If your home or apartment is on the smaller side, you are not alone. Living in small spaces has actually become trendy, and “micro-housing” is now a buzzword.
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) recently launched an experimental micro-housing community called SCADpad in mid-town Atlanta with the goal of creatively using tight spaces. Regardless of whether you are living in a small space by choice or by necessity, Khoi Vo, chair of the interior design department at SCAD, offers the following tips for making your space feel roomier and as functional as possible:
One of the most important secrets to efficient living is trying to use spaces in your home for multiple purposes. Make a list of everything you do in a day and figure out how you can set up your space so each section of your home is used for more than one activity. Vo says you could use a space as a home office during the day and then turn it into a dining area for when guests come over for dinner. Better Homes and Gardens also suggests turning two end tables into a dining room table for company and using a daybed as a sofa during the day and a bed at night.
Bare walls and a lack of accessories don’t make your home bigger; it just looks bare. Vo says that accessories can set the mood, especially pictures on the walls and mirrors. He recommends keeping all accessories in scale and not to be afraid to use a bigger object sparingly, especially if you are creating a focal point, which is an important element of decorating for a small space. Vo says that focal points create drama in the spaces, which in turn makes your home feel bigger.
While many people shy away from color in small spaces, when done right, the opposite can actually be true. Consider using a neutral palette with certain brighter focal points, which can make your home seem bigger. “Have fun with your space. You might put a different color on each wall, with vibrant colors for work and social areas, with a neutral color in the areas of calm and rest,” says Vo.
When your home has plenty of natural daylight, it can look and feel bigger. The same can be true when you can see a pretty view, such as trees or a lake, from the couch or kitchen table. “When you can look outside, it breaks down the physical barrier of the small space and brings the outside into the apartment,” Vo says.
Jan Merle, who is assistant chair of the interior and industrial design departments at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, told the Art Institutes’ blog that lighting can also have a similar effect by creating drama and ambiance. Since lamps and light fixtures are relatively cheap, it can be an affordable way to add interest and the appearance of more space.
Clutter not only takes up precious space, but makes the space that you do have feel smaller. Find an organization system that works for you and put things away when you are not using them. “We tend to collect things, which is important because these objects remind us of happy memories. It’s about only keeping the things that make you feel happy, but remembering that there is a limit to the amount of things you can hold onto,” says Vo.
While these tricks can help you make the most of your space — the right way to make a place feel like home is to let your own personality and style shine through. Don’t let yourself feel held back by the smaller space. Putting unique touches on your décor can help you to create a home or apartment you love to come home to — regardless of the size.