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8 Clever Design Ideas for Small Homes

September 23, 2021

Maximise square footage and create the illusion of space with these clever design ideas!

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If you live in a small house, it can be difficult to figure out how to decorate and fit everything you need in the small space without making it appear cluttered. That being said, there are plenty of simple design solutions that can help to make your small space appear more open, practical, and stylish all at the same time.

Arte+, Jalan Ampang by Airhost
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To get you started, we've compiled a list of our favourite small home design ideas that will help you make the most of your limited space and serve as inspiration for your upcoming home renovation!

1. Keep to what’s essential

When living in a tiny space, it's important to pay attention to the smallest of details. Anything that takes up a lot of room should be something you use frequently or regularly. This will prevent your home from being congested with stuff you rarely use, wasting valuable floor space.

Stonor 3, KLCC by Viyest Interior Design
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Take notes from this condominium in KL, designed by Viyest Interior Design that incorporates only the most important furniture pieces, each with a specific purpose. Keeping to the bare essentials, this urban abode doesn’t feel cramped despite being only 871 sq ft in size!

Stonor 3, KLCC by Viyest Interior Design
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2. Invest in multi-purpose furniture

When selecting furniture for your small space, choose pieces that can serve multiple functions. For example, consider purchasing ottomans, tufted benches, couches and beds that come with hidden storage spaces to minimize clutter.

Fera Residence @ The Quartz by Amaze Design Sdn Bhd
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Tables or countertops can also pull double duty. Take for instance this 688 sq ft condominium designed by Amaze Design. Because the condominium lacks a dining room, the table in the middle of the living room can be used as a dining space, countertops, and desk all in one. Meanwhile, a pair of backless stools keep things look visually light.

Fera Residence @ The Quartz by Amaze Design Sdn Bhd
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3. Replace bulky wardrobes with clothes racks

A wardrobe is a must-have in any bedroom, but it can take up a lot of floor space, especially in a small bedroom. So why not forego this bulky furniture in favour of something more 'light'?

Arte+, Jalan Ampang by Airhost
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Take design cues from this 900-square-foot condo, which features a stylish clothes rack in each bedroom. It provides ample storage for hanging clothes and storing essentials beneath or above the rack, as well as creating a visually lighter space in the bedroom.

Arte+, Jalan Ampang by Airhost
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4. Use ceiling or wall-mounted lamps

When you're working with limited space, every inch counts. Instead of using side tables or floor, hang lights from the ceiling or mount them directly on the walls.

Paloma Residence, Subang Jaya by Wuuu Studio
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Take a cue from this 980 sq ft condominium designed by Wuuu Studio. Every room comes with a hanging light installed instead of a table or floor lamp to create a seamless visual continuity whilst saving valuable countertop and floor space.

Paloma Residence, Subang Jaya by Wuuu Studio
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View this project by Wuuu Studio

5. Install open shelves for extra storage

Aside from lighting, your walls have a lot of storage potential too. Consider installing open shelving units to store or display books, vases, indoor plants, among other things. This will keep the floor area free from clutter and things within easy reach.

28 Boulevard, Pandan Perdana by Wo Design Studio
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Take a cue from this 958 sq ft condominium designed by Wo Design Studio which features a variety of open shelving options. The kitchen, for example, features a built-in tissue roll holder, a hanging rack, and open shelves to neatly store kitchen utensils, drinking glasses, and glass jars while leaving the kitchen counter space clear.

28 Boulevard, Pandan Perdana by Wo Design Studio
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View this project by Wo Design Studio

6. 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. It will make your ceiling appear higher and will give a room a sense of grandeur.

Dorsett Hotel and Residence Duplex by Blaine Robert Design Sdn. Bhd.
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View this project by Blaine Robert Design Sdn. Bhd.

This 860 square foot duplex designed by Blaine Robert perfectly illustrates the point. The living room is outfitted with a floor-to-ceiling curtain that draws attention to the home's double void space while also adding a sophisticated and luxurious feel to the room.

7. Play with colours

Colours can make a big difference in a small space. Dark colours, for instance, can extend your field of depth and hide the fact that your apartment is lacking in square footage.

The Robertson Soho, KL by PINS Studio
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Take a cue from this kitchen designed by PINS Studio. The black built-in cabinet contrasts with the white walls and marble kitchen island, creating the illusion that the open shelves and cooking counter are much deeper than they are.

design ideas for small homes
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8. Opt for mirrors

Mirrors are another way to add visual depth to a small space. Mirrors will reflect light and can help to ‘open up’ even the smallest of spaces.

Velocity Residence, Kuala Lumpur by MIL Design & Construction
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Take a cue from this 786 sq ft condo, which features a floor-to-ceiling bronze mirror installed on a wall next to the dining table. It bounces light around the room making it feel wider, brighter, and more open.

Velocity Residence, Kuala Lumpur by MIL Design & Construction
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Renovating a small home?

An experienced interior designer can help you design a functional abode that makes the most of your limited space. Request for a free quote here and we can recommend you to up to 5 interior firms, based on your budget, style and needs.

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