Making the most of your smaller space
Paint is cheap: Use it!
Paint can be the best way to open up a smaller room. By using cooler colors – blues and greens – you can trick your eye into thinking the room is much bigger than its actual size. Darker colors tend to make the room look smaller and more constrained. Whether you choose to paint an accent wall to liven up your living room or paint the ceiling white with lighter walls, adding color to a room not only livens up the area, it also creates the illusion of a larger space with smaller square footage.
A sizeable amount of wasted space in any room sits between the top of the sofa and the ceiling. You can both utilize unused space in the room and have a place to store sentimental possessions by thinking vertical.[i] Using a large shelf to display family photos and heirlooms or a tall bookcase to house your favorite novels are perfect ways to hold onto possessions important to you without sacrificing precious space.
Keep items off the floor
This goes hand in hand with thinking vertical. You can considerably open up a room by choosing to hang items instead of placing them on the floor. A great way to draw the eye upward instead of downward, and creating the illusion of more space, is by hanging a mirror or a picture higher up on the wall.[ii] By saving the floor for only a large carpet or floor mat, the room is more open and stays cleaner.
Keep function in mind
When living in a smaller space, putting function first is one of the easiest ways to fully take advantage of your living space. One simple rule to follow for small space organizing: personalize your space to your tastes. If you prefer eating on the couch or in your favorite chair, save space in the kitchen by foregoing a larger table in favor of more functional items. If side tables and large television stands are cluttering your living room, think about how you can use a piece of furniture for more than one function; a television stand can double as a bookcase or cabinet, and a coffee table can hold anything from your magazines to your reading glasses to an extra blanket.
Utilize unseen space
Some of the best storage spaces are invisible. Closets with plenty of shelves and closet doors are great places to keep your winter clothes. When your “going-out” outfit does not call for a certain pair of shoes, store them and the rest of your footwear under the bed. Have extra blankets and pillows for when the grandkids want to stay over? Keep them out of sight inside an ottoman with a storage compartment.
Living in a smaller space does not mean you must live uncomfortably. By taking advantage of simple organization tips for small spaces, you can still have the comfort of a larger home without the hassle of spending your time with its maintenance.
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[i] Pandolfi, Keith. "9 Small-Space Solutions." This Old House. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20301933_20665706,00.html.
[ii] Cannell, Michael. "Make the Most of Small Spaces." Real Simple. http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-tips-techniques/make-most-small-spaces (accessed April 15, 2015).