Living in a spatially challenged house or apartment has many difficulties, however, with a bit of clever thinking and a touch of initiative, it can become a cosy home for all the family. Keeping the place organised and finding somewhere to put everything is half the battle, not closing yourself into tiny spaces and keeping the place feeling spacious (enough) and not claustrophobic, is the other. These tips and tricks comprise the holy grail of limited space living.
1) Thou shalt use a space saving bed.
This is an absolute must for any small home. Much like the famous Murphy bed saves significant space, so do these clever bed designs that are a must for anyone living in a small space. Here are just a few...
Loft bed - Basically a bunk bed without the lower bunk, these allow for a bedroom to maintain all of it's floor space independant of the bed. They usually feature a desk, sofa or sometimes, oddly, a guest bed.
Cabin bed - Similar to the loft bed, but with a major difference, the cabin bed basically comprises an entire self-contained bedroom including under the raised mattress, cubboards and draws, and often a hidden desk.
Folding bed - The old murphy style, or vertical folding bed, is not the only folding bed out there. Folding beds now come in all shapes, sizes and possible iterations. Folding horizontal, folding double bunks for guest bedrooms and even desks that fold down into a bed, without anything from the desk needing to be removed- genius.
Ceilig mounted bed - Yes, some engineering mastermind has even made a bed that raises up to or even into the ceiling. often incorporating loft bed features under the bed such as a desk or sofa, these are truly the undisputed king of all space saving furniture, and are incredibly cool to show off to guests.
2) Thou shalt use space saving tables.
Normal tables take up a surprising amount of space and in the case of small rooms, entirely fill them. If you are not blessed with a roomy home then you’re gonna have to have some origami table tricks up your sleeve. Tables that fold up, expand or otherwise conserve space when not in use (even slim tables that don’t take up space even when in use) are a handy addition to the smaller home.
3) Thou shalt utilise high shelving.
Ceiling level or otherwise high shelving is just above eye line and creates a kind of hiding in plain sight effect. Making the most of the walls for space and storage is a must for those who otherwise resort to piling things up in the garage.
4) Thou shalt use recessed lighting.
Recessed ceiling lights are a great way to create a feeling of space by eliminating any light fittings, that otherwise create a visual centre to the room, highlighting its limited size. The even light spread coupled with a cool white colour temperature can give the illusion of more space.
5) Thou shalt utilise the corner.
If you look around your house you might be surprised to see how little the corners are used, or at least how inefficiently they are used. Corner shelving, even small shelves for a few books or decorations, increases the total storage space in your house by a surprising amount, and also, cleans up the clutter.
6) Thou shalt use the back of the door.
The back of the door, normally unused, can provide a handy area for some crafty storage. Back of door towel rods, shoe racks and coat pegs can’t be underestimated when space is lacking.
7) Thou shalt use tiered counter storage and cabinet mirrors.
Bathrooms are rarely blessed with generous storage so when it comes to bulky towels and a range of toiletries, finding a place to put them can be quite the challenge. Tiered storage and cabinet mirrors are a godsend in terms of keeping everything tidy and organised.
8) Thou shalt use wall lights.
If you don’t want to floodlight you rooms by having just the main light on all the time, and you don’t really have the room for floor or table lamps, don’t worry, wall lights are the perfect alternative. Wall uplighters fill the room with diffused warm light, and take up next to no room, especially when above a sofa or fireplace. An extra tip would be to place your bedside lighting lower down than you usually would, this can give the illusion of higher ceilings.
9) Thou shalt make good use of mirrors.
Mirrors are a great way of not only increasing the amount of light in a room, but creating the feeling of a much bigger space than actually exists. There’s a reason estate agents use them in show homes, it makes rooms look bigger, and the same goes for your home. They don’t have to be massive, or everywhere, but the odd one in the right place can work wonders.
10) Thou shalt use multiple techniques.
All of the space saving tips I have given will help, but using multiple techniques increases the effect tenfold. Don’t limit yourself to one particular way. Any combination of these can be used in your home to create a more pleasant and effective living space.