Although modern granny flat designs are smaller versions of your main home, you can increase storage areas and save room with simple plans – so, what are granny flat space saving ideas?
- Choose a Design with Large Windows
- Add Accessories to Your Kitchen
- Use Hooks and Vertical Wall Mounts
- Integrate All Your Entertainment Devices In One Area
- Use Practical Furniture in Every Usable Spot
- Combine Rooms
- Utilise Every Available Spot for Storage
These suggestions will help you feel less cramped. And allow you a “full-home” living experience out of a granny flat.
I will discuss exactly how these ideas can be added to any design you choose.
Choose A Granny Flat Design With Large Windows
Admittedly, larger windows won’t technically increase space in your granny flat. However, through the use of natural light, the ability to see becomes stronger and makes internal spaces feel bigger.
Natural light has been used for decades as it:
- Brings attention to central pieces of your home.
- Brightens cramped or unnoticed spaces.
This gives you the feeling that there is much more space than what there is. It is vital to consider the perception of space when designing your granny flat.
Large vertical windows also:
- Give you a view of the outside world.
- Make you feel closer to the outdoors.
- Improve the atmosphere indoors.
Unfortunately, achieving this can be more difficult than it sounds. You can’t just add however many windows you want to your design.
You need to consider:
- The size and transparency of your windows, for privacy reasons.
- The placement of your windows, and the resulting view.
- The location of your granny flat, in relation to the flow of sunlight.
You don’t want a view of an untidy outdoor backdrop, as this will make you feel more confined.
It can help to hire a professional granny flat designer as they are experts in this field. Once you have your windows in place, you can do more to make the most of the natural sunlight.
It helps to use mirrors throughout your interior in combination with the natural lighting. The mirrors will reflect the natural light towards the remote parts of your interior. This prevents you from having dark spots around your granny flat, which make it feel small.
Use mirrors around different areas:
- Small mirrors in small, hard-to-reach places can do a great job at reflecting light.
- In the kitchen, even as a splash-back, they help counteract clutter caused by appliances.
- It goes without saying, mirrors are great accessories in your bedroom and bathroom.
Add Accessories to Your Kitchen
Your kitchen is one of the best places to start looking for extra storage space. Kitchens are always full of appliances which take up an annoying amount of space.
However, you can’t really remove them – you really do need your fridge and cook-top. But you’ll also find an untidy collection of a lot of little things that take up a lot of kitchen space; such as:
- Salt-and-pepper shakers.
- Condiment jars.
- And more.
When you’re restricted to 60sqm living area, these take up space before you know it. Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to save space in your kitchen.
Let’s start with the little things, and let’s face the truth – we’ve all got a stockpile of herbs and spices. However, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice this if you live in a granny flat. A simple solution is a spice rack (or if we’re honest, 3 or 4), to hang multiple vials of spices.
You can also consider installing overhead cabinets in your kitchen. These let you store items at arms’ length without crowding your floor space. Overhead cabinets are standard inclusions in some granny flats but not all.
So if you’re building a granny flat, you’ll need to ask your builder whether they’re included or not.
Use Hooks & Wall Mounts
The walls of granny flats are most often not utilised for space saving. So, use all available wall space in the most effective way possible.
Add hooks and vertical wall-mounts and to get everything you can off the floor and on the wall. It doesn’t matter what it is, so much can be mounted on the wall;
- A bike.
- Clothes and shoes.
- Utensils, cups, pots and pans.
- Towels and toiletries.
- Car keys.
These can easily be added to any granny flat, as most walls are generally left bare anyway.
They can be placed almost anywhere, but most commonly are installed:
- At the main door.
- In the kitchen.
- In the bathroom and even shower.
However, you can put them in your bedroom and anywhere and everywhere else.
They have the same benefits as a traditional bookshelf or bench-top.
They won’t take up valuable floor space.
Integrate All Your Entertainment Devices In One Area
This may not suit everyone, but it’s worth considering as it saves space. Builders can mount any entertainment device on the wall;
- DVD players.
Combining them all into one area will free up a lot of space and make them easier to access. It will also rid the mess created by cluttered appliances lying around your limited floor space.
Think of it as creating a mini-home theatre. If you intend on renting the granny flat, a consolidated entertainment unit can appeal to tenants.
Another great benefit of integrating these entertainment devices is that the wires can all be hidden in wall cavities and won’t be out in the open. This prevents the space looking ugly or causing trip hazards.
Use Practical Furniture in Every Usable Spot
The furniture you use is something to consider when saving space in a granny flat. Use furniture that is practical for the room;
- In the living area – Smaller lounges or even bean bags, or lounges with built-in storage for your blankets.
- In the kitchen – Fold out tables instead of traditional dining table.
Though, consider whether you really even need this. If you have a return bench in your kitchen (one that extends out from the end of the kitchen but doesn’t run along a wall) this can be both your bench-top and dining table.
You’ll be amazed at how much space you’ll save by incorporating this into your design.
Or more commonly known as “open plan” designs. Combining rooms can create a lot of extra space. For example, an open plan kitchen, that connects to the dining area and lounge room.
The benefits of this are:
- The fridge is within arm’s reach.
- It allows you to watch TV while cooking.
Another example is combining the laundry and the bathroom.
The benefits of this are:
- Keeping all the facilities in the same area helps people with limited mobility.
To divide rooms, creating designated areas, use rugs or carpets. This will prevent the spread of mess from one area to another, also saving space.
Utilise Every Available Spot for Storage
Most importantly, make use of every usable spot. If there is enough room for a cupboard, construct one.
As, when you move into a granny flat, you’ll bring items with you that must be stored inside.
- Cleaning equipment such as a vacuum cleaner.
- Cleaning products.
- Electrical appliances and cords.
- Heating and cooling appliances, such as fans and heaters.
- Towels and bedding.
You may need to add storage cupboards for linen in the laundry. There may be secret places you would never have thought of for storage.
For example, even the roof cavity can hold cabinets for storage, so make use of this area to save space. A drop-down ladder can lead you to a loft for storage.
There are many creative ways to make use of vertical space, such as this one below:
This is an often forgotten about space, that doesn’t have to have a permanent staircase so won’t take up any floor-space.
Also, see my article on Granny Flats with Garages for another way to create storage space that does not encroach on the maximum allowable living space you can have for a granny flat.
Storage and space-saving solutions are important for granny flats. More so than your main home, as a granny flat has a limit on the living area allowed. But with a few simple design space-saving tips and storage solutions, your secondary dwelling can feel much more spacious.
Large windows help with the flow of natural light, providing a view of the outdoors and giving the perception of space. Any accessories in your kitchen that clear clutter from your bench-top are a great idea, including the installation of overhead cupboards.
The walls of granny flats are so often underused and have so much space to give. Use hooks and vertical wall mounts to hang anything you can on the wall, clearing the floor of space.
Mounting all your entertainment devices in one area, also on the wall, rids so much mess. It is also very attractive if you plan on renting your granny flat out to tenants.
Put a lot of thought into what furniture you are going to use in every spot. The furniture should be practical – it should be necessary, and can even have more storage.
Crafting an architecturally pleasing design means an open-plan design. This helps create more space. Lastly, ensure you utilise every available spot for storage – even places you may never have thought about, like the roof cavity.
I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to save space in your granny flat. And if you feel like building yourself find out more about DIY Granny flats.