It’s a great feeling to finally have your very own place to call home, whether it’s a house in a subdivision or a condo unit on a high rise. It’s also quite exciting to go shopping for furniture and appliances. The only problem is that not everyone has a lot of floor space to work with. There’s that desire to showcase your style and personality, but it’s also easy to go overboard and make the space look cramped and stuffy.
Still, having a small home doesn’t mean you can’t decorate and furnish it to your heart’s content. You just need to remember a few design pointers so you can maximize the space you have at home. Here are some tips to get you started:
Buy “Combo” Appliances and Furniture
When you’re furnishing a small space, it’s always best to have as few pieces as possible. That’s why multipurpose and “combo” appliances and furniture are great options for small homes. For example, if you’re an avid cook and baker, you can buy a gas stove with oven instead of two separate appliances. If you’d rather do your own laundry at home, go for a washing machine with a dryer.
For furniture, you can check out beds with built-in drawers or have a custom-made loft bed. There are also sofas and ottomans that double as storage bins where you can place items like bedsheets, towels, and the like.
Get Semi-Open Furniture With Exposed Legs
One of the best you can do to make a small space look bigger is to maximize natural light. You can do this by simply throwing open some windows or placing lighting fixtures in strategic locations. Another good tip is to purchase furniture with exposed legs. This design will allow the light to pass through and prevent a space from looking compressed.
There are a lot of kinds of furniture that are designed with exposed legs, so you won’t have a tough time looking. You can start with dining tables and chairs, couches or sofas, bed frames, and side tables. The same goes with bigger pieces like bookshelves. Instead of getting one with a closed back, try to look for a partially open style to create the illusion of more space.
Try Folding or Convertible Furniture
To fully maximize a space, consider furniture that can be folded up when you’re not using them. For example, you can wall-mount a folding dining table or office desk so you can pull it open only when you’re eating or working. As a bonus, you’ll also avoid clutter because you’ll be minimizing the spaces where you can carelessly place items like bills or spare change.
You can also purchase folding chairs for your living or dining room, then bring them out when you have guests. There are also convertible types of furniture, such as sofa beds and dining tables with pull-out panels. For the bedroom, there are furniture makers who can make a bed that you can fold into the wall. You can then use the space as a home office during the day.
Install and/or Store Things Above the Floor
When it comes to storage, think vertical. Keep things up and off the floor using wall-mounted shelves and cabinets. For the kitchen, try hanging your most-often used pots and pans instead of storing them inside cabinets.
The same can be said about appliances. For example, if you wall-mount your TV, you can free up some floor space that would otherwise be occupied by a TV table. Similarly, you can opt for a wall fan or ceiling fan instead of a stand fan or a desk fan.
Use Mirrors and Other Reflective Accessories
As previously mentioned, light is one of the biggest secrets in making a space look bigger. If your space doesn’t get a lot of sunshine or you feel like the added light fixtures aren’t cutting it, you can use mirrors to create the illusion. Style-wise, you can put up a large mirror on one wall like a painting or cluster several mirrors like photos.
You can also utilize reflective surfaces and decor, like chrome-legged chairs, glass-topped tables, and silver-plated accessories.
Use Statement Pieces
When you have a small home or condo unit, it’s easy to assume that all you can work with are compact furniture and ornaments. However, this is simply not true. You can still utilize big pieces in a small space by making them statement pieces. For example, if you’ve picked a huge and comfy sofa, you can scale down the coffee table (or not use one at all). You can also do the reverse and use bigger accessories and smaller furniture.
Last but not least, make sure to always keep things neat and organized. Clutter takes up a lot of space, so don’t let them take over your home. Make it a habit to perform at least twice-a-year inspections if there are any items you aren’t using so you can donate or throw them away. Your space is for yourself and your family, not for a hodge-podge of unnecessary things.