Spring is finally here. It’s time to come out of hibernation. You don’t need to feel cooped up anymore. Unlock the windows, open the sliding doors, change out the curtains, and get rid of the extra blankets. Of course, if you live in tight quarters, preparing for spring may take a little extra work. Whatever you call home—a “tiny house,” a small house, an apartment, or even a bedroom—these small-space design tips will help you make the most of the space you have.
Fewer Walls, More Glass
Anytime you can replace a solid wall with a glass divider, you do your part to open up the interior. Instead of stopping light, glass lets it flow. The result is a sweeping and visually coherent view that makes even a pocket-sized apartment or home look more expansive.
Glass partitions are particularly important if you have a room without a window or one that lets in little to no light. At least, with a glass wall, you can steal light from the next room. The biggest hurdle here is tearing down your existing wall. Putting up a new divider is a cinch as long as you have the right people on the job.
Just because you live in a compact space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or functionality. If you have an open floor plan, create distinct zones based on the purpose of each room—sleeping, eating, working, relaxing—and then separate them with a glass partition. That allows you to differentiate space without chopping it into disconnected pieces. Since installing new room dividers requires no major renovation, it’s an easy way to effect major change. It’s not all about function, either. Glass doors and walls also make beautiful architectural elements that enhance the charm and style of any home.
Slide, Don’t Swing
Like glass partitions, sliding glass doors make a home feel roomier by increasing the flow of light. They also cut down on wasted space by running flush against the wall instead of swinging outward. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a modest home or an itty-bitty apartment—you can use them to your advantage.
The Sliding Door Company even installed sliding interior doors in a tiny house to separate the main living area from the bathroom. The frosted glass offers privacy, while the sliding design cuts down on wasted space.
Keep It Sparse
Want to know how to maximize space in a small apartment? Remember that every inch counts. Unless you’re the type of person who can’t part with a good trinket when you see one, there’s no reason to clutter every surface with knickknacks. Instead, let the room breathe. Minimalism may be out of favor for the moment, but a sparser style always makes sense for tighter spaces.
Everyone knows that if you want to make a room look bigger, you use lighter colors. Although many
designers are rushing to replace neutrals with more vibrant colors, nothing says you have to follow the current trends or paint your entire home in cherry red.
A white room or two will do a lot to make the space feel airy instead of cramped. Even if you ignore the last tip and fill your space with mementos or cherished décor, a light coat of paint will ease the burden.
Get Creative with Furniture
Ottomans that open up, coffee tables that feature cavernous recesses, dining room tables that transform into billiards tables, beds that sit atop drawers—if you can find furniture pieces that double as storage units, you can keep the clutter at bay and free up much-needed space. You don’t have to stop with creative storage solutions. There are plenty of clever furniture designs—retractable beds, tables-slash-desks, ottomans that double as coffee tables—that can help you cut down on wasted space.
Stick to a Few Big Pieces
It may seem counterintuitive, but large furnishings can make a room feel grander. One queen-sized bed, oversized couch, or large dining table can convince you that you’re in a palatial environment. As long as you stick to one big piece and keep the rest of the room relatively sparse, you can fool the eye into thinking that the space is bigger than it is.
Use Sleight of Hand
Talking about fooling the eye, interior designers have a full bag of tricks that help them increase the visual size of a room. From strategically placed mirrors and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to low-sitting furniture and high windows, you can find any number of ways to make a room look more impressive if you know a bit about space and optics.
When a room is visually coherent, the eye can take in the entire scene with one glance, which increases the sense of expansiveness. It also has a calming effect. You don’t have to paint your entire house in white or buy furniture and décor that’s all the same color, but you should be thinking of clever ways to create a sense of uniformity. Clear glass partitions and sliding doors, for example, create a neat divide without breaking up the continuity of the home, which lets the eye roam over the entire interior at once.
Find Portable Storage
One of the tricks for dealing with cramped spaces is to stay organized. With that in mind, you should invest in some sturdy baskets and boxes. Place them anywhere you have extra room— inside shelves and closets, underneath tables and beds, behind sofas and chairs, on top of bookshelves. They’re also perfect for laundry rooms, mudrooms, and bathrooms, where they can hold anything from blankets and towels to cleaning supplies and dried foods.
Install Permanent Storage
Want to know how to make the most out of a small bedroom, apartment, or home? Install storage units anywhere you have some extra space. That means under stairs, in crawl spaces, and beneath beds. Finally, be sure to look upward. See if you can fit some extra space above doors or cabinets or build so that your permanent storage solutions reach all the way up to the ceiling. Custom-built shelves, in particular, create a “fitted” look that gives a room a nice sense of proportion.
Find Space in the Kitchen
The kitchen is probably the most used room in the use, so it’s no wonder it gets cluttered so easily. Place small appliances in retractable pantry doors, hang utensils on pegboards, place cookware above cabinets, install bookshelves inside islands, and add shelves in the nooks and crannies.
Do Your Research
There are a million ways to open up space in a small dwelling. A lot depends on your needs, your aesthetic sensibilities, and the layout of your home. In whatever way you decide to economize, try to use every sliver of space in your home. Look at each piece and ask yourself if it serves a function or adds to the sense of style and cohesiveness.
Want more tips that will help you figure out how to maximize space in a small house? Follow our blog to get the latest interior design advice. Ready to transform your home? Contact The Sliding Door Company for a FREE consultation, and then come take a tour in one of our 27 showrooms throughout North America!
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