Last week, Michael in Chicago suggested that I write a post about making a home in a small space, as he has recently downsized to a smaller apartment. Although I have moved into a larger space, I still have the mindset that strategy is everything - and I am certain that giving up space does not equate to sacrificing style and comfort. I think the following tips can apply to all living spaces, not just small ones:
1 I love how this designer uses the height of a room to her advantage (from http://robynclarke.com)
2 These built-in shelves surrounding the door frames are such a smart and useful design. I would love to try something like this in my new apartment - perhaps in the guest room/office space. (from apartmenttherapy.com)
1.) Get Organized. When you live in a small space, organization is imperative. Built-in storage is a great way to take advantage of floor space, and it often feel less obtrusive than free standing storage units
2.) See the Corners. I think one of the most common misconceptions is that pushing furniture into the corners of a room will maximize living space. This couldn't be more wrong! Pull items away from the corners to prevent your space from feeling claustrophobic and mount lighting and shelves on walls to prevent clutter on the floor.
3.) Invest in Area Rugs - they make a room feel larger and help to designate the different functions of a single space, especially in one-room studios. I browsed the MS Rug Collection from Safavieh this weekend and found several designs that I'd love to have for my living room.
image of a NYC loft from New York Magazine
4.) Mirrors. Use them strategically and to your advantage. They create an illusion of more space and bring more light into a room. I will probably use them in every room of my apartment, especially in the hallways to prevent them from looking too dark and cramped.
1 I love the use of several antique mirrors in this bathroom (image from MSL Special Issue 2007)
2 Walls lined with floor-to-ceiling windows open up small spaces, like this foyer (image from MSL, February 2008)
5.) Multitask. Allow for everything – furniture, appliances, rooms – to have multiple functions. For instance, a large table can act as a desk during the day and a dining room table at night, or a console can pull double-duty as a work station. When unoccupied, the guest quarters in my apartment will function as a library and home office.