Granny flats are a versatile, multifunctional living space that can be adapted to suit any purpose. Building and decorating your own is an exciting prospect, providing you with a blank slate and an opportunity for you to get creative. Whatever you have in mind — whether it be a guest room, study, studio or retreat, this guide will equip you with thoughtful interior design ideas to help you create the granny flat of your dreams. Even if your plans are already well underway, you’ve already finished construction or are just in the initial stages of planning, make sure you’re maximising the interior design potential of your granny flat by reading our tips and tricks below.
People often own more stuff than they realise — and because granny flats don’t offer a whole lot of space for clutter, smart storage is a must. This is particularly true if your granny flat is going to be a living space; to keep the room feeling spacious and relaxing, plan to incorporate built-in storage everywhere you can. Ditch regular, bulky furniture and swap it for a sleek, built-in wardrobe in the bedroom or install handy overhead cabinets in the kitchen to free up far more space. But if you would still like to use traditional furniture, make sure you’re investing in pieces that are efficient or multi-use.
Throughout the flat, try to choose compact and versatile pieces. Think furniture that’s able to be folded away when not in use or features like hidden storage compartments under beds and ottomans. From floating shelves to the strategic placement of wall mounts and hooks, innovative storage solutions can make a huge difference to the way your space looks and feels.
When hunting for interior design ideas to make a small granny flat feel larger, this go-to method will often be first on the list of recommendations. This is because no one wants to feel like they’re stuck inside a box — and the best way to combat this is by incorporating as much light as possible. If you’re yet to build your granny flat, we strongly recommend including features like large windows, skylights and sliding glass doors. This will help to capitalise on existing, natural light, as well as adding life to your space by bringing elements of the outdoors into your flat’s interior.
With existing windows, make sure you avoid oversized curtains and take the time to get your window fittings fitted properly. Bulky and overflowing blinds, shutters or curtains can not only obscure your view and make the surrounding area feel cramped but they’ll also prevent natural light from flooding in. In fact, many granny flat owners prefer to abandon window dressings entirely, instead opting for films and frosted glass to maintain privacy and optimise light.
We also suggest creating your own lighting solutions like using lamps to illuminate shadows and darker spaces that your ceiling lights can’t reach. Another popular interior design hack for granny flats is to use reflective finishes like high-gloss surfaces and mirrors. It’s an effective way to open up a room; the right placement will allow light to bounce around, especially if positioned opposite a window.
Granny flats can often be narrow — so you can make up for what you are missing in width by adding height. It’s a well-known fact that high ceilings will make an entire area feel more open and airy.
If you’re working with an existing building and you aren’t looking to make any structural changes, you can rest assured that there’s plenty of alternative ways to enhance the height of your granny flat through interior design. Some easy ways to do this are by elevating the placement of artwork, shelving and even curtain rods. By aiming to display features above eye level, it draws the gaze upwards and creates the illusion of loftier ceilings.
Many people believe that emphasising the space of your granny flat means decking it out in an exclusively white colour palette. While this will help create some visual breathing room, you can risk making your living area feel stark and clinical — so always keep in mind that it’s not your only option. The secret is to stick to a just handful of bright colours and use neutral shades cohesively throughout the entire flat. This continuity will help you avoid making a room seem small and stuffy, while also allowing you to incorporate character and warmth.
Ultimately, you want to keep it light and steer clear of dark shades, particularly when it comes to the colour of your walls — this will close spaces in, leaving them feeling cramped. This rule should also be applied to the overall interior design choices for your granny flat; for example, sticking to just one style when buying furniture and appliances. Without the space required to separate different styles effectively, overloading a small flat with loud aesthetics can interfere with the flow of the entire space, making it feel unnecessarily cluttered.
A guaranteed way to transform your granny flat into a spacious and soothing environment is by using plants to decorate. Incorporating greenery will help breathe life into your flat and it’s extremely effective in helping a small space to feel larger. Not only will they brighten the atmosphere but plants also purify the air, tackling mustiness and making even the smallest of rooms feel fresh.
However, with this interior design choice for your granny flat, it’s important to be mindful of the type of plants you select as well as their placement. While overgrown plants may enhance the look of a regular house, if the species you’ve chosen for your flat is too large, it can easily become impractical and overwhelming. To avoid this, we recommend the strategic placement of smaller hanging plants in spots where they won’t interfere with day-to-day living.
As an Australian family business with over 35 years of industry experience, we have proudly helped our clients by building over 400 granny flats. We can get the design and approval on your granny flat sorted in just three weeks — and if you’re not completely satisfied, we will continue to work for free and rectify any issues at no further cost to you. To get both a free site inspection and quote today, simply fill out a quick enquiry form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.