How I wish I had just one more room…
Only if there was one additional cupboard or loft for storage…
My living room is just too small for my furniture!
These are just a few things most of us feel about our living spaces.
With the ever increasing cost of real estate, apartment living is on the rise and the size of apartments is reducing progressively. Therefore, most of us face a paucity of space in our homes. One is always challenged to think of clever ways to maximise the available space and to create an illusion of spaciousness.
From experience, I have understood a few dos and don’ts on doing-up small homes, to make them look bigger than they actually are. They are very basic and easy to-do but can make a huge difference to one’s home.
These are as follows:
1) Light is the way to go – Keep the colour of the walls light and single tone while the ceiling can be a shade darker, to provide depth to the room. Preferably have light or neutral coloured upholstery, window dressing and rugs. Colour can be added in one’s space through cushions, wall art and artefacts.
2) Take it from the top – Window dressing (curtains or blinds) should be hung from the ceiling to give height to the room.
3) Alternate window dressing – In case, the room is really small then instead of curtains, roman blinds or venetian blinds would be ideal because they take up less space and give a neater look to the room.
4) Legs on display – As misleading as it may sound, it is indeed a very useful tip to bear in mind while buying furniture for a small room. Sofas or couches with exposed legs give an open feel to the room as they free up floor space.
5) Less is more – Having a few big pieces of furniture is better than several smaller pieces. The same goes for decoration pieces and artefacts. A clutter of any kind makes a room look smaller and disorderly.
6) Keep clear of walls – The furniture can be a few inches away from the walls to give an illusion of space. By placing furniture in creative ways like diagonally, one can give an unusual look to a small space.
7) Demarcate sections – Have small rugs or carpets on the floor to separate different sections within the same room. The rugs or carpets should be light in colour or have strips to give an optical illusion of expanse to the room.
8) Arty wall – Preferably have only one large painting in a room. This will not only give a focal point to a room but will also make a room look more expansive. Incase, you want to put up many small paintings in the room, the best way to do it, is to install them all together on one wall to create an impression of unison.
9) Free up floor space – Wall mount things to free up floor space. TV, light weight cabinets and display racks can all be wall mounted. It would be a good idea to wall mount racks closer to the ceiling for lending height to a room. On the other hand, mirrors and painting should be mounted lower preferably at eye level to relate to the furniture.
10) Light-up with lamps –Low lighting with lamps around the room will be more flattering to a small room rather than harsh ceiling lights that concentrate light on a specific area. Many sources of light in a room draw attention to different corners of a room.
11) Keep the openness of the room – It is good to have low furniture especially if it not going to be against a wall. Backless furniture like Ottomans or Diwans are great for small rooms as they do not impede the openness of the room.
12) Be creative – It is always great to have a space that exudes one’s individual sense of style. The challenge in doing up a small room is, to do just that but in a limited space. This requires a few more notches of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Go for multi-purpose furniture, furniture with in-built storage, foldable tables, wall mounted furniture and other space creating and space saving solutions.
13) Finally discard and declutter – We love our possessions and it is very challenging for most of us to discard stuff. But this is the key to living well in any space, be it a studio apartment or a palatial bungalow. In this respect, the one-year rule works really well. That is, if you have not used a particular thing in one year then maybe you have no use for it. Discarding it will not affect your life adversely but will surely lead to a decluttered existence. That means one will always have place for everything and everything will be in its place!
Hope these tips are as helpful to you as they have been to me and I would love to hear the tips and tricks which have worked for your home.
Our home is an extension of ourselves and requires as much attention as one would give to a family member. Frankly the size of one’s home is immaterial, what really matters is how inviting one’s space is. And that is a direct result of the TLC one chooses to give to one’s home, from time to time.