How to Creatively Add Space without Building an Addition

Many Americans still equate “more” with “better” especially when it comes to their home. But is more really better? You love your neighborhood and do not want to move, but your home does not provide adequate space for your family’s needs. If an addition currently is not in your budget, with some creative planning and rethinking of your existing space, it can be surprisingly easy to gain square footage without expanding the footprint of your home.

Here are some space-saving ideas:


Often times a visit to your local furniture or home store is all you need. There is a vast array of products available to homeowners to help them maximize their storage capacity and reclaim space. Here are just a few examples:

  • Double rods in a closet allows for twice the hanging space for shirts, jackets, and pants
  • Murphy beds are a great option for smaller bedrooms
  • Under the bed storage, if your bed frame sits up off the floor, reclaim that space underneath for much-needed storage
  • Hang pots and pans over your center island or stove top to maximize kitchen cabinet space
  • Purchase a stackable washer and dryer or move your washer and dryer to the garage
  • Buy furniture that can double as storage, such as tables or beds with drawers; or ottomans with storage compartments hidden inside


Adding custom built-ins is another cost-effective way to gain more space without expanding the room’s footprint. For example, adding a built-in bench around the kitchen table creates more room by eliminating the need to walk around chairs. Framing your kitchen walls with recessed cabinets instantly creates more storage where there was originally wasted space.

Do you have an empty staircase landing? Convert it into a reading nook by adding built-in bookshelves and a small comfy lounge chair. Or, create space in your living room by eliminating large pieces of furniture. Instead, install built-in shelves to display your family treasures and photos.

Look Up and Out

Create the illusion of more space by adding a cantilevered bay window to give a more open feel. Large windows let in more natural light and create an instant feeling of spaciousness. Also, consider raising the ceiling height (if the structure of your home can support this) to add a more spacious feeling.

Don’t forget to go outside! Add an arbor, built-in barbeque and some comfortable weather-resistant furniture and you have an instant outdoor living room fit for entertaining.

Rework the Space

Sometimes adding space equates to simply reworking the existing floorplan. For example, removing a wall or hallway can create a more open traffic flow and multi-functional space. Another idea is to add a pass-through in a wall from the kitchen to the family room to allow for instant conversation and TV viewing across the two rooms.

Reclaiming Space

If you’re not willing to commit to the expense of building an addition, finishing an unfinished portion of your home, such as an attic, basement or attached garage, is also a great way to add square footage to your home at a reasonable cost.

Finishing interior space is often less expensive than building an addition because you already have a roof and a foundation, two of the most expensive parts of a typical room addition.

If you’re ready to start reclaiming space in your home, contact Acton ADU to get started. Our passion and expertise is helping you creatively plan and rethink your existing space to give you that much needed added square footage, with or without expanding the footprint of your home.

For ideas and design inspiration visit our photo gallery.

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