Staircase Understairs. Saturday , October 13th , 2018 - 07:34:48 AM
'Start by thinking about the house as a whole and assess the areas where things are tight,' suggests architect Mark Dyson. 'Think about your priorities and how you need to use the space, then you can plan multifunctional zones.' Living in a restricted space means your home has to work much harder, but clever design, careful planning and a considered approach will allow it to run smoothly without compromising an inch of your own personal style.
'Built-in bathroom cabinets don't need to be any more than 4in deep,' says architect Mark Dyson. 'It's possible to dismantle a stud wall and replace it with structural MDF carcases to create storage without devouring precious floor space.' 'Lift units off the floor,' says Guy Morgan Harris. 'A room looks bigger if you can see the whole floor up to the walls.' 'Mirrors can be used to great effect, but too much can look kitsch,' says Mark Dyson. 'An L-shaped mirror [that goes round a corner] can quadruple the feeling of volume.' Boxed-in cisterns provide the opportunity to create extra storage, and why not reclaim the area under a built-in bath with bespoke drawers for towels or bath toys? 'We installed a raised walk-in shower where the floor lifts up to reveal a bath,' says architect Paul McAneary. 'It also turns into a steam cabin, so it's multifunctional and compact.'
If your budget won't stretch to a whole new staircase, there are some simple updates you can do that are quicker and cheaper. Consider removing the understairs cupboard to give a more open-plan feel. Replace solid risers with glass to allow light to filter through to the space below. Swap solid balustrades or dated spindles for a more modern equivalent. Sheet glass creates a minimal look and allows light to flow more freely. Or choose a beautiful wooden balustrade for timeless style.
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