‘Big ideas can enhance the most unlikely of small spaces.’ – Sebastian Conran and Mark Bond
In a small place it is often the style of the living space that is sacrificed. The room easily becomes cluttered because this is where you read, eat, watch television, listen to music, entertain friends and even work. With so many functions it is a challenge to arrange a small living space in such a way that it does not degenerate into a mess.
• Take a tape measure with you when you buy furniture so that you can measure the pieces. This is to ensure that people will be able to move past an item comfortably. A piece should never be so big that you have to turn it sideways in order to be able to pass.
• Do not be afraid to incorporate bigger pieces: fewer larger pieces make a room look bigger than several smaller pieces, as long as they do not overpower the room.
• Multipurpose furniture is a must. Examples include: a coffee table with storage space; cubes that can be used as seats, side tables, bookshelves and storage space; a dining table that doubles up as a work space; and a trunk that provides storage space and is used as a coffee table. If the piece has wheels, it becomes even more functional.
• Furniture that is not solid, such as a sofa with legs or chairs with a delicate frame, makes a room look larger than solid pieces. The same goes for low pieces.
• Furniture that allows light through or reflects it, such as pieces made of glass, Perspex, steel or chrome, are a good choice. Wood or a richly textured throw will add warmth.
• Get rid of all frills. This is the quickest way to make a room appear larger.
• Break out interior walls. An open living space receives much more light and looks bigger than a few small rooms.
• Use sliding doors. This saves a lot of space if you can afford to lose wall space.
• Use one kind of floor covering and loose rugs to define different spaces.
• Choose a light colour scheme for the floors, walls and furniture. Vary this with dark wood or use accent colours here and there. This contrast will create depth in the small room.
• Reflective materials, such as glass and mirrors, will enlarge the space visually. If you can, use them in places in which they will reflect a beautiful view.
• Keep the window coverings subtle by using blinds or simple curtains. Intricate drapings are out in a small area.
• Combine built-in storage space and open shelves with multipurpose furniture.
• Bring something from outside inside. A large window or glass doors, a fireplace, a bunch of flowers, dry branches or a pot plant are examples.