Creative Ways to Expand Spaces


Not all space has to be created by making finite square footage. Architects understand that creating a space includes considering the emotional aspect of how it feels to be inside of a space. We all tend to like similar features: breathing room, good lighting, the feeling of openness, comfort and variety.  While its not usually practical to create the feeling of openness by literally enlarging our home’s square footage, we can achieve more spaciousness several other ways that require a much smaller remodel.

Open floor plans

We are all familiar with the living room or the kitchen being the go-to place to entertain company, stretch out on a cozy sofa, or relax by a warm fire. Most home designs make these rooms the focal points of the entire house, and even if these spaces aren’t designed in a way that focuses foot traffic into them, they still tend to become the de-facto gathering areas by default. By opening up these areas into large singular spaces with easy flow throughout, it creates a sense of ease and comfort that makes the room seem larger.

This rendering depicts the use of retractable glass walls, shown fully open here, that unites an indoor and outdoor space.

Retractable Glass Walls

Nana Walls are folding glass walls that are impressive centerpieces of any room that can breathe new life into an existing home. A large retractable door will offer the benefit of allowing in more natural light, fresh air and breezes, and panoramic views. While more costly than an average picture window, these large installations add to your home’s resale value and many find that they are well worth the cost. Retractable window walls are are great way to connect your indoor space to an outdoor patio, kitchen, deck or other sitting area. When the walls are opened, it essentially expands the square footage of that particular room by instantly adding more inhabitable space into a single area. Nana Walls are one of the most-requested features in urban remodels, and are an amazing asset for any home.

Natural Lighting

Everyone love natural light. For communal or work spaces, typically natural light is a huge commodity and improves comfort in any room. Large picture windows, skylights, or the previously mentioned retractable glass walls are a great way to improve the natural lighting in your home while also adding a feeling of increased spaciousness.

Outdoor “Rooms”

Adding an outdoor gathering space that invites its inhabitants to enjoy the outdoors as if it were part of the home is a great way to utilize assets that are already on your property to their greatest advantage. According to the American Psychological Association, time spent outdoors has been linked to improved attention, lower stress, better mood, and a reduced risk of psychiatric disorders. Exposure to sunlight has also been linked to increased serotonin levels, which in exchange, improves our moods. Making use of the outdoor space we already have can increase your enjoyment of your home.

This property has a finite amount of square footage, but because of the design of the stairway and minimalist, unobtrusive railings in the main entryway, the entire space feels open, bright, airy, and a lot larger than if the staircase were enclosed with walls or solid railings. That feeling of spaciousness is continued throughout the open floorplan in the main floor group areas, which invite people to gather.

This property at Geneva Glen invites its inhabitants to move between indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the day, and offers the integration of several different types of outdoor rooms in which visitors can gather.  The intentional spaces outside exponentially grow the living area and usable space of these buildings, making the entire complex feel larger, more open, and more inviting.

Outdoor spaces are a great idea for commercial and multi-use spaces to add gathering, resting and relaxing space for inhabitants. These environments can also easily be created in homes for the same purposes. Creating a covered breezeway, an outdoor “living room” with a patio and fire pit, or even just a designated cooking and eating space right outside your kitchen door are great ways to expand the footprint of your home’s living space without needing to actually add any square footage to your home. Whether it be sitting in front of a screen at work during the day or lounging on our couch at home in the evening, we spend most of our time indoors. But by creating designated outdoor ‘rooms’ in your home, you can not only add to your overall living space, but enjoy the additional benefits that come with the time spent outdoors which, while seemingly minor, can drastically improve your perception of your home and comfort.

To find out how the architects at Root can help you to expand your living space in the finite square footage you already have, book a free consultation today!