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    Big homes for narrow blocks | Clever design ideas for small properties

    January 6, 2021  


    Having a narrow block, doesn’t mean having a small home. Whether you’ve nabbed yourself a run-down Victorian terrace, or found yourself the perfect (sliver) of land in your dream neighbourhood, there are great ways to tackle challenging dimensions. Optical illusions, clever storage, height, light-bringing materials and making the absolute most of your square meterage, we can come to narrow-block party with some big-ticket design ideas. 

    Designing for a narrow block

    The first thing to take into consideration is how you will be using the space – will it be used primarily just to crash at night? Or will you be using it a lot during the day, maybe as a space to work from home? Once you have thought each room’s purpose, you can incorporate space-saving and design ideas to make it work for you and your narrow block.

    Going up

    Obviously when you don’t have width to play with, the only way is up. Two, three, even four storeys is a way to turn a small house into a big one. Judicious use of skylights, windows and light wells will help illuminate all those levels, and give the illusion of space. 

    Storage solutions for narrow blocks

    Think of your kitchen or wardrobe – there’s a reason that built-ins are the go-to for any small space needs. By recessing into the wall and designing bespoke cupboards that run floor to ceiling, you can make use of any challenging space. Recessed bookshelves, furniture that doubles as storage, pull-out drawers, fold-down beds and desks – there are a myriad of ways you can maximise space without extra pieces of furniture cluttering up your floorplan. 

    Use translucent materials

    Often the biggest issue with multiple storeys in narrow blocks, particularly if your neighbours have also built close to the fence line, is light. Dim rooms and dark hallways make narrow spaces look even smaller, something not helped by plasterboard. Make use of glass, mesh and other transparent materials help give the illusion of space. Consider a glass balustrade along your stairwell, mesh room dividers and frosted glass where possible. An open narrow bookshelf is a great way to delineate one space from another, while creating additional storage. Our design team can help bring these ideas and more to life on your narrow block. Get in touch with us today.

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