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Tips & Tricks To Enlarge Spaces At Home

January 8, 2015

Space is never enough in smaller homes today, and we are constantly looking for solutions that can make small spaces seem bigger.

If you are looking to renovate or improve your living spaces, pick the brains of Third Avenue Studio, The Design Practice and Quirky Idees as they share the tips and tricks in maximising spaces in small homes, and the sources behind their design inspirations.

Q: Can you share some efficient space planning tips?

Third Avenue: Start with a good space planning strategy. A good home design revolves around your functional needs and your lifestyle requirements. Plan and list out the required function for the space, and then plan the space around the required functions. A good example is a multi-functional space like a kitchen island.


Image: Third Avenue

Next, think about how you would move between rooms to rooms. A comfortable width for the walkway is 900mm. Lastly, think about the furniture you want to use and whether it fits the space. The design of the furniture will affect the size visually.

The Design Practice:
The choice of your furnishing plays a part. Personally, I like to have back-to-back cabinets, or cabinets with different looks and designs to save space and yet cater to the different room designs.

For the exposed sides of cabinets, I tend to finish with painted partitions that looked like they are merged with the walls. With a single plane of cabinet doors, it reduces visual bulk in a small room.

For flooring materials, utilising a homogenous colour throughout tends to enlarge spaces visually, as compared to different floor materials that appear to 'break' the space.

Quirky Idees:
I would suggest to minimise the use of colours and select multi-functional furniture. If you are looking for storage spaces, try built-in furniture.


Image: Quirky Idees

Q: How do colours and lighting arrangement affect the size of the room?

Third Avenue:
Think about how you want to feel in the space. Colours and lighting set the mood in the space. Apart from your furniture, using colours in soft furnishing such as cushions and curtains can also add an interesting vibe to the space.


Image: Third Avenue

As for lighting, you can try using lighting layers to set different mood in one space.

• For overall lighting, use ambient lighting e.g. ceiling lights or recessed ceiling lights.

• To highlight certain walls or paintings, use spotlights.

• To add an interesting feature to your space, use task lighting such as standing lamps or pendant lightings.

The Design Practice:
Choice of colours should be light, with an accent background to enhance the spatial depth. Lighting wise, opt for cool white instead of daylight colours as the former can be glaring to the eyes.

Quirky Idees:
Colours play a big part in creating a bigger visual of the house. Choose light colors for the walls and white for the ceiling to increase the sense of height. Opt for cove-lights to create a perception of skylight.


Image: Quirky Idees

Q: What are some of the common and creative storage solutions you have done?

Third Avenue:
I have created tall storages to maximise the storage space, and used dead spaces such as the area under staircases as an alternative storage space.

The Design Practice:
I have done storage/display cabinet that doubles up as sliding doors to guest rooms, and shoe cabinet that swings out like a door and reveal even more storage space for your shoes!


Image: The Design Practice

Quirky Idees:
Creating a full height and length TV feature that holds the TV and other displays, and at the same time, conceals two bedroom entrances.

Q: What is your decor inspiration when it comes to planning layout for small homes?

Third Avenue:
I draw references from Japanese and Hong Kong architecture inspirations, but I take a Scandinavian / European approach when it comes to interior decorations.

The Design Practice:
For compact spaces, I tend to be more influenced by the Japanese where they distill forms to the minimal to reduce eye clutter and mess, without compromising on the functions or convenience.

Quirky Idees:
A mixture of Japanese and Swedish influences; both styles revolve around keeping the space clean and uncluttered in terms of built-in carpentry, wall colours and furniture.

Are you all geared up to give your home a makeover? Browse through the Qanvast app for hundreds of local renovation projects and start saving ideas for your dream home.

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