Everyone’s looking to maximise their space, but when that space is already small it becomes crucial to use it wisely.
Whether you’re trying to get the most out of a shrinking family home or you’ve realised the benefits of a tiny home and are wondering how to make it work, you’ll probably run into issues of how to best utilise your space.
It turns out that working smarter, not harder applies to designing the rooms of your home, too – so check out some great ideas for how to make your tiniest spaces stretch a lot farther.
How do you get the ultimate usage out of a space? Use it in more than one way.
When you have limited space, flexibility is key – so if you can quickly transform the same space from entertainment to work and back again, you’re in good shape.
You’ll want to be careful about this – for example, your bed shouldn’t double as a workspace, lest it impact your sleep, and common areas like the kitchen aren’t ideal candidates either unless done right.
Never a nook unused
Even in a small living space, you’ll probably have awkward corners, cubbies, and crannies. You definitely don’t know what to do these. You should rejoice, though! Rather than being left unused, that little corner could make for a great place for corner shelving. Even a simple length of wood between closets works as well as any desk.
The best part: These tiny nooks tend to be out of the way, so making use of them isn’t taking up any additional real estate.
Go low for storage
Finding storage in a tiny space is usually the biggest concern.
There’s always a balance to be struck between having enough storage for all of your things and trying not to crowd out the area you need for the room’s real function.
And while you can (and should) always try downsizing your stuff, you can also upsize your storage. You can do that by utilising awkward spaces beneath stairs, desks, and beds.
Shelving under stairs can be both functional and make a space pop. On one hand rollout storage under a bed is a staple of space-conscious storage. Take care not to clutter these areas of course! Remember well-organised drawers and shelves will keep things both neat and tucked out of sight.
Besides storage, the other drawback to a small space is that it can feel cramped and uncomfortable.
Part of this is the appearance – if the walls are all close, it can feel like they’re closing in.
To that end, strategically placed mirrors provide the illusion of making a small space feel bigger.
Like anything, they can be easily overused, and you don’t want your tiny space to feel like a funhouse.
But a couple mirrors can go a long way, and placing them in well-lit rooms such as a dining room or living room can really make the spaces seem to expand before your eyes.
And with limited lighting, mirrors can add to the brightness by reflecting it from different angles.
Maximise the windows
If lighting is limited, you might try redoing your window treatments.
It’s not one of the easier options on this list! However installing large, floor-to-ceiling windows in just one room can open up a space like nothing else.
Of course, if you might not be able to do much to maximise your natural lighting. Then at least do a lighting audit around your home to make sure every area is well-covered.
Light goes a long way toward keeping small spaces from feeling claustrophobic and suffocating! Plus if your space offers a pleasant view through broad windows, that’s another bonus.
Lighter is bigger
Brightening up a small space takes more than just light – because if that light is falling on dark colours, the space will still feel cramped.
Not everything needs to be stark white, but off-whites and lighter shades of other colours will reflect any light you put into a space.
This will make the space more vibrant, warm, and cosy – instead of dim and dingy.
If you do go with white, you can think of it as a light-reflecting backdrop and add starker colours as accents – rugs, pillows, and other decorations – to really make the room pop.
Consider your closets
Flexibility is key in small spaces, and that means you need to rethink and overthink every space at your disposal.
Don’t take a closet for granted! You should know that while you could just use it for storage, it could also provide an opportunity for a hidden room or otherwise flexible space.
A closet with a broad curtain, for instance, could contain chests for children’s toys. You might also use it a desk and chair for work – always at the ready, but always hidden away when you aren’t using them.
It’s a great example of the type of thinking you need to get the most out of every corner of your home.
Finally, with small spaces it’s more crucial than ever to think in all three dimensions as often as possible.
While putting too much storage on walls can be distracting and make a space feel cluttered! On the other hand moderate wall shelving can go a long way. This is especially true in bathrooms and kitchen, where you might explore options like narrow shelves and places to hang items.
Done well, this can add to the aesthetic of the space while giving you more storage options.
The movement toward downsizing is undeniable, but a smaller space doesn’t have to be a cramped one.
Instead, these kinds of tiny living areas offer a lot of room for creative thinking and flexibility.
And if you follow some of these general ideas and tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of any space you have to work with.