Ways to make a narrow-block home more spacious

As our population grows, so too does housing density in metropolitan Sydney and beyond. Our homes are getting bigger and our lifestyles are busier and busier. 

What does not increase, however, is the overall space we have to work with when building a home. That’s the only part that decreases – and to so many with an increasingly busy lifestyle, it’s a much-welcomed change! 

Old-fashioned house blocks are now often divided down the middle into two narrow separately titled lots – each with street frontage, their own driveways and no shared land. 

While the narrow-lot home is often larger than most, it can seem a little smaller. Here are some practical ways your architect might counteract the feeling of a narrow home.

#1 – Open Plan

Open plan can make your home feel more spacious. Opening space upwards, high ceilings and voids between levels gives the feeling of a much larger space than is the reality.

Fewer walls separating rooms means more natural sunlight filtering in too, which can do wonders for making your home feel more expansive.

Idea #2 – Glass

Utilising glass in your home goes a long way to creating a sense of space and light.

As a general rule, bigger is better. Large expanses of windows and full-height glass doors help to bring the outside in and create a seamless flow from one space to the next. 

Idea #3 – Add a Balcony

A balcony is a great way to create an extra element. By adding a balcony to the second floor, you are effectively adding an additional entertaining area or outdoor space to relax and enjoy.

This gives you extra square metres of living space without impacting on your overall footprint, meaning you can still find room for the double garage and a genuine, yet manageable backyard!

Idea #4 – Storage

Under stair storage is a great space-saving option. By utilising the space under your staircase you can easily store clutter-causing items like books, containers, boxes and clothes, as well as rarely used items like old appliances or your ski equipment. 

Under the stairs is ideal for wine as the temperature stays relatively constant, meaning your vintage Penfolds Grange will keep.

Invest in custom-made shelving, surfaces and drawers throughout your home – bookshelves in the library and office, entertainment units to the living rooms, bathroom storage, garage, and of course, the bedrooms. As any family can attest, storage is key to a happy, organised home and you can NEVER have too much of it!

Idea #5 – Talk to an expert

While everyone has their own ideas about how to make the best use of space, the best advice is to consult with an expert – someone who has designed hundreds of homes, all with similar challenges to overcome.