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Design Solutions 101: Never Enough Space

Thinking about building a new house or remodelling an older home ? You’ve likely experienced the following problem: never enough space in the kitchen or bathrooms.

No matter how many times you rework the layout or rearrange the walls, there’s just never enough room for everything you need. 

In our Design Solutions 101 series, we’ll tackle these issues and provide solutions for creating a truly functional dream house. Starting with finally giving you the space to finally love your home.

 Let’s get started!

Problem: Never enough space. Even homes with healthy square footage alloted to the kitchen and bathrooms can still feel too cramped. Which means smaller homes can feel especially tight. 

Cause: In many cases, a normally sufficient space feels too small due to over-sized appliances, fixtures, and cabinetry. 

In bathrooms, this means unnecessarily large bathtubs and showers, supersized vanities, and fixtures that are simply too big for the space. 

A similar issue can happen in the kitchen, especially when a homeowner chooses the biggest appliances available, including refrigerators, sinks, and dishwashers. 

Likewise, they may fall into the trap of trying to create so much storage that they overcrowd the room with extended cupboards and cabinetry.

Solutions: Stay to scale. There’s really no reason for a large, free-standing tub if your bathroom space can’t comfortably accommodate it. Yes, you can convince a builder to install it, but if you find yourself cramming a spa-size tub or shower into a standard size bathroom, your space will always feel too small. 

This rule applies to kitchens as well. Very few individuals or families truly need an industrial sized refrigerator, bakery-grade ovens, or a farmhouse sink large enough to bathe livestock. And more importantly, they probably won’t fit comfortably in the kitchen— leaving it feeling smaller than it actually is. 

Collaborate with your designer and builder to pick appliances, fixtures, and cabinetry that fits the scale of your home. Choosing one “must-have” oversized item might be reasonable, like the coveted double sink, but as a rule it’s best to stick to the scale of your home as much as possible. 

Working with  an especially small space? Consider downsizing your lower cabinets from the standard 24 inches to a slimmer 15 inch depth size can help open up a space and prevent you from losing your favorite kitchen items in the back of the cupboard. And if you really need more storage space, you can always extend the upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling for a little extra room.

Ready to get started? You’ll need a budget. Check out our free online estimator to start planning for the costs of your new space. Next, contact us for help finding the right contractors, designers, and architects needed to put your budget to work.

Wait— don’t forget the building permits! We can help you navigate Honolulu’s infamous permitting application, as well as connect you to a third-party reviewer to expedite the process. Whatever you need, Home Planning Hawaii is here to help—even if it means talking you out of that supersized refrigerator.