Inside Out – Turn Small Rooms Into Big Spaces
Jun 19

Inside Out – Turn Small Rooms Into Big Spaces

Turning a Patio Into a Brand New Living Space

It was one of those projects that started with a simple idea – “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little more living space in our home?” – and quickly snowballed into a full-blown home renovation. My husband and I had been toying with the idea of converting our spacious covered patio into an additional room for a while, and we finally took the plunge.

As we learned from our friends over at Our Best Bites, one of the first things to consider when embarking on a project like this is the budget. It’s easy for costs to spiral out of control, with one thing leading to another. But we’re big believers in the Dave Ramsey method – pay in cash, avoid debt, and save up before you start. So we set a realistic budget and started socking away funds, even if it meant postponing some of the more fun purchases, like new furniture.

The next crucial decision was whether to hire a professional designer. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I consider myself fairly adept when it comes to design and décor, but as Sara from Our Best Bites pointed out, there’s a big difference between having a good eye and actually understanding the technical aspects of construction and architecture. We ended up hiring Jaime Thompson of Poploft Design, and it was hands down the best decision we made. Her expertise and creative solutions were invaluable throughout the process.

From Porch to Polished Living Space

Our existing covered patio was already a solid, weight-bearing structure, which meant we had a great foundation to build upon. The first step was to raise the floor to match the level of the rest of the house. This involved removing a section of the existing wall, insulating the floor, and framing out the new walls in between the existing beams.

One of the biggest challenges was figuring out what to do with the exterior doors. We ended up replacing the door to our master bedroom with a wall and turning the previous kitchen door into an open walkthrough. To compensate, we installed large sliding doors on either side of the new living space, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

As one of our YouTube viewers pointed out, the height of the new room was a bit of a concern, as it was slightly lower than the rest of the house. But our builder assured us that it would still feel spacious and airy, especially with the abundance of natural light from the new windows and sliding doors.

Speaking of windows, one of the splurges we made was the stunning 24-foot sliding glass wall system from Western Window Systems. When fully open, it creates an incredible seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor living spaces. We also incorporated custom pockets to hide roll-down shades, so we can control the lighting and temperature as needed.

Tying It All Together

With the structural work done, it was time to focus on the finishes and furnishings. Jaime helped us strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary, with vertical paneling, a subtle grid ceiling detail, and a warm, light-colored hardwood floor from The Design Group.

The next step was to refresh the adjoining family room and nook to create a cohesive flow throughout the space. Jaime had some fantastic ideas that really tied everything together without making it feel like we just plopped a new room in there.

A Multifunctional Marvel

So, what exactly is this new room for? Well, the beauty of it is that it’s highly versatile. It serves as a cozy living area, a bright and airy dining space, and a seamless extension of our outdoor entertaining zone. We love how it brings the outside in and blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

As for the HVAC situation, one of our YouTube viewers raised a great question. We ended up adding a couple of vents to the new space, and we’ll be monitoring how it handles the extreme temperature swings throughout the year. If needed, we may consider adding a small, dedicated unit to ensure maximum comfort.

The Verdict: Worth Every Penny

At the end of the day, this project was a labor of love, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. As Sara from Our Best Bites eloquently put it, “Doing things right is expensive and takes time, but it’s so worth it to not have extra debt hanging over your heads.”

So, if you’re contemplating a similar endeavor, my advice would be to plan meticulously, save up, and don’t be afraid to invest in professional help. With the right team and a clear vision, you can turn a small, underutilized space into a beautiful and functional extension of your home.

And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be inviting your friends over to admire your very own custom-designed Sofa Spectacular masterpiece in your stunning new living area. The possibilities are endless!

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