Remember when we all wanted bigger homes? Well it seems that the trend these days is towards downsizing to smaller homes – even to “Tiny Homes” (under 1000 square feet). This is because people are looking for more affordable housing to purchase and maintain, and homes that are more ecologically friendly.
Reducing mortgage payments, taxes, heating costs, and maintenance “Makes $en$e” financially. A smaller home also means less work, giving you more time to relax and enjoy doing the activities you like to do. It’s a great concept but how can we prepare to go from a larger home to a smaller one? In earlier blogs, I’ve already discussed the de-cluttering issue and also storage solutions so let’s deal with how to make the most of the smaller square footage. Here are some tips on making that happen:
• Double-duty décor – Many furniture items these days are able to do double duty or more. For instance, ottomans can be great for storing items in as well as for seating or used as a coffee table; a futon or sofa bed is great to quickly add a bed to accommodate guests; a dining room table can also be used as a desk for your computer or children to do their homework; a storage bench in an entryway is great for sitting on to put on footwear and to also store those hats, mitts, gloves, and scarves; a trunk used as a coffee table can also house linens, books, photos, etc. Although dressers are meant for bedrooms, they are also great in an entry hall, living room, dining room, or even a bathroom to add extra storage.
• Compare options – A pedestal sink takes up less floor space than a vanity but where do you put all your necessities? If you have to add a cabinet to make up for it, you may as well install a vanity. Purchasing a stove, vice a wall oven and cook top, takes up less space in a kitchen. Stacking a washer and dryer may give you that extra closet space that you desire. Bunk beds are an excellent way to get more beds without taking up valuable floor space.
• Maximize floor space – Wall hung units such as tables, desks, and nightstands give you the functionality but visually take up less floor space. Using glass or lucite pieces can have the same effect. Nesting tables can be brought out to use as extra table space when entertaining or having family nights. Folding chairs can be tucked away until extra seating is needed also. Blow-up beds are a great idea too.
• Creating illusions – Paint colors, lighting, and mirrors are very effective tools in making areas appear larger. Leave windows uncovered or use light, airy coverings to allow in as much light as possible. Adding floor to ceiling bookcases draws the eye up making your ceiling look higher (plus it’s a great way to add storage). Sofas and chairs with exposed legs give the impression of more light and space. Leaving space between furniture and the wall will magically make a room appear larger.
• Breaking the rules – Although the general rule is to put smaller furniture in a smaller space, sometimes a few larger pieces will make the space seem bigger. Large pieces of art can add drama to a small space making the room seem greater in the process.
These are just a few ways I suggest to help you squeeze the most out of your space. Be creative and see what ideas you can come up with to turn your belongings into something more useful and to maximize your space.
If you would like some assistance with any organizing, de-cluttering, home decorating, designing, color consulting, or staging, contact me to get started. Don’t forget my special on right now – book my services for the months of January or February and you will receive a gift certificate worth $50 off. Now that Makes Sense!!!!