Below is a guest post on the subject on how to live comfortably in a small or smaller space. Many of you have seen the uptick in interest in micro houses. Some of you may be down sizing now that the kids have left the nest. Regardless, the article below provides good information on how to declutter and get creative with storage even if you are not in a small space or down sizing scenerio.
Living Large in a Small Space
One of the latest trends in home or apartment living these days is in downsizing space. In fact, some people are building their dream homes to be fewer than 300 square feet. You may not be dealing with these kinds of spatial constraints, but there are a few simple rules to follow if you need to make the most any small space. From storage options to decorating tips that give the illusion of openness, you can easily make a cramped room feel more spacious.
Clean up the clutter.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to open up a cramped living or work space is to declutter the area. This isn’t just a matter of cleaning up; it’s a careful editing of what’s taking up precious space. For example, if you are de-cluttering a general area such as a living room, go through items on bookshelves, coffee or end tables and start the elimination process. These are areas that tend to collect a lot of extraneous stuff. Take a good, hard look at your decorations and choose only a few statement pieces to make the most impact. If you have several picture frames or artwork on your walls, consider taking some down to open up wall space. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, you can swap out some of your decorations with things you have stored and get a whole new look.
Get creative with storage.
Anyone who has lived in a small space can tell you that efficient organization is key. Take advantage of items such as storage ottomans that do double-duty as a piece of functional furniture that can keep things like extra blankets or linens out of sight. In your kitchen, office or bedroom, use drawer separators to both organize and make the most of every bit of space. And don’t forget the backside of cabinet or closet doors. Various over-the-door organizers can store everything from shoes to extra bottles of shampoo or cleaners. You can even create a small storage area of your own by adding a sliding door in front of a small alcove or cubby. Visit your local home improvement store to pick up a pre-fab door and sliding door hardware to construct a simple DIY storage space of your own design.
Bring in the light.
Once you’ve done your de-cluttering and have your storage options in hand, you can use some simple decorating tips to give the illusion of more space. Use mirrors to take advantage of the light in a room and visually enhance your space. You can even choose an area of the wall to create a wall of mirrors, giving the appearance of an extra room. Also, consider opting out of curtains on windows. This may not be practical in a bedroom, but your living room will feel more spacious if you don’t create any visual breaks around your windows. Finally, choose paint or wallpaper colors that won’t make you feel boxed in. Lighter colors and patterns will make any space feel more open and airy than dark colors. If you’re painting your walls one color, continue that same color on the ceiling. It will make give the room a sense of higher ceilings.
Living in a small space doesn’t have to put a cramp in your lifestyle. In fact, smaller spaces often include smaller utility bills and general upkeep, leaving you with extra money for the things you love to do. With a combination of space-saving storage options and simple decorating tips, you can feel like you’re living large in even the smallest of spaces.