be in the hallway or in one of the main living rooms, but either can be made use of to better advantage.

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Actually, these spaces can be a real asset to your home, giving you a whole range of possible ways to increase storage or even living areas. From a simple display area to a mini-room, have a look at these brilliant ideas.

A cosy little nook for reading and relaxing might be just the thing. Some gentle lighting, comfortable lounging space and shelves for favourite books creates just the right atmosphere. Of course, there’s also extra storage under the seat. Don’t miss making the most of any spaces – they’re just too valuable!

Taking a tip from kitchen design with pull-out shelving faced with smart panels, expand the useable space under the stairs to massive proportions. You could even use it as a bottles-and-jars pantry to free up kitchen space. Or tuck in some hooks, drawers and shelves to house oodles of bits and pieces and that awkward ugly duckling of a space becomes a most desirable swan.

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hire architect technicianAnother great idea is to add a home office under there. It’s surprising just how much room there is under the stairs – enough to house ample desk and shelf space without feeling at all cramped. You may even be able to fit custom-made folding doors to close it off when you’re not working, for a more streamlined look – very useful if your desk isn’t always tidy!

Many under-stairs areas can also be converted to house a neat little cloakroom with toilet and washbasin – very useful for daytimes or for young and not-so-young visitor use, so avoiding trips up and down the stairs.

Going out

Although, for one reason or another, you might not be able to build a bricks-and-mortar extension attached to the house, if you have space in your back garden you might consider adding a separate building out there.


A garden room could be just the thing for working, playing or entertaining in, or maybe a combination of several functions. They can be way classier than just a garden shed and, with a little help from your friendly architect, could be a really stylish addition to your property.


Depending on local planning regulations and what fits with the existing neighbourhood and house-styles, your new room could be a more traditional-looking log cabin type or maybe an up-to-the-minute timber and glass structure.

Home, sweet home

Whatever you feel the limitations are of the home that you love, as you’ve seen there is probably at least one way to make it look and feel bigger.


It would be a good idea to find a local architect to have a look and give you some ideas of what could be achieved. Ten to one, they can come up with ideas for creating space that you won’t have thought of or seen as possible to do.

We can help you achieve your dream

If you’d like some ideas for expanding your space, give ADBS a call or drop us an email and we can give you some advice.


Based in Rathfarnham, we are well-respected Dublin architects, and architectural technicians with a great deal of experience in design and project management. We’re also experts in local planning regulations and can guide you all the way through your project, large or small.
We’ve partnered homeowners on many house extensions and smaller projects, providing ideas and drawings and sourcing trusted builders to complete the work. Talk to us today – you won’t be disappointed.

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