How To Make The Most Of Small Spaces
Living in a small space doesn't mean you have to compromise on the latest style or interior design trends. Small spaces can be incredibly tricky – a few too many objects and they can start to look cluttered and cramped very quickly. It doesn’t take much. It’s a fine balance between stuff and space – you need lots of good quality storage to hide things away, enough room to have the items out that you need, and some space left in between so that you can still get around everything.
According to Real Homes, - ‘Less is more’, the time-honoured interior design mantra when it comes to small spaces. Don’t make the mistake of cramming the same amount of furniture you would into a bigger space and just putting it closer together. Just because you can fit a three piece suite into your teeny living room doesn't mean you should.
Small spaces can be quaint, but they can also contribute to a serious case of claustrophobia. From finding solutions for storage issues to reducing anxiety-inducing chaos, learning how to best design a small space is key to remaining happy in your home.
Here are a few ideas that will maximise space and bring new life to your small space.
1. Clear the clutter
Are you sick of looking at mess that has been hanging around for a while? Look around at the stuff that's in your way. Do you really need those clothes you never wear? Do you need those magazines that you read and displayed years ago? This is the best tip by far to maximise the space in your home - Cut the clutter.
Getting rid of the items that you don’t need is a good start in keeping your house tidy and organised. Not only will it enlighten the area, but nothing makes a small space feel more cramped than too many items.
With the things neatly arranged or out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open. Also, try to keep the floor as clear as possible to create the illusion of more floor space.
2. Choose light/neutral colors for the walls
Although dark colours can be trendy, they can also be tricky to use in small spaces. The colours that works best are light or neutral colors such as white, cream or grey. Sticking to this colour palette will help make any room feel brighter, fresh, cozy, airy and bigger.
Keep in mind that light colours reflect the light and can really open up a space while dark colors absorbs the light and make a room feel smaller. However, if you really want to go for a dark and moody scheme, the key is to add plenty of light sources – decorative lamps or chandelier.
3. Let in the Light
One of the easiest ways to make a small space feel bigger is to let in as much light as possible. Any room will look larger if it's well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting.
Look to open up spaces and add as much natural light into a room. As much as possible, embrace natural lighting. When choosing curtains, keep them light or alternatively go for roller blinds.
When natural light is absent, maximise the use of artificial lighting by adding lighting fixtures like chandelier and lamps – bedside table lamp or oversized floor lamp. You’ll get amazed at how this small addition can make a big difference.
4. The Magic of mirrors
Decorating your house with mirrors is a surprisingly simple and effective way of creating illusions to achieve a multitude of purposes. It’s tone of he oldest tricks in the book… and it really does work!
Using mirrors creatively in your home can make them not only useful for checking your appearance, but also for capturing light and projecting it into those darker corners, creating textural and spatial illusions, and highlighting your favourite accessories and ornaments by reflecting them into your vision from different angles.
Placing a mirror in the correct place in a room allows you to optimise natural light. To do so, place the mirror adjacent to a window to perfectly catch the angle of light and bounce it throughout the room.
According to Country Living, Mirrors can be used to create texture in two ways. The first is by installing a textured mirror frame which adds a three dimensional level to the wall. These can act as statement furnishings in any room.
The second way to add texture in a room is to position the mirror so it reflects a textured object already in the room – a rustic, wooden coffee table, vase or faux fur throw, for example.
5. Choose furniture wisely
Furniture should also be considered in small spaces. Choosing furniture that has more than one use is always a good idea in a small space and using the right one is a key way to make a room look bigger. Look at the space you have and consider how furniture will improve the functionality of the room.
Pick the ones which are lightweight in appearance rather than heavy, chunky designs – being able to see the floor under a piece of furniture will give a greater illusion of space. For the bedroom, it is better to get a bed with storage underneath. Look for beds like lift-up or with plenty of drawers.
When you are shopping for furniture, consider multifunctional or modular furniture that looks good is a lifesaver in small homes. It can be more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the investment.
Furniture that performs two functions in one is a key ingredient of a successful small living room scheme. Instead of having to accommodate two pieces there’s only a single design to fit in – leaving more of the floor clear – yet you don’t lose out on any of the functions. Try these:
In place of a coffee table, consider a storage footstool. The latter is coffee table and comfortable footrest in one, plus the lift-up lid reveals capacious storage inside. If you need a desk in a small living room, opt for a narrower console table instead. It’s more than enough desk space for a laptop and, when you’re not working, it can be used for table lamps and display.
6. Use wall space
Most of the time, walls are a home's number one unused resource. They are usually best for hanging pictures and paintings, but in a small space, they should be used for much more - make the most of every inch available.
The vertical space on walls can be used as a storage by creating a bespoke storage solution - like fitting stacked floating cabinets and shelves. This can help utilise the height of a wall instead of having everything on the ground taking up precious space.
In some areas of the house, you can maximise the use of your wall by installing hooks and hang your bike on the wall, hang a living wall planter in order to have plants without taking up the floor space for pots or hang some of your clothes.