With the property market struggling across the whole of the UK, it’s wise to improve the home you’ve got rather than opt for pastures new. But sometimes that is easier said than done and living with enough space can be the real challenge. So whether you’ve got a tiny apartment or a small home with no or limited storage, take note of these inventive steps towards making the most out of small spaces in your home.
Step One – Cut the Clutter
The New Year is the perfect time to de-clutter in your home and get rid of those unnecessary items clogging the place up. Be brutal and if you don’t use it every day, get it out of the way! Sell, recycle, bin or give items away to charity to free up space in your home. After all space is at a premium especially if you don’t have the square footage you’d like.
Make sure the remaining items are stored neatly, and discover space for storage in the most unlikely of places. The bedroom is the most practical and under-utilised space in the home – the bed takes up a large proportion of the room so why not make use of the space underneath the bed to store unused clothes, paperwork and seasonal items? Make the most of those nooks and crannies with some corner shelving, again another under-utilised space that is ideal for storage. A double pole system in the wardrobe also works wonders too, providing double the storage for that growing clothes collection.
Step Two – Think about Remodelling
Take full advantage of the space each room has to offer, if you have some extra money available and the home is yours, think about going open plan. Combining one, two or more rooms can be the key to creating a spacious living area. An open plan kitchen/diner is a very popular choice, and can create a spacious entertaining space at the heart of the home.
Do consider whether open plan is the right move for you and your family by taking the up and the down sides into account. Open plan living can be excellent for utilising space to its full extent, but many families (especially those with children) find open plan rooms difficult to handle after all open plan living can be particularly noisy. In addition to this, privacy is limited and heating bills can be increased. So think before you get happy with that sledge hammer!
Step Three – Lighting is Key
Light your way to a bright and spacious room; a well-lit room is much better than a dark and pokey space, and best of all lighting creates an illusion of space in rooms, both big and small. Boost natural light in smaller rooms by adding a skylight or extra window, also strategically placed light fixtures are a cost-effective and easy way to brighten a room. The key to lighting a room to make it look more spacious is to ensure that lighting is even and to light all corners of the room, this draws the eye to the perimeter of the room to create the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.
Step Four – Reflections
Once you have lit your small space well, it’s important to enhance every bit of light you have at your disposal. Painting the room in lighter and cooler shades like duck egg blue will open up the space and create a light and airy feeling. Lighter colours also reflect light again creating the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.
Mirrors and mirrored or glass furniture also allow the light to reflect further and flood the room for a space enhancing look. Simple changes like replacing your wooden coffee table with a glass furnishing can make the room lighter.
Step Five – Downsize & Organise your Furniture
Large furnishings and appliances do small spaces no favours – go for a smaller sofa instead of a larger suite. Also be clever with the positioning of your furniture and home accessories, for example, mounting your flat screen television onto the wall can look stylish and save a lot of space. This works in the kitchen also, use a ceiling or wall mounted rack to hang pots, pans and other kitchen utensils, this will free up all-important cupboard and worktop space.
Be smart when buying furnishings for homes that are on the smaller side, there are a number of furnishings on the market that are designed to save space and offer valuable storage solutions. Get creative and go for multi-functional furniture.