You know the kind of home extension you want. Perhaps you’ve been browsing Pinterest, flicking through lots of magazines or indulging in some inspirational television, looking for home extension ideas. You want to find out how to make your dream home a reality but you’re not quite sure where to begin.
Don’t worry, speaking with a happinest Design & Planning Consultant helps you form a clearer picture. No matter how developed your home extension ideas are or how new they are, this blog takes you through how to create the space you’ve dreamed of. It also covers what to do when faced with obstacles, and the value we add to your home extension project.
The most common initial ideas our clients come with are:
At happinest – we design happinests! , we always aim to inspire, no matter the scenario. There’s no right or wrong idea, and an expert will be able to help you shape a brief. Though if you have something in mind, it helps to shape the project and means that your architectural practice or designer can present you with designs that speak to you. More importantly, having even a loose idea, in the beginning, helps your architect design a space that will bring you joy and many years of use.
Architectural practices and extension plan experts are brilliant space planners. Experience and clever questioning mean that a professional will be able to draw out a brief. They’ll help you drill down into what space is needed (kitchen; bathroom; living room; entrance hall, etc.), and what it will be used for (entertaining; a little luxury at home; family time; creating a welcoming environment).
If this all sounds a little pragmatic, don’t worry. Great design is at the heart of an expert’s job, be rest assured that the space will be approached from an inspirational as well as a practical point of view.
It’s worth explaining here what we mean by inspirational elements vs. practical elements. As an architectural practice , we think about the physical space, the light in the building, the shape of the room, and the materials that can be used. We think about how all of these separate factors add up and interplay to create an overall effect.
Against all of that inspiration, the practicalities are a balance. Questions such as, “what’s possible?” come to the fore. Considerations around what the existing space is like and where the property is located are important. We’ll assess how these more pragmatic factors will help to bring the inspirational elements to life.
Beyond inspiration and practicalities, an expert can take you through the finer details when you’re generating ideas and making decisions. Sometimes, even when clients have very clear home extension ideas, the practicalities of the site become constraints.
Constraints are things such as boundaries of the property or land, nearby buildings, the environment, the property location and geography.
Opportunities are afforded by factors such as where the sun rises and sets, the views or vistas from the property, what the surroundings are like, and what the space will be used for.
Constraints don’t equal a disaster for your project. From an expert’s point of view, a constraint can introduce an added layer of creativity to the design and build.
Constraints can frighten clients! At first, it seems as though an external force is bearing down upon your beautiful ideas and vision for your home. Please, don’t worry. Constraints don’t spell disaster for your project. From our point of view, a constraint can introduce an added layer of creativity to the design and build. Going around an obstacle instead of proceeding on a straight road can be a good thing.
Sometimes, constraints become opportunities because they open avenues that would not otherwise have been explored. However, don’t panic about them. It’s important to keep the flexibility of the space in mind. Even if your exact idea doesn’t work in reality, you can still achieve the space you’re looking for.
At happinest we – design happinests! we’re extremely proud of the fact that we never fail to get the spaces requested by our clients. Whether that means doubling spaces up or putting the rooms in a different arrangement to suit the building or the size of the space.
An experienced and confident architectural practice or extension plans expert won’t simply take your idea, create a drawing, and hand it over to the builder. Instead, they will carefully walk you through what you’re hoping to achieve in the space, how you will live in it every day, and what your vision is for the future. For example, are there children, grandchildren, and friends visiting regularly? As a result, a clear starting point is created, and the brief will genuinely live up to your expectations, helping you to fulfil the life and vision that you have in mind.
In terms of constraints that affect every home extension project, it’s worth mentioning space. Space in its literal, physical form, the X by Y by Z metres. The constraint of actual physical space is something that comes up for our clients all the time. After all, we are an island nation and lots of our work is carried out in the densely populated metropolis that is London. You may have a space that is smaller in square footage than you believe you need. An architectural practice’s key skill is to make a space feel spacious.
Creating spaciousness is not something that comes easy. An architectural practice’s or extension plans expert particular skill set comes into play here:
As experts, we use our intricate understanding of how to maximise space and make the most of natural light. This creates a feeling of space that isn’t inherent in the square footage alone.
We have a thorough understanding of how to use different materials to make a space feel larger.
The shape of a room has an impact on its spacious feel. As experts, we think three-dimensionally, so shape becomes something that expands in all directions, not merely across the footprint of the building.
If you’re extending a small home, it’s worth having a conversation with an architectural practice or extension plans expert. This is to ensure that the available space is well maximised, even when it seems too small.
The space planning skills of an extension plan expert will help you to get the spaces you’re looking for. Having an idea is a great starting point. However, keep an open mind and remember that the Pinterest inspiration board is just an inspiration.
Sometimes the most inspiring moments happen when you start to have a conversation about possibilities. When you approach a project in that frame of mind, there’s every chance for you to create the spaces that you’d like.
If you’ve got a home extension idea and you’re not sure if it’s realistic, call us on 0800 021 0232. We’re happy to talk through your ideas and to share with you how we’ve helped clients in a similar position.
Have a look at our extension plans pages: