Have you Maximized your Home’s Livable Space?

Maximized Livable Space In the greater Washington DC area, there’s no question that space comes at a premium. But, with careful planning, a number of area homeowners have found creative ways to maximize both their storage and livable space during renovations of all sizes. Following are examples of just a few creative living solutions we’ve seen in recent projects.

Backsplash Appliance Garages

Having an appliance garage in your kitchen is nothing new, but the twist comes in creating one or many storage areas hidden behind your backsplash. If you are in need of more counter space (and who isn’t with all the must-have gadgets?), and have an unused area behind your kitchen wall, this is a great option to keep in mind when you’re looking to renovate. Appliance garages can be created in tile, granite or many other materials to compliment or blend with your kitchen design. During their recent renovation, one McLean, VA homeowner borrowed unused space from the adjacent car garage to create a recessed backsplash appliance garage, which is easily accessible from the kitchen and provides significant additional storage behind a beautiful set of sliding frosted-glass doors.   

Consider Renovating Down

In areas where home additions are often limited by lot and historic restrictions, some homeowners are turning to experienced design build remodelers to help make the most of their home’s existing footprint. For example, one Georgetown homeowner had existing basement ceilings that were less than seven feet high and, with some of that height occupied by exposed pipes, wires and other required infrastructure, the space was essentially a crawlspace. During a renovation, this area was dug out to lower the floor, and the walls and footing were extended to underpin the foundation. In the end, this once unusable space was transformed into a sizeable living area for the homeowners complete with two bedrooms, two full baths, two offices, a gym, a kitchenette, a laundry room and a large family room. 

More Creative Ideas

So, you’ve reclaimed the space under the stairs, have beautiful multi-purpose storage benches and use decorative covered baskets to conceal odds and ends, but what else can you do inside and out to maximize your living space? Again, an experienced design team can help. For example, that same Georgetown renovation housed the AC equipment and pool pump and heater on the roof to free up space in the homeowner’s backyard and create a much more aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment. Incidentally, even the pet cat was not overlooked in this renovation, as a small hole was built into the wall underneath the stairs in the foyer, giving the family feline her own room. The food and litter box were tucked out of sight, but a closet door provided the owners access to the area as needed – truly the ‘Cat’s meow’! Another renovation needed an auxiliary water heater on the second floor, but the residents did not want to lose any of the space in their already tight master bathroom. The solution was to have a tankless water heater built into the dead space behind a vanity cabinet where pull-out drawers revealed an access panel, if needed. Similarly, a Washington DC condo used the space behind a closet wall to house a full AV panel, as well as an access panel for the washer and dryer shut-off. There are countless ways for homeowners to maximize the usable space in their homes – limited only by one’s imagination and budget.  If you’re considering a renovation or addition, your design build contractor can help you identify options that best suit your needs, home and lifestyle.