My husband and I used to live in a house that looked very similar to this (note: that photo is not of my house). I miss it so much, I wish I could get it back. It was the first house we bought when we were young marrieds. That house was love at first sight.
I have always adored small houses with fairy tale doors and pointy roofs. While living in our small house, I spent many happy hours contemplating the various ways I could open up walls, add windows, bump things out and maximize storage space. I was very content with our small house, but I wanted it to live larger and function better. I loved dreaming up ideas for my little house that would solve all of its problems but retain its charm.
I had so much fun thinking about different ways I could improve the layout or overall feel without buying a bigger house! Confession time. While I have lived in a really big house for the past five years, I am ready to sell it and get back to small house living. I was extra inspired to see some of my favorite small house ideas online at This Old House. It reminded me of how much fun I had dreaming of the possibilities!
So, here are 10 of my favorite BIG ideas for small houses:
While this is obviously a larger room, bumped out windows
can really enlarge an awkward space.
For much less than adding on an entire room,
you can transform the room you have.
Add interior glass doors for charm and to bring light and
movement through a house. In this case, by simply adding some roller
shades or curtains to these doors you can have an instantly private guest room
by night and a brighter more open house by day.
Create a courtyard patio. I love this idea and actually put in a
courtyard like this in my old house.
It doubled our living space in mild weather and
was so much more charming than a worn patch of grass.
Old houses and small houses always seem to be lacking in storage.
By building in drawers and cabinets, you can
create a lot more function in a small space.
Install windows and doors to the outside.
Visually your space will expand even on a dreary day.
Remove walls. Many old houses feel a bit boxy and closed in.
Simply removing some non-load bearing walls can really open things up.
This stairway becomes a charming part of
the dining room instead of a closed off space.
Use the nooks and crannies. It is amazing how
much space you can find that is going to waste.
Built ins under the stair case make great use of space.
If you are so fortunate as to be able to remodel a bathroom,
clear shower doors can double the visual room size
and windows can add in lots of light.
Create double-duty rooms that pack a lot of function into a small space.
Vault a ceiling to make a room more spacious and dramatic.
Do you live in a small house? Do you prefer small houses or big houses?
What are some of your favorite small house tricks for making it live large?
All photos: This Old House
The Best Furniture for Small Spaces (my guide on eBay)