7 Smart Design Ideas for Tackling a Small Space at Home
Small ideas, big impact.
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Designing a small space can be a huge challenge. However, with some creative thinking, some space-saving design hacks, and top-tier visual trickery, you can reverse the curse of the small space and turn your home into a comfortable living space. Here are some smart design ideas and tips to get you started!
1. Be on the lookout for clear furniture
Clear furniture is a miracle worker for small rooms. When shopping for furniture for your small home, keep your eyes peeled for acrylic, glass and lucite furniture pieces because, these types of furniture can let light pass through, providing an impression of spaciousness in a room.
View this project by EMPT Studio
Take a cue from this dining room which features ghost chairs and dining tables with exposed legs. Looks much airier than it would with regular opaque chairs, doesn’t it?
2. Opt for open storage or wall-mounted shelves
Choose open shelves when installing a storage unit in a compact space. Open shelving, without the visually weighty doors (or frames), can make even the smallest room feel more spacious. A case in point is this dining area which includes floating shelves for displaying ornamental goods, among other things. The shelving unit doesn't take up any floor space or obstruct the walkways, allowing the owner to add a bench to maximise seats in the dining area.
View this project by SQFT Space Design Management
3. Go for glass doors whenever possible
Standard doors and walls limit your vision of what is beyond, making you feel claustrophobic, especially if you are sitting in a small space. If possible, consider swapping out your standard wood or steel doors with glass doors to flood the entire space with natural light. This is a particularly useful tip for spaces that do not require much privacy, such as the dining room, laundry room, or kitchen, as seen in this petite 662 sqft condominium.
4. Install floor-to-ceiling curtains
Hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains is another simple design trick that can give the illusion of more space in a small room. And while most homes have curtains that cut off a few inches below the ceiling, we recommend going all the way up. They may sound inconsequential, but these few added inches will go a long way in visual elongation. Case in point: this 810 sqft condominium by ZT Design!
5. Employ light colours
Most people are aware that light colours serve to make a room appear larger than dark colours do. White walls, ceilings, or flooring, as well as lots of lighting, are sure to put a little pep in your step while making your interior feel larger.
View this project by Anwill Design Sdn Bhd
But that doesn’t mean you have to go with an all-white interior, particularly if you don’t want the room to end up looking too plain. Pair light colours (think white, off-white and beige) with warm materials like wood, as seen in this apartment. Here, Anwill Design used white as a foundation and a light wooden tone for the built-ins and furnishings. Lastly, a few accent pieces like wall art and accessories were used to further enliven the space.
6. Use an open bookshelf as a room divider
If your small space suffers from open-plan ambiguity, define individual areas (and add storage) with a bookshelf. Consider this small yet cosy 850 sqft apartment, which features a narrow shelf with a frosted glass extension. It divides the living and dining areas and also serves as a display for the homeowner's prized figure collection.
View this project by AW Design Lab
7. Save on swing space with sliding doors
Sliding doors and pocket doors are a priceless addition to tight spaces. They're there when you need them and completely out of sight when you don't. Plus, by eliminating the need for a swing area, they don't hinder your furniture layout in any way. Take a cue from this Scandinavian-styled condominium, which uses sliding doors to separate the kitchen from the dining and bar-like area that can be used for enjoying a cup of coffee or having casual meals.
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