Photo Courtesy: Harry Nguyen
Only a lucky handful can say “It’s sprawling!” when asked how big their house is. A lot more folks have to make the most out of small apartment spaces.
And mind you, it isn’t exactly an easy task, especially if you’d have to make it work for a family. How do you fit three kids in one bedroom, along with their closets, toys, and whatnots? How do you make your living space look ‘elegantly cozy’? How exactly do you fit a small home office in your already small two-bedroom apartment?
Don’t start panicking though, any designing challenge can be conquered with a bit of creativity, and a dash of innovation!
To get you off to a good start, here are a few tips on how you can maximize the small home you’ve been blessed with, and make it all come together in designing bliss:
1. Make a floor plan.
Yes, even if you’re just working on a few square meters of space, careful planning will be necessary. In fact, your floor plan may be the key to achieving the most use out of your home. Don’t be intimidated by the words ‘floor plan’ – it’s just a matter of lines and squares.
When chalking up your home’s design, make sure to indicate the space designations for each area. Where does the sofa go? How do you want the beds arranged in your kids’ room? Take careful note of details you want to go into each and every room. This will also help you determine any additional expenses you may need to allot money for.
2. Go for pale or light-colored paint.
If you want to visually ‘enlarge’ a room, paint the walls and ceilings in pale or light-colored hue. It doesn’t have to be white; you can go for cream or a light butter-like color too! Not a fan of ‘washed-out’ colors? Light blues and light mint greens would also work! Pastels would also make a good choice, especially for kids’ rooms.
3. If possible, take down walls or even tall dividers.
Remember the song lyric ‘too many walls have been built in between us’? Well, you should start singing that as you remove tall dividers and perhaps a couple of interior walls to make your home look roomier. Doing this would work well with living areas, kitchens, and dining spaces. Giving these rooms in your house an open floor plan will give your home a more ‘easy-flowing’ and continuous look.
4. Always think multi-purpose.
Buying and stocking too many things into a small space will definitely make it look even tinier. But if you really can’t help yourself, purchase home stuff or furniture that can serve multiple purposes. For example, sofas or beds with built-in drawers will definitely give you more space to store what would otherwise clutter your rooms. Even decorative materials (think boxes) doubling as storage space would help give you more ‘floor area’ to work with!
5. Avoid ‘hulking’ furniture.
Expansive furniture really look attractive, but, they won’t seem as grand when placed inside a small room. It would just look out of place, and tends to take a considerable amount of precious space in your home. Favor streamlined designs, minimalist even. Think size will take away from your furniture’s ‘character’? Go for textured surfaces or accent the room with interesting décor.
6. Install mirrors.
Ever wondered why most elevators are surrounded by mirrors? Well, mirrors give the illusion of bigger space, and makes for a great anti-claustrophobia feature for really cramped areas, like elevators. It can work the same magic in your little home too! Invest in a big mirror for the living room and the dining area, to give them some ‘breathing space’.
Keisha Amos is an interior designer specializing in small houses and apartments; she can transform any little space into a stylish nook. Her unique designing advice: Bring out the nifty wedding favors you got in the past, they make for great (not to mention expense-free) decorative pieces for your small space!