Tight spaces are an issue – but it’s an issue that can be dealt with. You’ll need a few tools though. You’ve got to pack light, think smart and act quick if you want to live comfortably, not claustrophobically.
Penny C figures it out.
The first step is to organise and visualise what you need and you don’t. Compact spaces aren’t necessarily obstacles because with these 10 helpful tips from us, you can make it work!
1. Light Hues
Image source: Apartment Therapy
With lighter shades, your room appears bigger and brighter. Unlike darker colours that encourage an intimate atmosphere, softer tones such as blue and green create the feeling of an open space. For wallpapers, go for textured ones in pale shades instead of wallpaper with large, fussy prints and details. The difference can save both your space and your eyes from unpleasantness.
2. Go Monochromatic
In layman terms, it refers to colours from the same family; think 1-3 tones darker/lighter.
So if you’ve got dark blue walls and thinking of putting in a sofa, get one in a lighter shade of blue. Got brown curtains? Opt for beige furniture. This method of opening up space using monochromatic colours will create an illusion of space and perspective.
3. Give Height
Image source: Garrendenny Interiors
What’s that you say – how is ever creating height in a small room possible? Everything’s possible with a few tricks! If you want your ceiling to appear higher, hide uplights in the shallow rims that go around the rim of the room. The reflected light allows the room to appear taller. If lights up there aren’t your thing, paint your walls with vertical stripes or wallpaper them with the same concept to achieve the same effect.
4. Just Nice
Turn your eyes away from mass produced pieces and look towards small apartment furniture that’s elegantly and appropriately designed form small spaces. Plonking a low and wide, presumably standard sized coffee table in the living area may seem like a good idea – but that’s only if you’ve got ample space. Having lots of large furniture hinders you from using precious space more effectively. Be flexible and select pieces that fit you home, not the other way round.
5. Double Duty
The Windwheel stool by Choi Seonghwa
Get functional and fun with multipurpose furniture that lets you play with space while you organise your home! Futons, storage trunks as coffee tables and fold-able tables – these are some ideas that help keep your home tidy while also rendering it an ideal, comfortable place for friends and family to hang out. Other alternatives include purchasing storage ottomans that simultaneously double up as additional seating and instead of placing your television on shelves made specifically as a media unit, place it on a chest of drawers. Life will be better this way.
6. A Big One
Image source: Apartment Therapy
Living in a compact space doesn’t mean that you can only decorate with tiny furniture. Balance space and the visuals of your room by complementing your pieces with one prominent item like a large bed, comfy sofa or a round table. As this furniture piece serves as the focal point of your room, you can choose to let your creativity flow as you work around this prominent fixture. Be comfortable in your own space!
7. Cut Clutter
Image source: Tiny Rooms Pool
As much as some of us love the idea of hoarding stuff, clutter is taboo if you’ve got to make do with compact space. Clutter gets in the way, blocks pathways, literally cramps your style and not to mention the potential fire hazards! Small accessories like rings, bracelets, mobile phone chargers or even loose stationery and magazines are considered clutter – especially when the mess builds up. Streamline your room and give it structure by storing your trinkets out of sight and throw away unwanted items immediately. The rule is to not let things pile up.
Mirrors are popular choices for creating illusion – on stage and even at home! Mirrors double the visual space of your room. Mirrors brighten and create the illusion of space by reflecting both natural and artificial lights into your home. An idea to create perspective is by angling your mirror to the focal point in your room to give depth. Alternatively, reflect the outdoors and its natural lighting by placing a mirror near the window for the feel of ‘being one with nature’. Hey, at least you won’t be feeling stuck within your four walls!
9. Oh, So Bright!
Heavy drapes block natural light from entering your room and the darker your space is, the smaller and drearier it’ll look. That’s why some home owners prefer to install full height glass panes – they welcome the day’s light and complement their interior magnificence with an expansive view of the outdoors. To enhance it all, use fixtures that are aluminum or metallic to reflect the light as well. Make sure you’ve got sufficient artificial lighting to brighten up the room. You don’t want to feel like your living in a cave.
10. Show More Floor
Image source: Hello Tiger
Stack them high, stack them wide. Make use of vertical space! Have floor to ceiling bookcases, wardrobes and shelves; hang portraits and pictures high up along the walls. Keep knick knacks off the floor and stay neat and organised. Quick tip – furniture should be angled cleverly to make it appear as though they’re surrounded by space. This way, people will perceive a longer distance and not a shorter wall – which happens often if you shove furniture against the wall.
We’ve got the proof – living well in a small space possible. Still uninspired? Get tips from Hong Kong architect, Gary Chang, who reveals 24 rooms in his 330ft home. His home has movable walls, he takes advantage of storage spaces, installs reflective materials and has large window panes that effectively offers comfort and convenience. By doing all that and more, Gary manages to create a greener home too!