Seven ways to add extra living space to your home

Look no further than your own backyard.
Outdoor entertaining areaPhotography: Kristina Soljo

With the cost of living lately, it’s getting less practical to move house for extra space. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to upsize where you live already. All it takes is some clever thinking to transform your outdoor areas into extra living spaces. We look at how to make it happen.

Extend your roofline

If you’re lacking in undercover areas, extending the roofline of your house will make a huge difference to your life. The extra square-metres to hang out in, rain, hail or shine, will make all the difference and be worth the investment. Include an outdoor kitchen and dining area with a fan and portable heater for use all year long.

(Photography: Kristina Soljo)

Add a cabana

If you have a pool, a cabana is an easy way to extend your living space. Keep it simple with a comfy sitting area and table or go all out with a pool house vibe, complete with shower, fridge and cocktail area. This can double as a hang-out area for teenage kids, keeping the noise and mess out of the house.

alisa and lysandra pool cabana
(Image: Courtesy of Alisa & Lysandra)

Build a granny flat

Gone are the days when granny flats were just for grannies. These days, they can be used as an office, kids’ play zone, teenage retreat or a self-contained room for rent. Not only are they more versatile but they’re also more stylish and comfortable.

Granny flat
(Photography: Sue Stubbs)

Add a fireplace

The winter months can restrict outdoor time. By adding a fireplace or fire pit you extend the liveability of this area even on colder days. Surround it with comfortable seats and blankets for a space you can sit back and relax in beyond your inside living room.

outdoor lounge chairs with fireplace
(Photography: Jacqui Turk / Styling: Alanna Smit)

Include a retractable awning

If you don’t want to commit to a solid roof, a retractable awning gives the best of both worlds. Pull it out for an extra shaded area to sit in or retract it to let the light shine through. It’s versatile but gives you the option of an extra living space.

Hamptons retractable awning

Put up a pergola

The perfect way to create an outdoor ‘zone’ is with a pergola. It gives the illusion of being in an outdoor room while still letting the light in. Set up vines to grow up and over the open roof space for the most beautiful dappled light.

Pergola white home
(Photography: Sue Stubbs)

Use bi-fold windows

Instead of a solid window, upgrade to bi-fold windows to create a kitchen servery window and connect the indoors to the outdoors. This is a more affordable way to create indoor-outdoor living than knocking down walls and doing major renovation work. It creates a lovely open space to pass glasses, plates and cutlery through, and chat between those indoors and out.

Beach house rear deck with alfresco dining area.
(Image: The Palm Co)

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