What do you do with an older home if you love where you live but need more room? A common frustration we hear from people is that they love their location and the size of their block, but their home is too small for their needs, or it needs a major update. In this scenario it's natural to think that you could move to a more suitable house, but if you have great neighbours, live near family or want the kids to stay at the same school, it's complicated. There are emotional attachments, practicalities and financial comparisons to consider. So if you decide to bed down, how do you improve your home and bring it up to modern day requirements while working with the basis of what you have? If you love your yard size and don't want to compromise on your outdoor space, a great solution is to build upwards and add a first floor addition. By building up you can regain space on the ground floor for living space if the sleeping areas all move upstairs. Keeping one bedroom on the ground level is a great option for a guest room, office or private study and will likely assist with re-sale value. With the main bathroom moved upstairs near the bedrooms it's important to provide a powder room on the ground level to service this floor. You don't want dinner guests traipsing up the stairs all night. With the additional space gained in the ground floor footprint it is sensible to open up the floorplan of your older home and modernise it for our contemporary style of socially connected living. You can still segment spaces, and it's important that you do so that areas and purposes are somewhat delineated. But there is nothing better than the joy of bringing the light and air into a dated home by removing walls and opening up the space. Many older homes, built well, have a solid and timeless appeal and given a lick of paint and updated detail like balustrades, can transform easily. Take this gorgeous 100-plus-year-old home in Hamilton. The maroon roof and yellow-painted cladding boards were reminiscent of an outdated time, but with a fresh white paint colour the same roof shade is reinvigorated. The home had a tasteful first floor extension prior to its current owners purchasing it but they then took it a step further with builder Chad Minehan of Homes By Elite (and designer yours truly) to bring the house into modern times. Indoor-outdoor living was improved by increasing the door type and size from the internal living area to the rear deck. The deck size was increased to create a more functional dining space, and instead of narrow steps to the yard, wraparound stairs to the deck edge created informal seating areas and a safer edge for little ones. New kitchens, indoors and out, complement the alfresco space and a pool completes the modern touches. - Paula Harwood of The Design Hub.