These 4 Tips Will Save Space In Your Granny Flat Design
Let’s face it.
We all want a little extra room in our beloved granny flat.
These small sanctums have gone from backup storage rooms to full-home living spaces, with a huge number of families using them as a primary residence.
So it’s not surprising to feel a little cramped, especially with children or pets.
When designing granny flats, the most common question we get at RESCON Builders is about the size limit (we’ve even been asked for double-storey designs!)
To clarify; local council regulations cap all secondary dwellings at 60m2 (unfortunately).
But that doesn’t mean you need to feel like the walls are closing in.
It’s easier than ever to get a full-home living experience out of a standard granny flat. All it takes is some smart design hacks and storage tweaks.
So here are 4 space-saving strategies to curb your inner claustrophobia, whether you’re designing from scratch or have an existing granny flat already. Enjoy!
Choose A Granny Flat Design With Large Windows
Granted, larger windows won’t technically increase space in your granny flat, but perception is much stronger than objection. Natural light sources have been used for decades to invite attention to key features of your home and illuminate crowded or neglected areas.
This gives you a much larger sense of space, which is probably the most crucial consideration when designing your granny flat.
Large vertical windows offer an open view of the outside world, improving the inner ambience and making you feel closer to the outdoors. You’d be glowingly surprised at the difference this makes.
Achieving this can be a lot harder than it sounds though. You can’t just go incorporating as many windows as possible.
The last thing you want is an entrapping view of cluttered outdoor surroundings, as this just makes you feel even more restricted.
You need to consider the size, transparency, and tactical placement of your windows, as well as the exact location of your granny flat relative to the natural flow of sunlight.
This is where professional granny flat designers can make a huge difference. If you’re stumped for ideas or need some inspiration, then check out our concept gallery or see one of our open granny flat displays in NSW.
To really get the most of out of all that natural sunlight though, you’ll need to use mirrors throughout your interior.
Reflection has more use than just admiring one’s beauty or taking clever snapshots (no judgement here).
Used in conjunction with natural lighting, mirrors will reflect natural light and colours towards isolated parts of your sanctum.
Having too many dark, uninviting spots around your home makes you feel confined to a smaller space. So make use of mirrors around different parts of your granny flat to see what works best.
Even small mirrors tucked away in hard-to-reach places can do an amazing job at producing extra light or reflecting an adjacent open space.
Think beyond just the bathroom and bedroom though. We find mirrors actually work best in the kitchen, even as a splash-back feature, to counter all the clutter caused by bulky appliances.
Accessorize your Kitchen
Your esteemed cookery is the best place to start if you’re looking for extra space in your granny flat design.
Kitchens are always crowded with bulky appliances which take up a frustrating amount of room. But removing them isn’t really an option; it wouldn’t be a kitchen without a fridge, cook-top, or storage cabinets.
You’ll also often find way too many little things cluttering up kitchen space, such as salt-and-pepper shakers, condiment jars, and over-sized utensils. These add up in no time when you’re limited to a 60m2 space.
Thankfully there are plenty of things you can do to save space in the kitchen.
Start with the little things; we’ve all got a stockpile of herbs and spices we like to use. If you’re going for authentic foreign cuisine, you’ll need a dozen or so different flavours on hand (and let’s face it, you can never really have too much pepper and basil on your steak).
But individual spice dispensers are almost impossible to store efficiently. They can’t be stacked or neatly tucked into corners, so you’re often left lining them up individually, digging into your precious cabinet space.
But stockpiling your kitchen with succulent flavours needn’t be a sacrifice if you’re living in a granny flat. A simple spice rack is a perfect solution for hanging multiple vials with a smaller footprint, plus they’re a stylish fashion icon for your kitchen.
You really can’t go wrong with a few of these, especially if you plan on doing a lot of home cooking.
You can also get creative with your storage spaces.
Consider installing overhead cabinets in your kitchen. These let you store bulky items where you’ll often need them most, without crowding your floor space.
If you’re building a new granny flat from scratch, you’ll need to ask your builder if these are included or whether you’ll need to add them yourself. Overhead kitchen storage is a standard inclusion with RESCON Builders, but every supplier is different so make sure you do your research.
Consider if you really need a standalone dining table as well.
Returning kitchen benches (pictured above) can double-up as a dining table and bench-top in one, Sure they’re a nice touch, but dining tables by far one of the biggest causes of clutter when you start to get short on space in your cosy granny flat. Our clients are often amazed at how much space they gain from incorporating a returning kitchen bench. These are available as another optional add-on in all of our granny flat designs.
Use Hooks & Wall Mounts
Hooks and vertical wall-mounts are the paragon of smart storage.
These crafty tools can easily be incorporated into any granny flat design, since most walls are usually left unoccupied anyway.
They can be installed almost anywhere but are most common at the entrance, in the kitchen, and even the shower.
But there’s no reason you can’t have them in your bedroom or anywhere else. They give you the same benefits as a traditional bookshelf or bench-top without taking up valuable floor space.
Don’t limit yourself in what you store on them though. Hooks and wall mounted shelves can be used to hang almost anything from cups, pots and pans, towels, condiments, toiletries, and even clothing. These are saving redeemers if you’re constantly losing your car keys or need quick, easy access to certain things.
As an added bonus they also make it a lot easier to move things around.
Consolidate Your Entertainment Appliances
This one isn’t for everyone.
But if you’re big on big screens, then there’s no reason you can’t incorporate a mini home-theatre into your granny flat design. This actually frees up a lot of space and reduces that eye-sore of cluttered appliances around your limited floor space.
If you’re planning on renting out, a smartly consolidated entertainment system is also a great way to attract more tenants. Even if you just want the basics such as a standard TV and DVD – there are still ways you can reduce the amount of space they take up.
First thing’s first; get a smart TV (it’s 2018!). You can get one for almost any budget, and they come with all sorts of media add-ons like in-built DVD players and streaming support.
This saves you from having to connect separate media boxes and peripherals. Stand-alone DVD players and satellite receivers take up an absurd amount of space, and all their cabling is a dreaded safety hazard.
If you really must hang any separate consoles (such as gaming devices or paid-TV receivers), then purchase a wall-mount with hanging shelves (pictured).
It goes without saying that your TV should be mounted on the wall too. Smart TV’s are made super-thin and come with wall-mounts included for this very purpose.
Resting them on a floor-bound cabinet or stand is a huge waste of space. This is probably the biggest mistake people make when living in a granny flat.
TV wall-mounts also let you adjust the viewing angle and protects them from accidental damage too. This can’t be stressed enough; use them!
Go Forth & Save Space
Remember that this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means. There are all sorts of clever (and strange) ways to save space in your granny flat.
Spend some time to think of any new methods (and feel free to share them around).
The simple trick is to find ways to free up valuable floor space (you’ll need that for walking!) and utilise any unused vertical space instead.
An easy way to do this is to think of your entire granny flat as a canvas.
Stand at your front door and make a note of any large empty spaces you see (especially on your walls and even the ceilings). Then think of ways you can utilise these empty spaces. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with.
If you’re still having trouble channelling your inner designer instincts, then don’t forget to take a loot at one of RESCON’s pre-existing granny flat designs or talk to us about your custom ideas.