Small Spaces, Big Design

Small Spaces, Big Design

Posted 09/10/2012
Liven up small spaces with smart storage, basic brighteners and thoughtful design. [Photo Credit: Martha Stewart]

When it comes to beautiful, yet functional design, small spaces have long posed a challenge to many homeowners. How can you make the space look larger? What can you fit in it? Is it somewhere that you’d really like to spend time, anyway? With a couple quick fixes, answers to these questions are easily revealed along with the new purpose that can be found in even the most precarious of spaces.

A top design trend of 2012 has been utilizing small spaces for various, functional aspects of everyday life. From “pocket offices” to window seats and everything in between, proper usage of small space can not only add livable square footage to your home, but can create  enjoyable areas that had not been imagined before. Here are a few ways to make the most of your home’s hidden gems:

Can’t seem to find a place to put it all? Time to get creative. Find furniture that does double-duty as storage space, such as ottomans with hidden compartments or trundle beds. Also, try looking up for additional storage. A handy shelf above the door will do wonders in de-cluttering the spaces you live in. Store your extra supplies up high in your bathroom or use a shelf for those kitchen cookbooks you use once in a blue moon, i.e. those times you actually find the time to bake.

Brighten It Up
A little paint can go a long way in a small space. Make your room look larger by swapping out dark and drab paint for bright, clean colors. Light yellows and crisp whites will add imaginary feet to your room. Take it a step further and liven up a little area with a pop of bold. Try wallpapering one wall of a closet or small bathroom to bring new life to an otherwise bland space.

Another way to keep small spaces light, bright and large (looking) – window coverings. Instead of hanging draperies at the top of the window, move the rod near the top of the wall, almost at the ceiling level. This will give the room an illusion of height while light fabrics will add an airy ambiance

Make it Center Stage
How you position furniture can make all the difference when it comes to how big or small an area looks. Most folks tend to push all furniture to the walls, creating an open space in the center of a room, but Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, the author of Apartment Therapy, says that set up can actually kill the warmth of the atmosphere.Creating an area for conversation in a triangle shape, with a sofa and two chairs, leaving space around the perimeter of the room. This arrangement will not only help the space look larger, but it will create a welcoming environment giving your friends and family a place to come together more comfortably.