Many people consider purchasing a narrow block but believe they have to go without when it comes to the final house design and building. While it’s likely that the garden and outdoor space will be limited, clever home designers will make great use of the space available and incorporate several unique features often seen only on narrow and small blocks.
The first feature that should be included is the use of open plan living spaces extending where possible into garden areas or balconies. Clever use of glass can provide the illusion of larger rooms and make what may be a narrow or small block feel large – almost like creating a tardis effect (for all you Dr Who fans). Our brains are tricked into thinking that the further our eye can see with uninterrupted views the larger a space is. So if you’re sitting in a small room but can look out over the ocean, you’ll feel a sense of space. Interestingly if you’re in quite a large room that has dark dull colours and is fully enclosed you may feel a sense of confinement. Great home designers know this and will encourage spacious design principles in narrow block designs.
Natural light also makes a huge difference. While narrow blocks are often built out with new homes that end up being wall to wall on the boundary there is still no reason why natural light needs to be compromised – even on the ground floor level. This is where the clever positioning of a lightwell that extends all the way vertically through all floors of the building will stream in natural light. The position of the light well will depend on the aspect of the block and should be designed to capture the northern light. In some cases mirrors can be placed to reflect light at different times of the day, however these should be moveable so they can be seasonally adjusted. Velux windows are also great to incorporate on the upper floors to allow further natural light into the home where side windows may be restricted.
Storage space is also a necessary inclusion as additional storage by way of an outdoor garden shed is often unavailable. Look to use the areas beneath the stairwell and increase the size of the garage so built in cabinet storage is available. Internally a store area is generally preferred on each floor level for both linen and cleaning products like vacuum cleaners and brooms.
Narrow lots designs and small and difficult blocks demand a different type of attention that isn’t often delivered well when using project home builders. Instead, buyers may choose to utilise the services of custom home builders to ensure they incorporate great open living areas enhancing views with clever use of glass and ensuring plenty of natural light streams into the home without compromising on storage space, so a narrow lot home design won’t feel cluttered.