Big solutions for smaller homes

March 21, 2024

The impact of a little bit more space within a small home can be huge. Whether it’s a clever loft conversion or a sleek side-return extension, there are plenty of options to enhance the layout of a compact home.

Getting your home improvement project right and striking a balance between internal and external space could improve livability and boost your home’s value. Our whistlestop tour takes you through some small but mighty ideas that aim to make your smaller home work and play harder:


First of all a couple of questions: do you own your home? Do you have loft space?

If the answer to both is ‘Yes!’ then great, because utilising and transforming attic space is possibly your most budget-friendly option to add valuable extra space to any home, particularly smaller ones.

Provided the headroom is sufficient, this area holds great potential for expansion as it can be turned into a functional room with little more than insulation, new flooring, some roof lights and decoration. We’ve created a great resource to show you some truly space changing loft conversion types. Graphics really bring to life how a loft conversion could transform the way you live. Curious? Head to our blog.


Does the dilemma of wanting a less cramped kitchen and at the same time not wanting to give up on beloved outdoor space sound familiar? We’ve got you!

When considering extensions, a single-storey rear extension is often deemed the most hassle-free option in terms of planning permissions, frequently falling within permitted development guidelines. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between house and garden. Overextending into outdoor space can diminish your home’s value, so careful consideration is essential.

Building outwards, even as little as one metre can deliver a huge sense of spatial relief. A great example from our portfolio is a side return extension that made use of space that was literally wasted as storage for bins. Cube added some much-needed width to this once narrow terraced home in Kew.


Whether it’s strangely narrow rooms or corridor-like hallways joining spaces, we’ve come across many awkward layouts in small period properties over the years. A wonderful way to open up the ground floor and make your home feel more spacious is an open-plan extension across the rear. Doubling the floor plan with a two-storey extension would be most effective, however if your budget doesn’t allow for this, a single-storey extension will do nicely and is guaranteed to make you want to spend precious social time in the new areas.


Stretching out a narrow room further can vastly improve its functionality. For instance, in a compact kitchen, extending beyond the current space can work wonders. Introducing double doors that lead out to the garden can create a really fluid connection between the indoors and outdoors, further amplifying the perception of space.


A small kitchen to the rear can easily feel enclosed, so again, the aim is to create a seamless flow out onto your patio or garden. The build answer is a rear glass extension with retracting doors. You’ll be amazed by the amount of natural light flooding into the kitchen, making it instantly appear brighter and far more airy.


When given several functions, kitchen extensions can bring some real spatial zest to your home: rather than being just a space for food prep and cooking, extend it to become a room that adds value to everyday life and make it the place to socialise. Creating a small, quiet zone within the space might be a great spot for those working from home too.


Already extended your small home but something is missing? Chances are you could do more to make your space appear bigger. Keeping décor and design choices light-enhancing is key: think neutral fittings, pale paint and skylights. Fitted in the ceiling, skylights allow in substantially more daylight than vertical windows which can have a huge effect on a room’s perception. Tight budgets can be helped by working on improving on the quality of your existing space. Changes to the layout such as removing internal walls to create open-plan areas can also create the feeling of extra space.

CUBE’S TOP TIP: Replacing ground floor rear windows with slimline sliding doors could be a bright finishing touch to the transformation.


Installing large glass panels or sliding doors might be just an illusion of more space but it’s wonderful. Unobstructed views of outdoor space add to a more connected feel with the outside and the additional light flowing inside helps brightening dark corners instantly. It’s good practice to choose and position furniture with the outside in mind: generally speaking, base units such as seating can be darker, whilst pale white cabinets tend to draw the eyes upwards.


You may think you’ve got little space but what about that derelict garage that’s used as storage for all sorts of things? Don’t waste this opportunity to create more liveable space. It’s essential though to run any building plans by your local planning authority to establish whether you’ll need to apply for planning permission or a Lawful Development Certificate. If you choose Cube, we’ll take care of this matter as part of our end-to-end services. We’ve opened the garage door in our blog that’s dedicated to garage conversions. Explore what’s possible beyond simply storing your car.


…is yet to come because it’ll be your very own! Cube’s A-Z bespoke design and build services encompass every aspect from the initial spark of an idea to the finishing touches of your home improvement project.

Speak to our award-winning team from the comfort of your home or in person. Let’s begin to shape your dream space together:

T: 020 8432 9676