There’s no escaping it — anyone living in a granny flat, which is limited to a standard maximum size of 60 square metres, will have to address the issue of seriously limited space, especially if you are sharing the flat with another person.
Even if you’ve pared down your possessions to the barest necessities plus the occasional items with multipurpose functions and unquestionable sentimental value, you’ll still need to find a place for everything so that all residents can experience a comfortable life in a charming, instead of a cramped, space.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be a losing battle — especially if you take the time to truly explore and assess the potential of your granny flat. Solutions can be easily found if you’re committed to making use of every inch of space in the most optimal (and organized) manner possible.
So here are six common small space dilemmas that granny flat residents face, and easy (and fun) ways to solve them.
Storage. The top problem that granny flats pose will always be having sufficient places to put everything that the tenants own. It’s best to understand that there will always be large pieces of furniture that are non-negotiable; there will always be a need for a bed, a dining chair and table, a living room couch and table, and closets for clothes and personal items. The idea is to work with the space left after these major items have been brought into the flat.
For instance, find boxes or containers that you can slide under the bed, like for books and other heavy items. Attach hooks to the back of doors and awkward wall spaces so you can hang up clothes, belts, scarves and other items. Install floor-to-wall shelving that can double as room dividers while providing storage that keeps odd items off the most important surfaces.
Lighting. If you’re used to having bedside tables or consoles where you normally place lamps and other lighting provisions, revamp your whole strategy and take the lighting fixtures to the walls and ceilings to free up valuable floor space.
Kitchen counter space. You need a place to prep your meals, and often you won’t have a spacious countertop by the sink to do that. Opt to do some of your vegetable chopping work on the dining table at times (just make sure to tidy up well afterwards), and for any prep work that requires lots of washing and rinsing, use a cutting board or cover that you can prop over the sink for additional surface area.
Furniture. For indispensable items like tables and chairs, it’s a great idea to choose pieces that can be expanded, folded up and put away when not in use so that you can utilise the space for other activities if needed.
Design. You have to be smart about your choice of colour inside the granny flat, as some paints and decors can make a space look even smaller. Airy hues, clever paint jobs, and mirrors affixed to walls can create the illusion of a bigger space.
A little green. There’s no reason to miss out on the benefits of nature even if you can’t have your own backyard. Place small pots of herbs on your windowsill to help freshen up your granny flat more.