In 2012, Ikea released a catalog showcasing small, yet trendy spaces. The tagline on the cover read, "A home doesn't need to be big, just smart." This mentality, combined with simple interior design techniques and a little common sense can help eliminate the stress of organizing small rooms.
1) Plan ahead
What was once a normal tape measure will quickly become your best friend. Rearranging furniture becomes much more tedious in a cramped space. Painter's tape can be used on the floors to help visualize and map out larger pieces. In extreme cases make sure to plan where each piece will go, and in what order to bring the furniture into the room. For common areas make sure to account for the flow of traffic through the room.
2) What you want vs. what you need.
This will inevitably come down to personal preference, but sacrifices will need to be made. For example, unless throwing dinner parties is part of your weekly ritual, you should probably opt for a two person dining table. Taking a small downsize on couch size, chair size, etc., can go a long way. While packing (and unpacking) take a look for small non-essentials that can be omitted from the new rooms. Removing trinkets, knick-knacks, and "clutter" items can instantly make a room feel less cramped. Remember, less is more. Simplicity is the key to success.
3) Think vertically
Starting from the bottom, take a look at any pieces of furniture that allow for storage underneath. The classic use of milk cartons under a dorm room bed still rings true. Raising a bed slightly can allow for a nice stylish drawer underneath. Choosing a taller cabinet that rides high up the wall will create the illusion of a bigger room. Extra wall space can be both decorative and functional with the use of floating shelves. They can be found to suit any style and can combine nicely with art pieces or mirrors to give a room new life.
4) Embrace trade secrets
Applying some basic interior design techniques can make a huge difference in a small space. Here are a few quick points that will expand the look of small spaces.
- Use light colours
- Avoid the use of tight patterns
- Use big windows and allow for as much light as possible
- Mirrors can help move light around the room.
Whether you are styling for a single room, or a whole apartment, applying these tips will allow you to feel comfortable in any room no matter what the size. Reinventing a room can breathe new life into a small space and I encourage everyone to share their own experience, stories, and interior design tips.
All the best, and happy decorating!