Tiny homes and apartments are enjoying a comeback. Small spaces are easy on the budget (and the heating bill) and are enjoying a boom as people look for ways to downsize and live in a more eco-friendly way. In larger cities, small studio apartments and homes are just a reality – unless you happen to be a millionaire. Luckily, you don’t need buckets of money to transform a small home into a space that is big on style and comfort. What you need is to:
1) Look for streamlined furniture and accent pieces. Rather than overstuffed and oversize pieces, look for items that are smaller and built slim. Comfort sleepers, for example, are often created to be apartment-sized, with thinner arms and a slimmer look. While they offer all the comfort of a full-size bed and sofa, they won’t overwhelm a smaller space.
2) Opt for furniture pieces that do double duty and fold away. Tables that fold away and storage boxes that double as coffee tables or seating is a good start. Comfort sleepers are also a great option for very small spaces and studio apartments, where a separate bed and sofa can take up too much room.
3) If you live in a condo and can change your heating system, switch to floor heating. You’ll be able to get rid of any space heaters, radiators, and vents that are taking up room. You’ll also have the freedom to move your furniture where you want to, since floor heat systems deliver a low, cozy dose of heat and do not ruin your furniture the way that space heaters, radiators, and baseboard heaters can. With heated floors, you’ll be able to make use of more space in your home.
4) Make use of light colors and reflective surfaces. Light colors can make a room look larger and reflective surfaces (and large mirrors) can create the illusion of a larger space. If you love the look of dark colors, save them for contrast pieces rather than making them the focus of your room.
5) Think up. You’re probably not making use of the space near your ceiling. Tall, thin bookcases that go right up to the ceiling are a better use of space than smaller, wider shelves. Try hanging pictures or mirrors higher up and look for taller, thinner furniture – such as tall boy dressers rather than traditional dressers. You’ll save space.
6) Make good use of light. Small spaces can easily look dark, which can make them look even smaller. Install good overhead lighting, accent lights, and use lamps to create a brighter look that opens your space up.
7) Use hooks. Hooks installed over doors, in closets, and on the backs of doors can be used to store and organize just about anything. Clutter has no space in a small home, and hooks can help you take care of that.
8) Seek out unused spaces in your home. Those spaces can give you more room for your stuff. For example, the space above your stairs or above a desk can often accommodate hanging shelves. The small hallway just inside your door can be a great place for a storage closet or a small table.
Tiny spaces do require a little creativity but they can be a great way to enjoy more with less. A few tweaks and a little thinking ahead are often all it takes to make a small space feel much larger.