Modern apartments aren’t exactly spacious, and even newly built family homes feel a little cramped compared to older, more luxurious homes. There’s not much you can do to increase the square footage available to you, unless you win the lottery, but you can maximise the value that you get out of that space, and you can create the illusion of having extra space. Try these tips to make cramped living more bearable.
- De-clutter: a clear worktop looks roomy. A cluttered work surface looks like it’s about to spill over into the rest of the room, and makes it seem more confining.
- Floor to ceiling storage: Don’t use two short book cases where one tall one will do.
- Mirrors: Using lots of mirrors as decorations won’t actually make your room any bigger, but it will make it feel bigger, and sometimes that’s all you need.
- Ditch the curtains: Curtains spill over into the room and eat valuable wall space that could be used for cupboards, book cases, and other items. Use roller blinds instead.
- Employ natural light: Dark rooms feel small. Another benefit of roller blinds is that they’re easier to fully open (or close), allowing plenty of natural light in to the room.
- Hang things up: Put a shoe hanger on your bedroom door, hang your coats up next to your front door, and use as many hanging devices as you can find to store useful kitchen items. Don’t lay things out or put them in drawers if you use them frequently – hang everything within easy reach, so you can store less frequently used items more easily.
- Don’t ignore the floor: You probably have a lot of storage under things – under your bed, or under your desk, for example. Consider moving your computer tower and printer under your desk, and put rarely used items in boxes under your bed.
- Conceal storage: Just as with point one, overflowing shelves look cluttered too. Make use of boxes, files, drawers, and trays to keep things looking neat. You’ll have the same amount of “stuff” but it will be less noticeable
- Choose bright colours: Dark colours tend to make things look more cramped. Light, airy colours suit small rooms. You’ll also want to avoid stripes: Stripes and busy patterns are as bad as dark colours for making rooms feel smaller. Opt for bold, bright colours, and simple shapes for best results.
- Go easy on the ornaments: That vase might look awesome in the shop, but will you ever use it? Save that space for scented candles, or room for a few more books. You’ll be glad you did.
You’ll need to get creative if you want to maximise a small living space, but it is possible to get a lot out of even the smallest rooms. There are some companies that specialise in providing “furniture kits” that include everything you need for a small room. Trying to live long term out of one of those kits might be challenging, and you’d need to train yourself to not accumulate “stuff” in your day to day life, but it can be done.