When purchasing a new home or condo, size doesn’t matter – or at least it doesn’t have to. With condos, townhomes and semi-detached homes becoming more prevalent in most major centres, designers and manufactures alike are coming up with space-saving ideas and products to make living in a smaller space practical and beautiful.
Go with the flow: The first thing that needs to be established is flow. This can be done even before moving in. As a new-home owner, take the floorplan and decide how the space is to flow to get the best use of each area. This can be done the old fashioned way, by putting pencil to paper or by uploading your floorplan onto an iPad or tablet app that allows you to place furniture on the screen and configure the best set-up. It is important to consider how the space will be used and then plan separate areas for each major activity. Try to design these spaces so they feel separate by creating vignettes with different carpeting, furniture and accessories.
Shelve it: Storage always seems to be a problem in small spaces, but this problem can be almost eliminated with build-in cabinets. Adding built-in shelving in several spaces does not take up any existing square footage and can go to the ceiling, almost immediately creating a plethora of storage. Built-ins are not only limited to extra storage; this idea can be used to create a desk or home office underneath a staircase, in a child’s bedroom, the kitchen or in a hidden space tucked away. Also, consider using a built-in to house the television and electronics to keep this visual clutter out of sight.
Emphasis on practical: Choose furniture that can do double-duty. With the sizes of living spaces in urban centres steadily on the decline, furniture manufacturers have stepped up their game. Think about using an ottoman or cube for a coffee table, so when extra company comes, this can turn into extra seating. Consider an ottoman that opens up to allow for storage of throw pillows and blankets inside.
Store it: Moving away from the family room, there are a lot of great storage and furniture ideas for the kitchen. Many kitchen tables can easily be folded up and tucked away after a meal. This idea is also been seen in desk design. Many desk designs include versions that can be folded up and stored when not in use. If a home office is not needed, this idea also works great with home beverage centres or bars.
Space division: Creating separation in a small space can make the space appear larger. This can be done by hanging a drape from the ceiling to act as a wall between distinct areas such as the eating area and the family room. This allows the area to feel separate, but not boxed in because the walls are not permanent. This can also be done with shelving, but, make sure to use open shelving as not to make the small space feel too closed off.
Light and bright: And finally, adding mirrors or mirrored furniture to a small space can reflect extra light to make a small space feel brighter. In addition, adding artwork with perspective or depth in them, hung strategically on visual walls can create a sense of openness or direction.