How to maximise space in smaller homes

Whether you live in a smaller CBD apartment or just want to get more out of a small room in your home, there are a range of different tips and tricks you can employ to ensure you can make the most out of an area.

These days, space – or lack of it – is becoming an issue, with home owners often looking to upgrade to bigger homes or renovate to find the space they need. If these solutions aren’t on the cards for you, here are a range of different design ideas that might help you decorate your smaller space and utilise every inch of space!

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Create Zones

Start by considering all the things you use a particular space for – to work, sleep, relax or eat – and then establish particular zones for each of these activities. By separating and differentiating these spaces, it can help to make the space feel larger. You can even create multiple seating areas, a window seat or a built in banquette which help to identify different “rooms”.

Buy & store smartly

When it comes to investing in furniture, make sure you buy smart.

  • Purchase daybeds or deep sofas which can transform into beds for guests.
  • Consider storage ottomans which can service as a seat, a table, and a storage container.
  • Invest in pull-out beds, folding chairs or collapsible tables which can all be rearranged to transform the use of a room.
  • Buy wireless technology where possible to make it easy to reposition lighting, speakers or other gadgets when a room is repositioned.

When it comes to your current possessions, it is always important to constantly re-evaluate what you really need. If you haven’t used it in a year, be extremely critical of it. Do you really need to keep it around? It’s very likely that anything you haven’t used in a year is just taking up space in your home, so sell it off, you’ll appreciate it in the long run. Not only will your home be clutter free but it will also help you manage your belongings.

Fool your eye

Create the impression that the room is bigger than it is. Install floor-to-ceiling curtains, see through furnishings and strategically placed mirrors to make objects seem larger than they actually are. It’s all about exploiting your inner decorative sleight of hand.

Mirrors are the secret to this success. They help to trick your eyes into thinking that you’re further than you actually are away from a particular item. Therefore, mirrors in several places in your home can fool your eyes repeatedly, making everything seem a little bigger. The ideal place to do this is on your closet doors. Place a mirror on each closet door in your bedroom and you’ll quickly gain the illusion that your bedroom is a lot bigger than it was before. Large bathroom mirrors – and even mirrors on bathroom doors – can create the same effect, introducing a sense of largeness and openness that wasn’t there before.

Don’t overcrowd unnecessarily

When shopping for furnishings and decorative pieces, be sure to select items that offer maximum functionality. For example, when shopping for a coffee table, opt for two small round tables as opposed to a big coffee table. This way you will have better traffic flow in the room, and these are easier to move around as opposed to the one long, solid table.

It can be very tempting to fill the limited space you have with everything you like. This is especially true when it comes to pictures and other items on your walls. The problem is that it leaves your home feeling constrained and tight, as though all of the walls are overstuffed and crowded.

A much better approach is to choose a few items of home decor. Stick to the ones that are genuinely meaningful to you or offer the most stylish feeling for the room. If you have a lot of items you’d like to display, store the rest in a closet and rotate them regularly.

Bigger but fewer is better!

It may seem counterintuitive, but fitting out a small space with just a few large-scale pieces can actually make it feel grander. Typically, people will end up choosing many pieces of small furniture to take care of their needs and all of those small pieces end up taking up more space and being less functional than some larger pieces. So instead of buying a loveseat and a chair, buy one large sofa (perhaps one with a bed hidden inside) or instead of buying two or three small bookshelves, buy one giant one.

The large items might take up more floor space by themselves, but you won’t need multiples of them, so you won’t be duplicating elements like armrests. A large piece of furniture that replaces two or three smaller pieces usually ends up saving you quite a bit of space.

Customize your home

If you’re lacking the room you need, why don’t you customize your space to make sure it fits your needs. Think storage units and built in furniture which can be tailored to your exact needs. This way you can utilise every last sliver of space!

One great way to maximize storage space in a small home is to fill an entire wall, floor to ceiling, with shelves that are directly attached to the wall. You can use these shelves for many purposes, as they can hold decorations, function as a home entertainment centre, or book shelf and so on.

By attaching the shelves to the wall, you’re minimizing the floor square footage that the shelves are taking up. By building lots of shelves that go all the way to the ceiling, you’re adding a ton of storage space to those square feet.

Utilise vertical space

It’s not often used, but there are a lot of ways you can utilise vertical space to your advantage. Using the space between the tops of furniture and a room’s ceiling will help to draw the eye upward – think bookcases and cabinetry.

You can stack shelving units on top of each other, or have two or three units side by side with a third sideways on top. The key is to stretch that storage space upward so that you’re taking up vertical space, not vital floor space!

About peardrealestate

Peard Real Estate is an award winning network of boutique offices throughout Western Australia delivering innovative property solutions, services and results for home owners, landlords and investors.
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