The living room was an odd diamond shape, the kitchen was a tiny triangle, and there was a lot of wasted space. We needed to make even the smallest area work do it was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, getting everything to fit exactly.

I began by building a wall to square off the living room. I created a small study in the wedge-shaped space behind the new wall (on which the television is currently mounted), and borrowed redundant corridor space in order to enlarge the kitchen and reconfigure it.

To create a casual eating area, we opened up the kitchen wall and replaced it with a countertop, with cupboards on one side and a breakfast bar with stools opposite the study nook. By opening up the kitchen wall, it saves space and brings natural light into the kitchen and study. The open wall also means anyone in the kitchen can keep an eye on the children in both the study and living areas. Overhead cupboards further define and separate the kitchen. Putting the breakfast bar in the corridor creates another area from what was dead space.

We also knocked down the dividing wall between the master bedroom and one of the children’s rooms and replaced it with a wall of cupboard. As it was felt that the children had more stuff to stow away, the wardrobe is narrower on the parents’ side.