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Small Space Inspiration

Whether you’re building new or renovating a hidden gem, construction costs in Hawaii continue to rise, making every square foot a valuable, if costly, investment. Which means it’s no surprise that Hawaiian homeowners are mastering the art of small-space living. From small scale ADU and Ohana units that pack a punch in just 400 square feet to single family homes that combine both form and function, smaller scale homes are quickly becoming the standard for residential construction.

And after years of building and renovation for smaller spaces, here’s what experts consider best practice when designing a small home with big potential:

Prioritize the kitchen and communal living spaces: A spacious kitchen is great, but not always realistic. While it’s important to dedicate as much square footage as possible to the kitchen and living areas since they get the most daily use, you don’t need either to be palatial in order to be functional.

Make the most of all the available cabinet space: while designing a new kitchen or remodeling an old one, consider investing in cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling, and custom angled cabinets for the corners. You can use the higher cabinets to store seasonal or low-use items, and install lazy-susan style turntables in corner shelving for easy access. Built-ins designed specifically to house smaller appliances are also helpful and can keep your limited counter space clear of clutter.

Install a functional kitchen island: island counter spaces aren’t just for food prep anymore. Adding a few extra inches to your island makes it a perfect homework station, informal dining area, and cooking space. If you’re working with an open concept space, consider positioning your island between the kitchen and living room to create a distinction between the two spaces. Need to save even more space? Consider a rolling island with built in storage that can be moved throughout the day for maximum convenience.

Take advantage of furniture and appliances designed for smaller spaces: An oversized refrigerator can overwhelm a smaller kitchen, as can standard sized dishwashers, microwaves, and ovens. Fortunately, appliances now come in a variety of size options, and many can even be stacked on top of one another to preserve space. Likewise, invest in furniture that is either smaller in scale or serves a variety of purposes, like sleeper sofas and storage benches.

Use every inch of space: Add storage under the stairs, in the attic, and open up wall space to create additional built-in storage. Because in Hawaii, there’s no such thing as a too-small house if you’ve got a big imagination.

Ready to make this small space inspiration a reality? Contact us today to get started. We’re here to help you find the skilled architects, contractors, and designers, each one with the experience required for your next island dream home.