Whether you have a small apartment, an individually small room, or you have chosen to downsize and live in a much smaller home, you will need to take that small space and make it well-organized and give it a roomier look. Because smaller living space has become a more popular contemporary lifestyle, it is important to research ways in which a small space can be fully utilized and ‘expanded.” The following tips may help you with decorating more wisely:
Make each Room “Double-Up”
- A living room can be much more, even if it is small. Place the couch in the middle of the room, facing the wall upon which you have your television. The other half of the room behind the couch can be turned into an office or dining area. If you put some type of console right behind the couch, you have added greatly needed storage space for office materials, files, dishes, etc.
- A bedroom can also double as an office, if you have a built-in bed with storage drawers as a base. If, in fact, you have enough storage space below your bed, you can forego a dresser and have more space for your desk, file cabinet, etc.
- A dining area can double as a library, if you build shelves on one wall – it looks really cozy too!
Furniture is Important
- Use as much glass as possible in your furnishing. A glass-topped dining table with clear Lucite chairs will make the tiniest eating area look bigger.
- Use glass-topped coffee and end tables – seeing through gives an illusion of “bigger.”
- Use an area rug with lengthwise stripes – the eye will follow those lines and the room will appear larger.
- Couches and chairs should have exposed legs. Being able to see under the furniture also gives the feeling of greater expanse.
- Consider a Murphy bed in the living room. There are some great contemporary versions of this relic, and you have added a place for guest sleeping! For that matter, consider a combination office-bedroom for yourself with a Murphy!
- A daybed can double as a couch in a living room, so long as it has lots of pillows against the wall for support and comfortable sitting.
Use Wall Space Smartly
- Place free-standing shelves on your walls for placement of your favorite pieces. Shelving units take up space and “crowd” a room.
- Put mirrors on opposite walls – it makes the room much larger and is a pretty cool effect
- Consider a landscape mural for a wall – it really opens up a room
- Place a long thin table against a wall and “skirt” it – storage goes inside!
- Place colorful hampers in various rooms – they can hold linens, extra dishes, umbrellas, extra hats, etc. – all nicely hidden away.
- Get a coffee and end tables with drawers and cabinets – you’ll be amazed how much you can store in them.
- Put a window-seat in front of a window – extra seating plus storage inside.
- No coat closet? Get a tall bookcase that is not deep. Take out the shelves and install hooks for coat hanging. The top can hold hats. Place it against a wall by the front door.
- Dump the heavy drapes
- Cover windows with blinds, shutters, or translucent shades. The more light you let in, the larger your rooms will look.
- Windows with the blinds in between the panes of glass are wonderful, because there is no hardware of any kind within the room itself.
With some effort, some DIY projects, and a bit of ingenuity, your small living space can be expanded!