7 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Space

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Small doesn’t equal boring

“When your home is really tiny, instead of apologising and saying ‘I know it’s small,’ make a feature out of it,” says Eve. She suggests introducing an element of cheekiness, like a tent in your bedroom or a champagne bucket as a basin in the bathroom.

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Play with colour

Surprisingly, you can actually have a lot of fun with bold colours in a small space. The main thing to remember is to limit your palette. “If you have too many colours, it becomes very bitty,” Eve explains. “Choose your main colour and one or two accent colours. You could go for white, and then saffron and a dark orange.”

Repeat these same schemes throughout the whole home. Make sure your eye can travel through the whole space and see the same colour throughout. You should be able to find your colours at the back of a room and at the side of the same room. Have cushions in your colours, and then maybe have the same colours on a wall in the bathroom. This will make your home feel cohesive.

Dark colours are also a great choice for a pint-sized home. “They can create a cocoon effect, and they give a sense of depth,” says Eve. “If you put a white wall at the far end of your room, it will recess and make that room look smaller, whereas dark colours will make it look bigger.”

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Bring in some texture – but don’t overdo it

As with colour, you can also play with materials in the modestly sized home. Similarly, though, it’s important not to go overboard!

Use the same material throughout, and it will make your space feel bigger. Stick to one or two materials and one or two finishes. When you go for too many it looks very bitty, and very busy on the eye.

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Keep it light

Don’t block any natural light sources; you need to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

If your home doesn’t get a lot of sun, don’t worry; there are some ways to work around this. “Install some mirrors,” suggests Eve. “It’s a very easy and quite cheap way of enhancing your space. But make sure you don’t put mirrors in exactly the same spot on opposite sides of the room.”

Another option is to introduce a reflective ceiling. “Try putting some sort of metal, or something else that’s quite reflective such as a lacquer paint finish, on your ceiling to enhance the sense of height in the room.”

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Use sliding doors instead of traditional swinging doors

Sliding doors are functional and practical and are a great way to reclaim space. They take up less space than your standard door, which will swing out into a room.

“You can do sliding doors, or even pocket doors,” Eve adds. Pocket doors are doors that slide in and out of an opening in one wall. They normally run on a system of tracks and pulls, so they may be slightly more complicated to install than your average door, but they have the advantage of disappearing out of sight into their ‘pocket’ when they’re not in use.

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When it comes to storage, think strategically

You’re probably going to need some storage space, no matter how big or small your home is. Try building storage in rather than going for freestanding cupboards and cabinets, or take it a step further and try these clever tricks:

You could position your storage higher up such as above a door; people tend to forget that they can do this. You can put things in these cabinets that you don’t need regular access to – maybe your luggage, or books you don’t want to read every day.

You can also put storage under your bed. You could go for a bed with drawers built in underneath, or a hydraulic bed complete with a hinged mattress frame that lifts up via a spring or hydraulic mechanism.

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Choose your furniture wisely

The footprint of your furniture matters more so in a petite home. Build your furniture in wherever you can.

Eve also advocates the use of furniture that appears to float. A sofa on little legs, for example. It gives the sensation of lightness. Make sure you don’t for anything too bulky, or too tall.

Consider using furniture that serves more than one purpose; a bench that can double as a coffee table, or a mirror that can turn into an ironing board. Or you could have a cupboard that flips open to become a desk.

For more on how to make the most of a small apartment, check out INSIGHT’s one-day courses. You will learn how to plan space efficiently, as well as discovering the dos and don’ts of designing the compact home. Click here for the details.

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