Whether you find yourself living in a smaller than usual space by default or by choice, studies show that there are actually benefits of living in a small home. From lower costs for utilities to less overall time, energy, and money to maintain a smaller footprint, many people prefer to live by the mantra that less really is more! Below are six ways to maximize small home spaces.
Perhaps it is stating the obvious, but one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make a small space feel less cramped is to declutter the space. Chances are no matter how large or small your home and no matter how long or short of a time you’ve lived there, there is more stuff living in your house than necessary. Decluttering can often be portrayed as one, huge, dumpster-defying existential crisis for families on television. However, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic and overwhelming to reap the benefits. Start small with a drawer or a closet. Keep at it in manageable and sustainable steps. Before you know it, you and your home will feel lighter.
When you live in a small space, choosing the right size and shape of furniture matters. The oversized sectional that once fit in the large open floor plan home will take up too much precious real estate in a smaller room. It is important to understand the purpose of each room, measure the space, understand the layout, choose your style, and then ensure that your decor items aren’t overpowering the space.
Don’t overlook the benefits of utilizing vertical space when planning in smaller spaces. Consider using a bunking system for kids’ beds, creating floor-to-ceiling shelving or storage, or using vertical stripes to give the illusion of height. Additionally, by “going high” with decor placement or hanging shelving and art slightly higher than eye level your small space may appear larger than it truly is.
Play on Light
Another great way to maximize small space living is another form of trickery similar to utilizing vertical space. Playing with light may take on many forms. Think about the power of windows by keeping them minimally covered in order to let in natural light. Consider mirror placement by taking advantage of light hitting the mirror to reflect even more light. Even the choice of certain paint colors can create optical illusions of space. Lighter paint colors like off-whites, light neutrals, pales, and pastels give the illusion of larger, brighter rooms.
Consider Bonus Spaces and Make Them Liveable
Chances are, you may have a bonus space in your home that could function as extra living space. Is there an extra area in the basement going unused? An attic space? A back porch? Give yourself a budget, time, and be willing to put in some sweat equity to maximize a previously unused area of your home. Is there a part of the garage that could become a useful home gym? A landing area at the top of the stairs that could use an extra bookshelf or rug to create a cozy reading nook? What about pricing out the cost of turning your back patio into a screened-in porch? If even you are unwilling or unable to change the existing structure of your home differently, get creative with your furniture placement and decor.
If You Can’t Get Out of It, Get Into It
Perhaps you have already taken into account every tip on this list and you just don’t have any other way to make your small space feel larger. Even if you are feeling trapped or overwhelmed by a space that hasn’t kept pace with your growing family or you’ve maxed out every available resource to create space in a small home, one final suggestion is to change your mindset. Where can you change your perspective on your small home? More coziness? More family togetherness? Less to clean? Lower utilities? If you have no plans to upgrade your home’s size anytime soon, relish the space you have. Find ways to be grateful in all of the large and small ways for the home you live in.