Getting the maximum benefit out of small spaces – part 2
In the previous article , the link for which I have given below this article, I have covered a few points on the subject and am adding on some more ideas and useful tips that would come in handy while decorating small spaces , given the fact that houses and apartments for most city dwellers is becoming smaller and one has to make use of the available space in a practical and wise manner.
A few more useful tips
1) Many interior decorators are of the opinion that one should go vertical and use the available wall space right up to the ceiling whenever possible. Built in shelves and storage that are not too wide but are tall can really help in a small space.
2) Have a couple of tall book shelves and a couple of other tall shelves made wherever you find a suitable spot in the hallway or on any wall that does not restrict your family’s movement. The shelves are bound to come in very handy since they can be used for various purposes like storing extra linen , tool kit and other items that are not used everyday but are very much part of our life although used occasionally like a tool kit, electrical fittings, a step ladder etc..
3) Some decorators are of the firm opinion that a cupboard made with a Glass front ,for some reason tend to feel and look less cluttered , also since they are visible they make you keep things in order instead of dumping anything and everything into the cupboard space as normally most people do. So try to have a couple of glass fronted shelves .
4) Making a floor plan for each room before buying any furniture would help you buy wisely since you know the available space and what can be fitted between those walls, so chances are that you will buy only what is needed without filling the house with unnecessary things that look awkward .
5) Once you draw up your floor plan, try to visualise all the things that you would like to buy and how you would like to place them etc...Walk through each room in your home or your apartment and create your space from that viewpoint. You don't want to see the back of your Television from anywhere ( thankfully we now have the easier wall mounted option as well ), and a few other not quite neat sides of things which need to be carefully considered.
6) You may have to experiment with a few colors before you get the right color that suits your furnishings and make the rooms look roomier. No doubt that white and off white makes a room look bigger, but so do some dark cool shades when paired with the right color of furnishings.
7)One good advise that I happened to read is to arrange the space in such a way that it meets with most of your needs like, the sitting room which can double up as a guest bedroom and study and put money into the areas where you spend most of your time. Like for example you have a hall/dining room, you could have a dining table and chairs that's really comfortable to eat from and also use it as a study , in which case , have some book shelves mounted on the wall behind the table , where you can store your files etc or store children’s books.
8) Have wheels fixed on all furniture that is free moving since it becomes easier to move them around when you feel like changing the arrangement to suit your needs or simply because you want to have a change.
9) Start looking at everything with a critical eye. If you have a piece of furniture which is being shunted around the house because it doesn’t fit anywhere then please get rid of it. If you must have any furniture, plan before buying so that you can find one that is a better scale and a better investment of your space. However, make sure that you don't store anything that you don't need or cannot use.
10) There is a lot of choice these days in furniture that serve dual purpose like a storage bed that has a whole lot of space underneath for storing bed linen and dining tables that come with drawers and some storage space under them. Similarly, you can make small shelves on the inside door of your bedrooms which you can use for storage.
11) Sometimes large sized wall art/wall hangings, especially in a color that is cool like blue or muted green can make the space look bigger. Also Keeping things visually interesting within the available space can add depth to a place without making it look cluttered. Strategically placed mirrors on the wall can help magnify the space.
12) Many people buy large out sized furniture because they have a large extended family who might drop in and they need more space to entertain them. This is most impractical since you are actually putting yourself into inconvenience by doing this , because you are sacrificing space somewhere else to accommodate some ‘may be visiting’ guests. You need to have a seating capacity for 7-8 people only.
13) A sure way of adding depth and dimension to a small space is to have dark floor against light colored walls and have suitable furniture , which can really make a place feel more spacious . Have plain fuss free curtains that add to the whole look. A black tiled floor looks great with off white walls and when you have light colored furniture , the room looks larger. Have fewer pieces of furniture instead of filling the room with sofas, chairs and side tables.
14) Most apartments these days come with balconies , small,medium or large - which could be used for a number of things including entertaining guests. All that you need is some inexpensive plastic chairs and a small coffee table if you can fit it in, and few potted plants to make it look inviting. So instead of using your balcony as a junk yard make it into a warm , healthy liveable space.
15) Use space under the stairs creatively by making storage shelves where you can a lot of stuff like books ( some even make under stairs space into a mini library ) or tools, or even have your music system installed there .
16) You can make additional storage space wherever possible behind the sitting room curtains ( using the top part and having a horizontal shelf running through the length of the curtain rods) or bed room curtains, in such a way that the natural light and breeze does not get affected.
Finally, I have mentioned this fact in my earlier article on the same subject as well – organization does make all the difference anywhere in life including while planning your interiors. Going vertical and being organized helps you make best use of your interiors especially when you have small or limited space.You need to really think about how you use all the rooms and your house and designate a place for everything, which makes things much easier.
More importantly, one's state of mind counts too - instead of looking for faults with the small space and getting stressed about it all the time , be positive and enjoy the cozy feeling of a small space. Since you cannot change the fact that you have to live within the given space, take it as a challenge and look out for new ideas and let your imagination come up with some practical tips that help you make the most of the space within your home.
( The pictures are from my personal collection)
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