Whether you rent or own your property, modern property prices mean that sometimes we’ll find ourselves living in small spaces. While for some of us that might mean renting a room or sharing with friends, some of us are able to afford a place of our own, though in some cases this means living in a small studio apartment, or something similar.
Living in a small space can be great fun, and it’s only really people who have always lived in larger surroundings that don’t understand this. From keeping the space tidy to decorating the interior, living in a small space forces you to be creative, often with inspirational results.
While a trip to IKEA or your local DIY store will give you plenty of ideas for having your whole home in a small space, you can get started in spicing up your studio apartment or equivalent with these great tips.
1. Tailor Your Space to You
Making your space yours might seem like an obvious tip to follow, but think about your home and consider whether you have anything in there that you have for no real reason other than the fact it’s “something you should have in your home.”
A common example of wasted space in small properties comes in kitchens, particularly if it’s a home inhabited by a professional who often eats out or picks up dinner on the way home. Often, small apartments and similar properties will have extensive worktops or storage units that have barely anything in them. If you’re someone who barely cooks, hardly ever has guests around, and never does a big grocery shop, why have the units taking up space when you’re not using them? You could even save double the space if you can remove lower level units and use the space for your washing machine and fridge!
Think about how you live and your lifestyle, and tailor your interior to you, rather than filling each room with furniture and fittings you aren’t going to use very much.
2. Make Your Home as Multi-Functional as Possible
There’s a big movement within interior design at the moment to ensure that each part of the home has its own distinct and clear use. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be multi-functional at the same time. If you’re living in a small space, taking advantage of multi-functional living opportunities is key to maximising the potential of your home.
Depending on the layout of your apartment, this may mean having a unit which breaks up an open plan kitchen and living space, but that acts both as your kitchen table, and then as a study area on the living room side, with the space beneath being used for storage.
In your bedroom, having a raised bed gives you all the floor space of your room to work with, ideal if you take one look at your room and have no idea how you would ordinarily fit in a double or king size bed, a dresser and wardrobe.
If you’re currently in the market for a property to buy or rent and you’re looking at smaller spaces, seek out en-suite bathrooms, as the space saved by having a standalone bathroom usually means you’re getting more living space for your dollars.
3. Plan Your Ideal Layout for Each Room, Then Use the Dead Space
Plan your ideal layout for each room without taking any storage needs into account.
Once you have done this, take a look at where the dead and redundant space in your room is, and then resolve to use this as storage space.
For some small properties, there will be alcoves within rooms that make it obvious where your storage spaces are going to be – a sofa can’t fit in a metre of space, after all! For others, some rooms may have unusual shapes that will make this harder to do, but by considering what essentials you need in each room first, you will avoid planning storage space that has convenience but no aesthetic appeal to your room. You’ll also find yourself being far more organised, and may even be forced into having a clear out if you’ve had a tendency to hoard in the past!
Remember that dead space doesn’t need to be from floor to ceiling. If you don’t have pictures on the wall, then shelving above the television or your sofa – particularly if you have decorative items you wish to display – works brilliantly too.
4. Limit Your Decorating
When you live in a small space it’s easy to go overboard on the decorating. However, the best thing to do to maximise a small space is the exact opposite.
The two key points to this are:
- Limit your use of patterns and colours, and if you use a pattern as well as a block colour, make sure they complement each other brilliantly.
- Plan your decorating around things such as feature walls so there’s a focal point for each room. For example, the main wall in your living space might be wallpapered with a distinct pattern, while the rest of the room is painted in a light shade of a colour found within the wallpaper pattern.
Try to avoid decorating with darker block colours. The room will look strong and distinct, but your colours will absorb the light and make your space feel even smaller than it already is.
Making the Most of Your Small Space
With these tips, you’ll find that you can make the most of your small space and get every inch of value out of your apartment. The great thing about following these ideas is that they don’t have to cost you a fortune, either, particularly if you opt for a theme such as bohemian, where you can decorate with light, space enhancing colours, and find furniture to match that won’t cost you thousands of dollars by the time you’ve finished.
If you are looking to spend a little more to help you update and make the most of a small living space, then NOW FINANCE may be able to help you, via one of our home renovation loans. Get your interest rate now, and put yourself on the path to getting those home renovations you want now, without the need to spend time saving up or dipping into your existing savings.
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