Friday, August 8, 2014
Furnishing a small house or apartment can be challenging. For most of us, this is a DIY venture and often, the results reflect that missing professional polish.
While all those design and decorating shows on television make it look so easy, real life isn’t always as cooperative.
Here are some practical tips for making your space look sharp yet feel cozy.
1. Simplify and get rid of 'stuff'
We’re all familiar with them, the ever-present knick-knacks we hardly notice or use, and quite often fall under the collective name of 'stuff' - those unwelcome invaders of small spaces.
Pare down on the dust catchers and free up shelf, table, counter, and cupboard space. Be careful and selective about the things you bring into your home. Keep things that are both beautiful and useful. Taking these steps will not only lessen your cleaning and dusting duties, it’ll leave you with more room - not necessarily for other things to replace the items you purge but just clean, clutter-free areas.
2. Think about scale. Measure!
When choosing furniture and accessories for a space-challenged home, proportion is key. Don’t plunk down a huge sectional couch in a small living room; while it might fit physically, it will visually crowd the area. The other extreme, putting in too many pieces of smaller furniture won’t help either and will make it look a mess.
Much as we’d like to have custom-made furniture, the reality is, many of us will troop to department stores for quite a few of the things we need. The tape measure is your friend - use it. Measure items so you can be sure they will fit the space they’re intended for and also, that they will fit through your doors.
You can even go the extra mile and block off the furniture layout in masking tape on your floors. This way, you’ll be certain that the items you buy will have sufficient space allotment and won’t end up just crammed together. In the end, having the actual furniture on site might have you tweaking your furniture placement plans but with proper measurement, everything will fit together nicely.
3. Let there be light
Good use of color, lighting, and reflective surfaces can help make your home feel grander by creating the illusion of a bigger space. While it is true that darker paint choices might make a room feel closed in, it doesn’t mean you have to scrap the idea altogether. You can use bolder or darker colorsin accent walls or in some furniture pieces and accessories.
4. Go for double or triple-duty furniture
Shop with the mindset that competition is fierce for every bit of space in your home. Therefore, you should maximize the roles of the furnishings you bring in whenever possible. Multitasking is a key attribute for such pieces. Instead of a one-trick footstool, pick one that doubles as an occasional table and as storage. Need a side-table? A nesting table will give you three or four for the space of one.
5. Use every bit of space
With space at such a premium, you can’t let any go to waste. Go vertical with your shelving and storage areas. Make rooms multifunctional when necessary.