Small Space Living Solutions
Today, we’re experiencing a shift from living large with an excess of possessions and space to living with less in smaller spaces. From empty-nester boomers to frugal-minded millennials, small space living is becoming popular across all generations and incomes. This pared-down lifestyle trend is being played out in tiny houses, condos and townhouses, micro and studio apartments and even modest lofts.
To be successful in creating a comfortable and functional home within these scaled-back abodes is to maximize every square inch. If you are in a quandary trying to figure out how to do just that, here are small space living solutions just for you.
Maximize Every Inch
One of the best ways to maximize space is through multi-functional rooms. Think combining two or more functions in one space, like the living/dining, living/bedroom or bedroom/office. Creating spaces that comfortably accommodate more than one function can be easily achieved through dual-purpose furniture—think sofa bed, adjustable coffee/dining table and fold down desk/night table. Other ways to get the most out of small spaces include optimally using corners, walls, doors and closets in creative ways. Keep reading to find out how.
Furniture – Think Small & Multi-Functional
Smart furniture for small spaces is all about being small in scale, multi-functional, collapsible, expandable, stackable, lightweight and movable. Small furnishings are highly popular and can be found for every room and every décor style, from formal traditional to casual contemporary.
For a dual-purpose living/bedroom, a sofa bed or wall bed is a must. Today’s sleeper sofas come in petite versions with comfort-minded construction for both sitting and sleeping. Wall beds are perfect for spaces with a bit more room, where a coffee table can be moved easily and the bed can be freely pulled down without obstruction. Other multi-functional pieces for sitting/sleeping include lounge chair or ottoman sleepers and futons.
For dining/living spaces, an existing coffee table can be used as a casual dining spot or an adjustable height table that goes from coffee table to dining with a simple mechanism or folding base function. Alternatively, where space is available, a narrow dining table with a pair of chairs on one side can be placed to the back of a floating sofa. If an empty wall is available, a small table with collapsible leaves can be used for a dining spot for two. Stackable seating is a big space-saver for these rooms as they can be stacked and tucked in a corner when not in use.
The smallest bedroom/office combination can pose difficult, luckily products like a fold down table installed on the wall next to the bed can be used as both desk and night stand. For large spaces, simply using a twin bed can give you enough room to have a regular desk and office chair for those who study or work for home.
Utilizing wall space is a must in successfully living small. This often under-used storage space can be maximized by installing wall shelves, using floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, tall corner shelves. Think books, collectibles and toys on wall shelves or bookcases in the living room. Dishware, pots and pans, spices and jars in the kitchen/dining space. In addition to offering stash space, tall bookcase and high wall shelves draw the eye up and make a small room appear more spacious.
Get Sneaky with Storage
Creative storage solutions are a must for keeping ones sanity in small spaces. In the living room, use storage furniture like ottomans, benches and coffee tables with interior storage for throws, books or books in the living space. For the kitchen, utilize under-used wall space between the countertop and cabinet with a shelf, or install a narrow rollout cabinet between the wall and side of the refrigerator for canned goods and spices. For the bedroom, tuck sweaters and seasonal items in narrow containers or storage bags under the bed.
Doors offer a myriad of storage capabilities with just a few clever items. A hanging shoe holder can be alternately placed behind a pantry door to hold cleaning supplies or canned goods. Installing a shelf above the door in the bathroom offers a stash spot for rolled up towels or toiletries. In any room, decorative boxes and baskets offer space to stash smaller items.
Create the Illusion of Space
Several creative tricks can make any space appear larger and more spacious. Large mirrors reflect light and create perceived space—place a large leaner mirror in the bedroom or living room or hang a large horizontal mirror above the sofa or bed to draw the eye up and out. Don’t shy away from oversize art or wall murals, both offer a great way to create big impact and interest in a small room. For smaller rooms with tall windows, hang curtains all the way to ceiling to create an illusion of height. Whilst, transparent furniture including acrylic dining chairs, glass or acrylic occasional tables and glass top or full acrylic dining tables allow light and energy to flow through them giving the illusion of a lighter, more open space.
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