Space saving tips for small homes

Functional home interior in new style


If you’re struggling with a shoe-box apartment, fit more for hobbit than human, here are a few¬†tips to help make your paltry pad feel positively palatial…

Think vertically

Just as blocks of flats economise by stretching skywards, so too can almost any aspect of your interior.

Bunks are a good bedroom option: Not the sort with your sibling sleeping below, but a single raised bunk that leaves space beneath for a sofa or work station. Consider a drying rack elevated above the sink, rather than using up valuable space next to it, or a set of bathroom shelves that prop neatly atop the cistern.

If you’re not averse to more major adjustments, install a slim slide-out storage tower by your cupboard or refrigerator. A sort of vertical draw with up to five levels, these beauties are perfect for cans, jars or cereal boxes, and can easily contain the contents of a small pantry.

Use your walls wisely: Mounted TVs are nothing new, but cups, racks, hooks and boxes can be fixed to almost any surface cheaply and without professional help.

Furniture efficiency

However many ornaments you erect, and whatever colour your wallpaper, it is still the furniture – the big, bulky must-haves like beds and tables – that will define how a room’s space operates.

Consider two main tactics: Reducing the size of a piece of furniture, and making one piece of furniture perform multiple and different tasks.

The sofa-bed is a space-saving staple, but sleek modern models are taking its transformative powers to new heights.

Coffee tables, counters, and cupboards can all come complete with extra pullouts.

Corners are your friends

Corners are notoriously tricky, and, assuming you’re not living in a lighthouse, each room probably has three or four of them. The good news is that, naughty children aside, no-one is going to want to stand in the corner, so it’s effectively free space.

Though angular and faintly awkward to install, you can cover your corners with specially designed wraparound corner shelves. Conventionally visual items like televisions and floor lamps can fit well, or try out a so-called ‘corner-armchair’ or right-angle settee.

Store smart

Under-the-bed storage is a time honoured space-saver, and with good reason. Pull-out draws allow you to stow items still in daily use, while rubber ‘bed risers’ will hoist your mattress further from the ground, making room for another seven inches of stuff. Fill these with vacuum storage bags, making your space-saving strategy almost literally airtight.

Your aim should be to maximise what is already there. Instead of a traditional coffee table, could you instead put your drinks down on an elegant, varnished oak storage chest, or use the edge of your desk as a makeshift bedside table?

The spacious aesthetic

Now that your home is feeling little more spacious, you can set about making it look even more so.

A light, textured colour scheme lends any room an airy, open feel (just think how claustrophobic black paint feels), while mirrors help build the illusion of depth. Stripes can elongate a room the same way they do a person (we recommend a rug; wallpaper might be overkill), and opt for a clear shower curtain to avoid visual foreshortening.

Canny decorators follow the apocryphal-sounding but actually-very-accurate ‘cantaloupe rule': When sprucing up a small space, use only ornaments larger than a cantaloupe melon, to sidestep the clutter that can so easily ruin a tiny room.


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