Living in a small space certainly has its perks. There is less to clean, you can easily rush from one room to another, and your space feels cozy and snug just like homes are supposed to be. But with small spaces comes less storage, and that can be problematic even if you don’t tend to hoard stuffs.
As clichéd as it may sound, the first rule for an uncluttered space is to have a place for everything and put everything back in its place once you’re done. If you lack storage, then it can add to your small-space woes. But there are some pretty clever workarounds for that.
Storage and décor in small spaces needn’t be all about functionality. By choosing the right pieces and following some simple tricks, you can not only give your home an illusion of space but make a bold style statement as well.
The Week gives you some ideas that you can implement and make optimum use of your small space while flaunting a stylish living.
Photo: Courtesy: Arjun Shah
Make rooms multifunctional
If your house is too small to meet all your needs, make the rooms multifunctional. A daybed can double as a sofa and can be used when you have guests over to sleep. Keep a pair of bolster pillows at the ends of the bed to imitate the arms of a sofa and the same space can double as a living space during the day and a bedroom at night. Two small tables can be pushed together to make a large coffee table at the center of a living room. It can easily be moved aside when you need open space. You can also opt to keep a movable divider in a room to section off an area. It can also be removed when and if needed. The key is to use movable items that can be rotated between rooms.
Add depth and height to the space
Increase the height of the room with vertical lines that lead the eye from floor to ceiling. Ceilings will appear higher because of the lines. Putting up curtains and draperies from the base of the ceiling till all the way to the floor around a window can also achieve this effect if painting vertical lines on the wall or wallpapering it isn’t an option. You can also hang a collection of artwork on a wall in a straight vertical line. Using tall floor lamps, elongated vases and a collection of tall accessories like extra large candle stands and statues can also achieve the desired effect and make a room appear bigger.
Use windows and mirrors to enlarge a small space
Windows can visually enlarge a small room because the eye moves beyond the wall and embraces the outdoor as part of the living space. Take advantage of this effect and dress up the windows with draperies that match the color of the walls. You can also opt to install blinds that can be moved out of the way during the day. To make windows seem taller, hang draperies just below the ceiling and extend them beyond the window frame nearly touching the floor. Hang or prop a large mirror with a decorative frame to create the illusion of depth in a small room. Mirrors expand the illusion of space. Use an oversized mirror on a wall, and the mirror will double as a decorative accessory while making your small space appear bigger.
Make small spaces light and airy
Light colors can open up a room while dark colors can make a room appear constrained. To give rooms the illusion of spaciousness, opt for white or pastel colored walls. White surfaces bounce light around the room and make it appear open and airy, adding to the spaciousness effect. You, however, don’t have to limit your décor to light colored accessories. Adding dark accents can anchor the space without constricting it but only if you stick to light colored walls and curtains.
Create a little breathing room
Pulling furniture away from the wall to the center of the room can make the space feel larger. By allowing space between the wall and furniture pieces, you can give the impression of depth to a room which makes it appear bigger than it actually is. This trick works whether your furniture is modern contemporary pieces or traditional leather upholstered ones. Add round elements such as a curved back sofa, round coffee table, round lampshades etc as soft edges also lend a casual feel to a boxed square structure and make it appear larger than its actual size.
Photo: Courtesy: Arjun Shah
Clever storage tips and tricks
Store bed sheets inside one of its own pillowcases and you won’t have to hunt through an entire shelf for a matching set.
Attach a magnetic strip along the length of a wall in the kitchen to keep knives and scissors in perfect order.
Get pretty boxes in different colors and store knickknacks, papers and other stuffs you don’t want to throw away in these boxes and then stash them under the coffee table or on bookshelves.
Double-decked coffee tables or glass-topped ones can store magazines, newspapers and remote controls underneath while the top can be used for functional items like coffee mugs and decorative pieces like bowls and vases.
Hooks can go anywhere and hang so many things. Use them in unexpected places like the sides of a dresser or behind doors. You can use them to hang jewelry, earphones and chargers besides scarves and bags.