Not everyone can afford a giant home. In fact, according to listings posted on ForRent.com, residents of New York City may be paying most of their monthly salary on a small apartment. The good news is that small homes can be just as cozy and organized as their larger, suburban cousins. Here are a few tips and tricks for utilizing small rooms in the most efficient ways possible.
When light bounces around a room uninhibited, the space feels larger and more energetic. Install lights under kitchen cabinets to cast light into dark corners and maximize every inch of counter space. Hang an oversized mirror in the entryway to make it appear larger and brighter. Instead of heavy furniture that obstructs the view and visually weighs down your space, try clear dining room chairs like those from Overstock.com. Or add glass as a decorative element behind a couch to give the illusion of depth.
Zone Like a Pro
A postage-stamp home can sometimes feel like chaos: too much going on and nowhere to go. But you can give your small home a sense of organized calm with strategic zoning. A set of shelves, a narrow table, hooks and a basket for spare change and keys transform your front room into a functional entryway. A well-placed area rug and desk can form a study or work nook. Hang curtains from the ceiling around your bed to create a designated sleeping area in a studio apartment.
Take a look at the wall above your furniture. There’s actually a lot of space in your house when you look up, and when you need space in a small room, anything is fair game. Install modular shelving above a desk or console table for extra storage. Use open shelving above beds to display memorabilia, toys or artwork. Create visual height by hanging curtains high above your windows, and trick the eye with a glossy ceiling and an interesting light fixture.
Petite spaces tend to be chopped up, which makes them feel even smaller. Allow rooms to flow easily into each other by repeating a color scheme, including your large furniture. If the living room is mostly blue, place some accent pieces in the same blue shade in the adjacent room. Some home designers recommend painting a table or shelves the same color as the wall behind them. To make each room feel pulled together and purposeful, choose one finish, like brushed nickel, for all hardware and light fixtures.
There is no replacement for a carefully organized home. Adopt a “one in, one out” policy when buying anything for your home. If your child wants a new toy, donate an old one. Bag all clothing and textiles you no longer wear and take it to H&M for recycling and a discount on your next purchase. Keep only the photos, knickknacks and memorabilia that have been part of some major aspect of your life story. Then, be ruthless and toss the rest.
Make Furniture Multitask
No matter where you live, your furniture should work as hard as you do. For a multitasking living room, use daybeds, round nesting tables and comfy ottomans that have room for storing DVDs and games inside. In the kitchen, choose a table that can be used as a desk or expands when necessary to host a larger gathering. For your bedroom, opt for a bed with built in drawers underneath for seasonal clothes like the Hemnes bed frame from Ikea.