When you’re living in a small space, using each square foot of space most effectively and efficiently is key. Here are my top three game changing tips to optimizing your small space and making it into a dream home you love.
Tip #1: Go to the wall
As much as possible, install selected furnishings and finishes by floating it on the wall. These include televisions, lighting, storage cabinets, mirrors, nightstands, and shelving/bookcases. Installing these fixtures onto the wall saves floor space for other critical pieces of furniture that could otherwise not be floated on the wall. For example, instead of a floor lamp, opt for swinging wall lamps, wall sconces, or gallery lighting.
Tip #2: Create Storage
A common challenge with small spaces is the lack of efficient storage solutions. Many new builds come with standard wire shelves that do not make efficient use of the full vertical space available in standard closets. If you have a nook, niche, or closet in your space, it is always a good idea to invest in custom cabinets or store-bought storage organization systems. If you do not have a closet or nook/niche, you can find a local cabinet installer or designer to design an over-the-bed cabinet or TV media wall unit to make the most of the vertical space above your bed or television. You can also think about incorporating some furniture with hidden storage in your home. For example, storage beds with drawers underneath are perfect places for extra storage for out-of-season clothes. Other pieces that are commonly found with hidden storage features include sofas and ottomans. These storage compartments are ideal spaces for storing throws and extra pillows.
Tip #3: Create the Illusion of More Space
Abracadabra! While adding additional square footage to your existing space might be impossible, there are a few design tricks in the trade around window treatment, use of colours and use of materials that help to create the illusion of more space. These tricks help to either bring in additional lighting to illuminate and brighten the space, thereby making it appear bigger, or help to draw the eyes towards the height of the space which makes the space appear bigger.
To create the illusion of bigger windows, install floor to ceiling window drapes that span your wall. Even if your window is only half or three-quarters the length of the wall, install drapes that span from one end of the wall to the other end to create the illusion that your window is the entire size of your wall. To brighten up your space, stick to neutral colours. These colours help create a sense of calmness. Instead of having a variety of colours in your space, opt to create interest and depth in your space by incorporating a variety of textures. Finally, a small space is not complete without a full-length mirror. These reflective surfaces help to open it up by spreading light to brighten up the space. Other reflective materials such as brass, gold, bronze, stainless steel, and glass or high-gloss finishes can also help to mimic a similar effect. Opting for these in your selection of furnishings and decor will help to brighten up your space.
Last but not least, the most important tip in making the most of your small space is to consult a professional who has the expertise in selecting furnishings that are small-space friendly. Small-space friendly furniture are not only scaled more appropriately for small spaces, but they include design and stylistic elements that help these pieces appear light and airy. Happy designing!