Do you have a particularly small room in your house? Live in a small or medium-sized flat in the city? Want a home that is spacious without the need to go completely minimalist? Well, here are a few space saving ideas that will help you get the most out of your home.
Double-up your stairs
The sides of staircases are perfect for storage space. Though they are often used to store cleaning/DIY materials, they can also function as bookshelves or wardrobes.
Many make the mistake of thinking that corner sofas only work in large rooms. In fact, corner sofas are excellent for small living rooms as they compact different types of seat into one area of the room.
Need a wardrobe in your bedroom?
A wardrobe can be useful, but sometimes having large pieces of wood in your room makes the space feel a little claustrophobic. In such cases, an ‘open’ wardrobe may be of use. These wardrobes can be made by re-adapting an existing piece of furniture (e.g. a bookshelf with a sturdy frame or attaching a rail to an unused bottom shelf).
Have high ceilings? Think 3D…
In some places around the world, it is not uncommon to split rooms into two different levels. Adding a mezzanine is a great way to increase the space available.
Want to compartmentalise? Think horizontally…
Building walls can eat into available space, especially in studio flats where living rooms are often attached to kitchens or bedrooms. Using a large, free-standing, movable wardrobe, shelving unit or even a pair of good curtains is perfect for creating a dividing line, giving the illusion of separate areas.
Don’t know where to put the television? Hang it up (or use a projector) instead
Essentially, a home cinema set-up. Having a projector or hanging your television will get rid of the need to find a spot in your living room to put the television, meaning that only other, smaller entertainment electronics (e.g. a PC, gaming consoles, DVD players, speakers & amplifiers) need be stored. It also removes the need for oversized home entertainment units.
Storage chests & trunks
A large, flat trunk or chest is not just a place to put all your books, films and valuables in, but can also be utilised as a table, footstool, or even a seating area. Smaller wooden trunks can be used as a coffee table, whilst wicker or rope trunks are a great, eco-friendly place to store bathroom toiletries and towels.
Use your alcove(s)
Alcoves are recesses or ‘crannies’ in the wall of a room. Smaller alcoves can be used as shelf space for pictures or books, or as a store cupboard. Larger ones, which are often separated by pillars or drapery, can be turned into a personalised space for reading or just as somewhere to go for some simple contemplation.
Need several shelves, or just one big one?
Should you happen to have an unusually shaped wall in your living room, it may be best to make that wall one big shelving unit rather than attempt to make furniture fit into it.
Build up in the bedroom
Many homes will have a box room that, all to often, functions as a dumping ground for clutter or a hastily thought out guest bedroom with little more than a bed and side table. Small bedrooms can be so much more, though. Consider an elevated bed with storage/study/living area below.
All the above are actual, physical ways of creating more space in your room. However, you can also create more space by getting rid of too many pieces of small furniture, clutter and barely-used items. You can also create the illusion of more space by letting in as much light – both natural and artificial – as possible, using mirrors to reflect light around the room, installing plain blinds or sheet curtains, colouring the room in simple (ideally monochromatic) colours and not plastering up a room with large amounts of wallpaper.