5 Ideas for Making the Most of Small Spaces

18 May 2021


Most people would probably prefer a larger house to a small one if given the option. Yet, living in a small house and having smaller spaces in a property presents wonderful opportunities to unleash some creativity and gain a sense of accomplishment from successfully optimizing even the most compact of rooms. So what can you do to make a lacklustre, tiny area stand out as well as serve the functional purposes households require it to? Apply these easy design principles and anyone could turn an unappealing, space-short location into a character-filled one that feels roomy and luxurious. 

1. Use smart storage

It’s all too easy for any space to be overwhelmed by clutter. Having too many items in a given area compromises visual appeal, and compact spaces in particular can become engulfed by furniture, gadgets, photos, books, and other things. Removing extraneous items and ongoing decluttering is obviously an essential step for any place.

Additionally, investing in some smart storage is one of the keys to making a cramped area feel spacious and airy. The simple reason is because while residents can keep decluttering as much as possible, there will still be things one needs to have on hand that support utility and function. Further, it lets homeowners make the most of vertical space, which is all important in apartments and other higher density living quarters. Use wooden boxes stored under beds and coffee tables and install toe-kick drawers for empty pockets under cabinets. Similarly, unused walls around windows and above toilets can be the home of extra shelving. Slat walls, seats that double as storage, and stairs that open up are other great ideas.

2. Colour and lighting

Homeowners tend to underestimate how much the shade of their walls and choice of lighting affects perceptions of size. Carefully considered colour and lighting will not only brighten up the tiniest of spots; they can make it feel more spacious especially if individuals use subtle, general illumination like scones and floor lamps.

In many cases, bold, feature lighting pieces can introduce an attractive focal point to somewhere that’s bland. Further, using a lighter, brighter base allows furniture pieces, artwork, and decorative items to stand out, giving the room extra character. At the same time, don’t go for all white as it could end up feeling sterile and appearing blurred. Add warming accents of wood to flooring, use soft pastels on the ceiling and window frames, and drop in pops of colouring with pillows and accent pieces for some contrast.

3. Create mini zones

Open-plan principles can be used successfully for limited spaces, and zoning is an integral strategy in the best open-plan-living designs. Introducing zoning supports the most efficient usage of rooms, but how exactly does it apply to more constricted properties? Start by creating a floor plan that divides sections according to function and purpose.

For example, one side might be for dining whilst the other for a sofa and television, and in the middle might be a window seat with natural light perfect for reading and relaxing. Mini zones can be subtly outlined by the use of colour, rugs, lights, and other elements. The result can be a distinct feel and personality in each zone. 

4. Integrate breathing space

Homeowners might instinctively try to make the most of limited square footage by setting furnishings against the wall and pieces close together. However, although it seems counterintuitive, the alternate approach actually makes things appear more spacious. Integrating a good amount of “breathing” gaps between furnishings that helps avoid a cramped look. Households can also apply this strategy vertically, by ensuring floating shelves, artworks, and lamps have good spacing. 

5. Furnish wisely

Choice of furnishings needs to align with aesthetics, purpose, and size. The major consideration for a small location is of course size. So when it comes to furnishing in a limited-footage context, is the best choice to go large or tiny? Neither is the answer. A happy medium is the ideal balance between the two. Smaller furniture appears poorly coordinated with the room. Overly large items can lead to a cramped look. That doesn’t necessarily mean all the pieces need to have similar frames. Consider experimenting with a combination of chunky, slim, and sleek pieces to work out what brings character and interest to the place.

Finally, don’t forget to opt for multifunctional selections, such as ottomans and beds with hidden storage, along with sofas with in-built side tables.

Make space!

Individuals who make an apartment or townhouse their home shouldn’t be resigned to the idea they can’t do much about sprucing up their place. A property with limited square footage can be just as liveable as a big home, as it’s really about what one does with what one has. Always start by working out the purpose of each room and its zones. Once the purpose is clear, individuals can start working out how elements like colour, lighting, and accessories will facilitate the achieving of that vision.

Don’t be hesitant about experimenting and sketching your ideas to visualize what you want. Once the place has been optimized, ongoing decluttering and re-editing will then ensure the abode is continually being refreshed just the way you like it.


Blog archive