Less is More in a Smaller Space

Many homeowners are impressed by the homes of the rich and famous, but they need to pay more attention to those homes that are chic, inviting, functional homes in small spaces, some as tiny as 300 square feet. Here are some tips that will allow you to make more space in a smaller space:

Streamline your stuff: how do you cram 2,400 or more square feet of stuff into 1,200 square feet? Quite simply, you don’t. As soon as you make the decision to downsize, you need to start streamlining your stuff. Whether your downsizing, or you’re already living in a smaller home, looking for more breathing room, here’s where to start: the purge is the most daunting task of downsizing, but if you break it down into just 20 minutes to a couple hours a day, it becomes more manageable. Do one room at a time; beginning with the rooms you use least. Be ruthless and ask yourself questions like: Do I still like it? Does it add value to my life? Will I use it regularly? Does it work with the décor in the new home in terms of scale, colour, and style? Do I have space for it? If you answer is ‘No’, to any of these questions, let it go because you probably won’t miss it. The more you pare down before you move, the less you’ll have to pack, saving time and money. Rather than trying to cram as many belongings as will fit into your new space, think about which ones are important to you.

The big pieces are first: consider whether your furniture is the right scale for a small living space. If not, don’t go to the trouble and expense of moving it. Sell it or give it away. Measure your new space to ensure your new furniture will fit, and remember that you have to get it through doorways, up and down stairwells, and possibly into elevators.

Unload other people’s stuff: have you been storing your kids’ belongings in your house long after they’ve moved out? It’s time they collected their belongings.

Keep and display the favourites: give your most treasured collectables and decorative items a place of honour in your new home, but let the rest go. Are there family heirlooms you would like to pass down? Consider releasing them to your family now, so you can experience the joy of giving.

Double duty furniture and accessories: choose pieces that have shelves and drawers. A small chest of drawers can function as an end table or provide storage in an entryway. Use a wooden trunk as a coffee table and store DVDs inside. Use a leather ottoman (with a lid) to store blankets or use it for extra seating. Invest in a coffee table that transforms into a dining room table. Choose an entryway bench that holds baskets for hats and gloves.

Utilize vertical space: when your floor space is limited, look up. You can more than double your space by going vertical. Choose high bookcases and put woven baskets on top. Use a tall, slim tour in the bathroom to store towels and toiletries. Add shelves in small recessed areas or under windows. Stack shelves above closet rods for out-of-season storage. Free kitchen counter space by installing floating shelves. In bedrooms, mount hooks and knobs for purses, scarves and belts. Hang jewelry on a decorative corkboard. Use stylish over-the-door hangers to utilize dead space. A pegboard or wall rack keeps kitchen gadgets easily accessible. Wall-mounted toothbrush and cup holders keep the counters clear.

Make rooms multi-functional: decide how you want to use each room and set up zones to accommodate the different activities. An armoire that opens to reveal a desk creates an office area in the corner of the living room. Although the process of parting and moving into a smaller space can be stressful, it’s the perfect chance to re-evaluate your lifestyle and lighten the load.

Source: Reno & Decor Magazine

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Hans Taal

Hans Taal

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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