With the return of the holidays, a common purpose for countless citizens gains strength: to change to a bigger house. Too many people live where they can and not where they want, especially in big cities. Too many houses stay small. But the sale and rental prices give little breathing space and very few opportunities to open a better house, so it is time to use ingenious furniture or small works to gain a few square meters in the apartment.
The bed is one of the pieces of furniture that is eaten the most in houses. The way to gain all those lost square meters – up to six – is to install a bed that rises to the ceiling, a solution that until recently did not exist in Spain. During the pandemic confinement, in 2020, the company Tu Lecho al Techo was born by the hand of the entrepreneur Sébastien Chartier. The firm then became the exclusive distributor and installer of the solutions developed by the companies Espace Loggia (France), Liftbed (Germany), Bedaway (Sweden) and Voga (Slovenia), whose products are in thousands of homes around the world.
From the mattress to the office
The beds move on rails located on the sides and can be operated manually (it does not involve any effort since it is a counterweight) or they can be motorized. The price of most flying beds is between 2,800 and 5,500 euros, depending on the size and the options that are incorporated (led lights, dining table, office, sofa …).
“This type of solution is very suitable for very small floors. In fact, this was the origin of the pioneering company, the French Espace Loggia, which created this product more than 30 years ago to improve the quality of life of people who lived in studios of 15 or 20 square meters in Paris, “he says. Chartier. However, he adds, in Spain most clients have large flats (with three and four bedrooms) and seek to optimize a room for the child or turn a guest room into a relaxation area, work, cinema room or even a gym during the day. “With the increase in teleworking, many homes have rethought their spaces and the advantage of our solutions is that they allow them to gain square meters without having to move,” says the founder of Tu Lecho al Techo.
There are other solutions that are also quite inexpensive. One is to replace the folding doors with sliding doors, so it would not be necessary to keep the 80 centimeters that a traditional leaf occupies clear when opening it, something very useful in very small bathrooms. “The budget for this type of intervention varies depending on styles and materials, but a sliding door with exposed hardware costs less than 500 euros,” they say on the Habitissimo platform. The most effective in the case at hand is the recessed sliding door, which is completely hidden within the partitions and leaves all the wall space available (it costs between 800 and 1,000 euros).
Of course, the most effective action is to throw down partitions and create open spaces. Removing a wall that divides two rooms can cost around 300 euros, to which must be added the cost of the new flooring and painting of the walls, according to Habitissimo experts. From Homeserve they propose that “the furniture and decorative objects themselves act as separating modules”. Tall furniture, or even building a loft, can be an inexpensive solution to save space. For example, building a plasterboard bookcase with doors and drawers costs less than 1,000 euros.
A classic is to integrate the kitchen into the living room, a performance that costs about a thousand euros. The result is an open and bright space that serves as a meeting place. In this case, it is convenient to bet on integrated appliances. “They offer the feeling that they are one more piece of furniture in the kitchen and allow you to expand the corridors, since they take up less space than standard appliances,” they point out in Homeserve.
In the bathroom, it is time to change the bathtub for a shower tray, a work that costs between 700 and 1,300 euros. And opt for sanitary ware and suspended furniture, which allow the visual space to appear larger. The latest are the sinks made of an extra-fine ceramic material. “With their thin walls and a reduced radius of curvature, the sinks designed with this innovative material take up very little space”, they report in the Swiss firm Laufen. These are smaller sinks (from the Val collection) for less spacious rooms, but without losing breast volume.
In the dining room you have to opt for round or glass tables and stackable chairs or benches, instead of the traditional and huge rectangular tables. The hall, when it exists, can be converted into a large closet in which to hang coats, accessories or clothes from another season.
Changing the color of the walls and the floor does not scratch meters, but it creates a feeling of spaciousness. Using light colors will make the space appear larger. “Painting the room or wallpapering its walls can have an average cost of 20 euros per square meter”, according to the prices registered on the Habitissimo platform.