Your second living space | Do you really need it, and how to get it right

This episode is about the second living space or room in our homes. It goes by lots of different names, and most homeowners planning a renovation or new home want to create one.

So, let’s learn more about how to get it right.

This episode may also be a little controversial, as I challenge you to consider whether you really need a second living space or room in your home. Because, as you stretch your budget and your space to accommodate all the dreams you have for your new or renovated home, you may end up compromising everything.

I’m not here to crush your dream. If you want a second living room, can afford one and want to know how to create one that works, then this episode is for you. There are also some suggestions for alternatives if you’ve been weighing up whether you can create this space in your home, and are perhaps feeling the pinch.

So, how to do you get this second living room working in your home?

We dive into the four “F’s” to understand how they apply to this space.

I share 3 key mistakes I see many homeowners make when designing their second living room.

I’ll go through these in detail so you can avoid them in your design. What are they? Here’s a summary:

Mistake #1   Not being strategic about where you locate this room in your floor plan

Mistake #2   Creating a design that is too fixed in how the room needs to be used

Mistake #3   Closing the room up too much

I also provide 3 design tips to help you get it right in your second living room. Here’s those 3 tips briefly:

Design tip #1  Showing you how to use it to zone the home, and improve the functionality overall by creating seasonal spaces with how it’s oriented and what it’s connected to

Design tip #2  Helps with designing for flexibility in how you fit out the room so it serves lots of different functions

Design tip #3   Outlines how to use the room to provide breathing space to open the home up where needed – for spaciousness and light

This room is usually created to provide separation and choice in a home. But what other functions does yours need to perform? And how can you create it so it suits your family now, and always?

Listen to the podcast now. You’ll be on the way to getting it right in your design for your second living room.

Did you know that Australian homes are among the biggest in the world?

And, in my experience with renovating and building, there’s a great mismatch between homeowner expectations and actual costs and timeframes.

They say it always costs twice as much to renovate and build, and takes twice as long. Instead, I suggest that homeowners begin their project thinking it will take half as long, and cost half as much, as it actually will.

And the readjustment as they find this out can be super challenging on their journey.

So, this episode will also help with ideas about how to create separation and choice in your home, without building a whole other living room.

Information about research mentioned in this podcast can be found at >>> http://www.realestate.com.au/news/what-does-australias-ideal-house-look-like/

Interesting statistics about house sizes around the world can be found at >>> http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-big-is-a-house

More info on Australian house sizes is here >>> http://www.realestate.com.au/advice/is-bigger-better/

Remember if you want to learn more about how to design your home, I’ve created a special (and free!) e-guide for you. It’s called “How to Design a Home: 5 Simple Steps to Getting it Right”. Just click on the image below to get your copy.


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  • Paul
    March 21, 2017, 2:27 pm  Reply

    Brilliant advice as always.

    • Amelia
      March 21, 2017, 3:51 pm

      Hi Paul
      Thanks for your feedback – glad you enjoyed it!
      – Amelia, UA

  • Errin
    July 18, 2017, 9:10 pm  Reply

    Hi Amelia. We are in the concept development stage for the renovation of our family home in Tasmania. We have 2 layouts for the living area/s. One creates a large open plan living area 8 m x 4 m. The other creates two smaller living areas – 3 x 3.5 & 5.5 x 4. There aren’t really any differences between the spaces in terms of orientation or functionality. How do you recommend we choose?

    • Amelia
      July 18, 2017, 9:25 pm

      Hi Errin,
      I’d recommend you get clarity around how you plan to use the spaces. Will it be better for you to have one big area, or two areas you can potentially separate? How does your home need to operate, and how will these spaces help your home be flexible and functional? Draw furniture, to scale, into the floor plan so you know the layout will work. Also study friends’ homes to see how they work as well – so you can anticipate how you may need these spaces to work in the years to come.
      – Amelia, UA

    • Errin
      July 18, 2017, 9:40 pm

      Thanks Amelia – it’s so tricky to choose, and we want to make sure we get the plans right before we commit to new walls, wiring, plumbing etc. We have recently welcomed our first baby, giving us even more to consider when planning for the future. Our current living area is lovely and spacious but doesn’t have the separation or ‘coziness’ we might want in coming years. Wish us luck!

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