Efficiency and increased utilization of space are the two key trends in 2015 when it comes to home remodeling tips. Whether it is new home design or remodeling of older homes, the trend seems to be the same. How we use our space is being constantly re-invented. Instead of having rooms dedicated to one purpose, we now see rooms that can convert to useable space without adding expensive square footage.  Talk with your professional designer or local licensed remodeling contractor about these simple tips for making your home more functional this year.

  1. Repurpose the Formal Dining Room

Too many people use the formal dining room for formal dinners only a few times each year. The new trend is to make the formal dining room more of a multi-purpose room that can perform utilitarian functions the rest of the year.

Adding shelving and cupboards that tastefully compliment your décor can store things like pull out desktops for homework or other home office tasks. You can also replace the formal dinette with a tasteful modular or extending table that would easily serve the most formal dinner party but collapse for daily space efficiency.

  1. The Guest Room

A recent designer commented, “Stop dedicating a whole room to infrequent out-of-town visitors. With a decent air mattress, futon, or pull-out couch, you can lose the spare bed and use the room for day-to-day needs.” (If you decide to invest in an air mattress, make sure to choose one with a built-in reversible motor to simplify the inflating and deflating, as well as one constructed of durable materials.)

  1. Add a Small Bathroom

If you have an unfinished basement or a crawl space under the home, look for an easy place to run pipes for supply and sewer lines. Many times a closet or unused portion of a hallway can be completed as an extra powder room for your guests.

  1. Office Closets

While we are on the subject of creating new spaces, you can also consider turning a large closet into a small home office. Take your laptop and paperwork off of the kitchen table, and instead, turn a former closet into a productive space. If you can fit an armoire or modular desk unit in the closet, you can pull up a chair and Google away.

  1. Open up the Home

The trend for open and airy spaces continues as essential home remodeling tips. If you look around and your home seems chopped into too many rooms, take another look and picture the space without walls. Many times, the non-bearing walls can be eliminated in your home to create bigger, more open spaces. Even load-bearing walls can be replaced with load-bearing beams that accomplish the same result.

*You should consult your local professional, licensed home remodeling contractor for this type of work, however.

  1. Bump it Out

Another home remodeling tip is to ask your contractor to design a “bump-out” space in your home. A bump-out space is not a full-blown addition but more along the lines of a window seat, or a outcropping of space that needs no foundation. Picture a small space that sort of hangs out as an extension of a wall or window.

With all of these ideas, you can certainly try them on your own if you are experienced in home construction. However, if the remodel involves structural, electrical, plumbing, etc., you must consult a licensed remodeling contractor in your area that is familiar with local codes and permit requirements. These home remodeling tips for 2015 can make your home live larger, and hopefully more efficiently, with minimal investment.