Layouts and planning
Your new addition must fit in with existing demands on any space and add to them without compromising a room’s primary function. One of the biggest questions raised by open-plan living is where to store all your possessions. In very small units, consider underused spaces outside the main living area for storage, such as hallways or stairwells. Alternatively, embed cupboards into the fabric of the main space. One whole wall of cupboards can hide all your junk while concealing unsightly columns or structural supports.
Ventilation is a key consideration, too. A mezzanine level potentially can become a heat trap, as double-height rooms may suffer from a ‘chimney effect’ if not vented correctly. A bathroom installed within a larger room will have to be vented, so be sure you know where the ducting can be housed – otherwise your beautiful glass cube could end up looking like the outside of the Pompidou Centre.
If you’re operating in a small space, consider making the new division flexible, with panels that neatly slide or fold away to reveal the larger room’s true dimensions or double as a desk. Movable features, such as a drop-down ladder that can be removed, also maximise usable space.