Ready for some great news? Buying furniture and designing your small spaces is now easier than ever! More and more people are embracing apartment living. The home decor industry has answered our cries with so many great ideas to help you with designing small spaces.
Here are our 5 expert tips for designing small spaces in your home:
Tip #1: Extendable Dining Tables
Formal dining rooms are not as popular anymore, especially in smaller homes. But it’s also hard to host a larger dinner party in an apartment around a 4 person table. This is why we recommend extendable dining tables so you can keep it small for everyday use, and extend it for the company.
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a new concept. It’s been around for ages, but it’s still worth mentioning because they’ve made some significant design upgrades to make them much more convenient and functional.
You may have remembered digging around in closets and under the bed for those heavy wood “leafs” to extend your dining room table. Somehow we always left it to the last minute (or was that just us)? Today, dining tables come with convenient leaf storage under the table. Now you always know, assuming you put it away properly, where that leaf is.
Tip #2: Versatile Chairs
When designing small spaces, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. This is why we recommend choosing chairs that can be used at the dining table, your desk, and even as extra seating in the living room. This way you can easily move your chairs around where you need them.
We also recommend when choosing chairs for smaller spaces, to choose ones with lower backs. This will keep them from taking up too much visual space in your room.
The style and design of the chair are also important when you plan to repurpose your chairs around your home. Choose a more natural design so it fits easily with any room decor. Also, if you plan to move them frequently, avoid ones that are too bulky or heavy as they’ll be a pain in your back, literally, to move around. Keep in mind that even if a chair looks trendy in the showroom or in the magazine, it doesn’t mean it’s a great option for your home.
Remember, chairs don’t have to be huge to be comfortable.
Tip #3: Side Tables
Even in small spaces you’re gonna want somewhere to put your drink down or place a snack bowl or a good book (if you can put a good book down). When designing small spaces, consider where people would put their drink down when they sit and make sure there is a suitable side table for each seat.
A small coffee table in the middle of a family room can provide a good spot for beverages, but also consider adding smaller narrow side tables next to chairs where it isn’t as easy to put a drink down. If you are tight on space, consider nesting side tables so you can store them when you don’t have extra company over.
Tip #4: Let in the Light!
You can easily and inexpensively make your small rooms look much bigger with a few lighting tricks.
- Open the blinds: Brighter spaces help make a room feel so much bigger and come with so many added health benefits. Natural light is known to increase endorphins and serotonin and help to balance your hormones. When you get enough natural light during the day you are more likely to sleep better at night. We also know that the sun boosts your energy too so open those curtains and let in the light!
- Paint it light: When painting your small spaces, consider using lighter paint colours. Dark colours will make a room appear smaller. If you are compelled to paint a darker more bold colour, consider doing it as an accent wall instead.
- Add functional lighting: Consider how you will be using each area of the room. If it’s an area you will be working at a computer or reading a book, consider a smaller reading lamp on the table or attached to the wall. If it’s an area you simply pass through (like a hallway or foyer) look for more general lighting options like pot lights and lamps to light the space. In the bathrooms, you’ll want lighting directed over the sink and counter area most.
Hang a mirror: A large mirror in the room bounces the light around better, making your space appear larger. Also, the right mirror can make the room look 2x as big as you see a “second” room in the reflection.
Tip #5: Sneaky Storage
Storage is often one of the biggest struggles our clients in smaller homes and apartments have. To avoid cluttered rooms, we need storage options. But when your room is small, we can’t always put in big bulky storage cabinets (they become an eyesore).Instead, we suggest looking for sneaky ways to store your stuff out of sight. For example, some furniture comes with hidden storage. It’s common to find beds and sofas with large storage spaces underneath. Also, look for storage that can be hung on a wall or behind a door. Over-the-door hangers are great for shoes and closet items. Floating side tables affixed to the walls (ie without feet touching the ground) also help make the room feel less cluttered while still providing a functional space to store belongings.
What if your space already has great storage closets? You can maximize these spaces by investing in a closet storage system or clear bins that can be stacked to maximize your space and control clutter and mess.
What’s next for your home?
There are so many products and design secrets you can use to make any small space more functional and feel larger. Above all the tips, it’s important to practice mindfulness about what you are bringing into your home. We know how exciting it can be to walk through a furniture store or flip through the latest seasonal catalogue. You may feel compelled to buy up the whole store, without thinking of how it will actually work or be used in your home.
Before you buy a piece of furniture:
- Make sure it’s something that will physically fit in your home (measure and measure again to be sure)
- Consider its style with the rest of the theme in your home (you probably don’t want your home to look like a mismatched thrift store)
- Is it something that will be used often, and if not, can it be folded away or stored easily (think the dining tables and nesting side tables), and
- Is it something that’s comfortable to use. If it’s not comfortable to sit on or use as intended it will end up going unused and wasting precious space.
Of course, having a professional interior designer help you with this is the best idea! An interior designer will work with you, taking your ideas and making them real by creating a plan for you.