Is the space in your home optimising its potential? Most of our homes consist of the usual: kitchen, dining area, bedrooms and bathroom which leaves little room for the designer extras like sculleries, reading nooks and bars.


One of Blok’s architects Eric van der Berg, from WAUW, shared a few secrets to ensure that your unconventional space is not just left as a “white elephant.”


In order to prevent the challenging spaces in your home from becoming cluttered or equally as bad – unused, van der Berg says that it doesn’t matter what the size or shape of your space is, all you need is a little creativity. “We often use empty spaces as studies, bars, daybeds or reading areas but the possibilities stretch as far as your creativity allows.”


However, before going crazy and letting your imagination run wild with ideas, it is important to analyse the opportunities your home offers.


“Look for dead corners or areas that take up a lot of floor space but serve only one function. Often circulation areas such as entrance lobbies, passages and staircase landings (usually only used to get you from space a to b) could easily be used for another purpose as well, ” suggests van der Berg.


When identifying these spaces and allowing the ideas to flow, every “Threaded Man” should know the importance of keeping up with the trends.


Van der Berg shares some ideas; “People are not as set on hiding things away anymore and are now open to turning dormant opportunities into third spaces. For example, hanging your bicycle in your entrance lobby, almost as a piece of interest instead of trying to hide it away in a room, is a great use of a third space.”


Sometimes our budgets can get in the way however, there are ways of creating your perfect space on a low budget.

“Overlapping or layering the functions of spaces is key. Keep things simple. Generally, the simpler the design the more functions you can apply to it. It will probably cost less and look better as well. Simple design should however, not be confused with ill-considered design. The simpler the design the more thought you should put into it,” says van der Berg.


A good example of overlapping or layering functions is one of the most unconventional spaces van der Berg has seen. “One that comes to mind is where staircase treads were extended to turn the dead space under the stairs into a bar area, which allowed for the dining area to be connected to the bar area.”


So, when creating the perfect unconventional space, van der Berg says, any space that serves its function as a “third” space is successful. If it serves its original purpose and other functions while simultaneously adding to the character and design aesthetic of the greater home – you have a winner.