Thinking small: Three Basic Decorating Tricks for Small Spaces

Who wouldn’t want to live in a larger house and have more material possessions? We are currently dwelling in a world that makes us believe that having “more” is the measure of success. However, there are cases when life gives us a small box to live in and it’s up to us whether to make the most out of it or complain.

Living in small homes teach individuals to “think small” in order to gain more. It teaches the value of decluttering, problem-solving, frugal living, and drives people away from the tempting idea of consumerism. If you have a clever design and great organization skills, you’ll realize that living in small boxes is not that bad after all.

To those people who live in small spaces like lofts, apartments, condo units, and even granny flats, here are some of the key points to remember in making the most out of your small space.

  1. Utilize clever storage solutions

Spatial Awareness

Look at every blank space, like every nook and cranny as areas for potential storage solutions. Instead of buying a bulky, space-eating shelf cabinet for your books, figurines, and other decors, store your knick knacks on floating shelves. The options are not only limited to walls. Ceilings and corners can also be used for shelving.

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Credit: 8 Best Small Space Shelving Solutions |

Hidden surprises

Some items are not worth displaying on open shelves but are not worth throwing in the garbage either. You may hide them seamlessly by investing on furniture pieces that have built-in drawers and compartments. Pieces like ottoman beds, sofas with secret storage, and tables with drawers are some of the best places to store your magazines, important files, and old stuff with sentimental value.

Do it yourself

Already spent money on beautiful yet functionless pieces? Try DIY solutions. Under, inside, and behind are the keywords you have to keep in mind. For instance, you may repurpose your old, plain drawers and make them roll out under the bed, or give new life to a worthless rod and use it as a towel rod behind the bathroom door, or perhaps create a built-in shoe rack to hide under the stairs.

  1. Invest on sleek and functional pieces

Lightweight and functional dividers

Dividers and walls create an illusion of a smaller and a more crowded space but they can be less of a burden if they are multi-functional. To maximize your small space, make use of sleek and visually lightweight divider which may also serve as a bookshelf. If you live in a studio-type unit, sliding dividers and walls might sound like a great alternative.

Sleek dining sets

Get rid of bulky furniture and invest on sleek and slim dining sets. Round tables usually seat more people than rectangular ones, making them ideal for families living in small spaces. Aside from round tables, you may choose the dining sets where chairs can easily tuck in when not in use, like folding tables or bar countertops paired with tall stools.

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Credit: Dining Sets for Small Spaces |

Sofa bed

A sofa in the morning and a bed in the evening – this is what makes sofa beds better from other couches. These sofas are easy to convert and save up space without losing the aesthetics. Sofa beds are recommended for families living in a one-bedroom or studio-type apartments or condo units.

Gone are the days when multifunctional pieces carry the reputation of looking more like a piece of novelty. Furniture companies are becoming more creative in erasing the boundary between elegance and functionality. Invest in these pieces that contain the best of both worlds.

  1. Create Illusion

Large mirrors

Let the mirrors do their magic trick. Placing a large mirror is one of the best ways to create an illusion of a larger space. Mirrors add dimension and utilize natural light, making the apartment seem brighter, bigger, and airier. You also have to know what you’re reflecting. In using mirrors, make sure the they are able to highlight best features of your home.

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 Credits: Donna Griffith |

Higher ceiling

It is also necessary to make eye draw upwards. Hang curtains from the ceiling instead of having them directly above the windows. You may also put bold, popping colors for your ceilings to make them pop and look higher.

Light, neutral colors

Light, neutral colors are proven to be one of the best tricks in making a small space look larger. You may use white, cream, beige, and gray for your walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as light colored rugs, to create an illusion of open space. As much as possible, minimize dark tones. If you’re going to use dark colors for your walls, try to consider a semi-gloss finish that will reflect light in the room.

Aside from using light-colored paint, proper lighting is also a big help. Allow the warm kiss of natural light enter your space. Curtains, draperies, and blinds are beautiful additions but you may also consider keeping your windows bare to allow as much natural light. Skylights are also great additions.


Author Bio:

A writer by profession and a designer by heart, Carmina Natividad devotes most of her time seeking fresh ideas about architecture and interior design. She feeds her passion by regularly writing for Home Plus One – Granny Flats, a construction company consisting of a great team of builders, architects, and tradies that specializes in building cost-efficient and high-quality granny flats in Sydney.


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