New builds are not all as spacious as the houses made a few decades ago, so it is important to make the most of the space you have. As a landlord, this means showcasing your property to highlight the desirable features and show it off in the most positive light.
Jason Orme, presenter of The Real Homes Show, has shared his thoughts on what we can learn about home design and improvement from the humble caravan…
“It’s all about maximising useable space,” says Jason. “Let’s consider the four functions in the home: relaxing; food preparation and eating; sleeping; amenity/utility. Then think about how the layouts/floorplans/rooms meet your needs in each of the four categories.
“If you haven’t much space but potentially have room to grow if the layout is poor or the use of the space is diminished due to clutter, for instance, then it’s possible to adapt that space to make it more efficient.
“This is where the expertly designed caravan comes into its own. It’s flexible so that day use can then be turned into night use; what might be a kitchen diner during the day can be turned into living and sleeping accommodation at night.
“Think about how you could adapt the footprint into the right here, right now through the efficiency of the layout and clever furniture design.
“Storage is also very smart in caravans. Yes, it’s a small footprint but effective use of storage for items such as food and clothes could inspire ideas in the home about just what is needed that day rather than for potential use at some time in the future.
“I know there’s a movement at the moment about buying items such as clothing for the long term but maybe think about how you can be smarter about what you want and how you can keep it.
“This is where Marie Kondo’s organising method is interesting. Why hoard tins of beans or bars of soap because you are likely to consume them in six months time? What joy are they bringing to your life, stashed away taking up valuable space?
“Think about what you want, need and what makes you happy. Be more ruthless and reduce material goods because too much stuff can make small homes – even large homes – feel even smaller. And that feeling of lack of space can have a detrimental impact on your wellbeing.
“What about playing a game with yourself and considering what you might need for a week away on a road trip or a campsite and ‘caraplan’ your home based on the four fundamental functions above. You might be surprised just how little you need to hand.”