Whether you pulled the short straw in a shared house or you just want to downsize, tiny apartments or cute little rooms sometimes need a creative approach to bring out the best in each square foot. Instagram has helped to shape the trend towards tiny home living and while it isn't all it's cracked up to be (storage space we are looking at you), you can overcome the hurdles to curate a cosy charming nook that you never want to leave.
The best part?
You don't even need an interior designer to bring that Insta-design style into your home. With just a pop of color on a throw pillow or a new paint job on a recycled furniture piece can go a long way.
We have rounded up a few bite-sized bits of information to help you design a small space that doesn't squash your soul.
Clutter is your worst enemy when living in a little space so you are going to need to max out on your storage capabilities. Take a leaf out of city planning and build up rather than out. Bookcases that scrape the ceiling and a general mix of open and closed storage takes up minimal floor space but lends itself well to stacking those books, plants, crockery and bits and pieces.
From your kitchen cabinets to the window treatments, bring the focal point upward so that everything you own isn't cluttered around the ground. And if you can't fork out the cash for a massive wall unit, then a tidy little wall-mounted desk will do just fine.
A day bed that can be shifted into a sofa or a guest bed with the right amount of pillows, a group of nesting tables that double into cocktail holders for that girls night in, and a bench that can easily shift from coffee table to seat in a second - furniture should always have more than one purpose in a small space. If you're living in a studio apartment where the floor plan doesn't leave much room for stackable accent pieces, then keep counter tops and table tops tidy so that they can be used for many different things. When you can easily transition from living room to dining room to bedroom, then you'll forget all about the small floor plan.
Invite the Light
If you can flood a small space with natural light then you already make it feel ten times larger. Unfortunately, most small spaces come with small windows to match. But there are ways you can invite the light in more. Placing a mirror on a wall opposite a window will work to throw more natural light out into the room. Use neutral colors to reflect white light and hang sheer white window treatments to let the light in while keeping the creepers out. If you have any control over the paint color in your small home, then opt for brighter colors that reflect light to keep things feeling open and airy.
Make Room For Shadow
You can also look at lighting solutions - incorporating softer mood lighting into space rather than relying on harsh overhead lighting. Lamps, reading lights, and fairy-lights all create shadow and shape, which add to a room seeming larger than it is. Still too bright? Try throwing a sheer scarf over the top of it for a sexy bit of accent color.
One trick people normally turn to in an effort to make a small space seem bright and fresh is to whitewash everything. This can certainly have the desired effect as colour can make the room seem cloying. However, for those who don't want white everything, you can also opt for tonal motifs. If white isn't working then don't shy away from statement colours like dark moody blue or cosy grey-green. Opting for more neutral colors and choosing one accent color to add to the mix, like on a small accent wall or in an area rug, can bring a lot of style and space to your humble abode.
The Right Rug
Don't feel hemmed in by your small space when it comes to choosing a good rug. A small rug will certainly make the place feel squeezed in whereas a large rug that occupies most the floor space can have the opposite effect. Opt for a rug that the furniture can sit on so you create a layered feeling that brings a sense of space and balance. If you've got hardwood floors, don't forget to put a cushy rug pad underneath to prevent slippage.
Scale it Up
Just like the rug tip, don't minimize your choices when it comes to furnishings or artwork. Instead, scale up a few pieces that make a statement and pull in the eye. If you only opt for postcard style art and minuscule furniture, then you actually reflect a feeling of smallness that seeps into every corner of the room. Play with sizes and make sure those that are larger than life earn their place. Try large throw pillows, ceiling-to-floor window treatments, or vining plants that fall to the floor to add some depth to your decor.
A Splash of Color
Gone are the days when small spaces had to be muted, now tiny home dwellers can play with a splash of colour. Whether you choose a bright throw, a statement pillow, or to bring in a few well-placed plants – these bright touches will bring life to your room and make it feel like there is space to breathe.
Any other tips to add for bringing breath to a tiny space? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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