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So you’ve achieved the impossible and managed to find your dream home—at the right price, in an ideal location, and outfitted with all the amenities on your list. But when you move all your worldly belongings into the space, you realize you have more stuff than space to store it. As the euphoric sentiment slowly dwindles, you’re left with a few options. You can either refurnish the space, perhaps with a smaller sofa or dining table, de-clutter the years of junk you’ve accumulated, or make the move once again into larger living quarters. But before you make the leap to abandon your newfound home – there’s some simple and inexpensive things you can try.
Try to see each room in your home as a blank pallet. If there’s heaps of clutter contaminating the area this can be hard to do, so your best bet is to systematically go through each item and decide if it’s worth keeping or tossing. A more effective way to carry this out is to take inventory of each item in the room and decide if you use it on a weekly basis. That bottle cap collection, collecting dust in the corner, may be better off in the storage box or possibly the rubbish bin. Another approach to consider is the Four-Box Method which involves separating cluttered areas into four distinct categories – trash, donate, keep, and relocate. This breaks down the monotony of cleaning and classifying. Open space is a hot commodity in a flat or house with limited square footage, so be ruthless when tackling the clutter!
Lighting is widely known to have the power to turn any room into a warm and inviting space but did you know it can just as easily make a small room feel spacious? Ambient lighting provides a space with a suitable degree of illumination which can make a small room feel more open and fluid. Establish a central source of lighting by installing a chandelier, recessed lights, or indoor lanterns. Task lighting is another way to add drama and visual interest to parts of your home. These serve a dual purpose because they’re also great for specific tasks like reading, cooking, or office work.
Coupled with some carefully placed mirrors, and paint colours, lighting is an inexpensive way to transform small spaces. Lighter colours reflect light better than darker shades, for example. Airy, translucent pastels are a great option for cramped kitchens or narrow hallways. Dramatic wall art is also another way to draw attention away from a petite room. The eye will automatically gravitate towards that piece, and create the illusion of depth.
Downsize Main Furnishings
Sometimes the fastest way to open up a room is to swap out bulky furniture for something sleeker and less consuming. A day bed, in particular, is an affordable way to consolidate two pieces into one. Instead of a big clunky recliner taking up all the room in a small space try a smaller chair with an ottoman. Ottomans are back in full swing this year. Contemporary ottomans at reasonable prices can be seen at Made.com and similar designer furniture stores.
In all, small square footage doesn’t have to be the end all be all of your happily ever after. Learn to make the most of the space you have by downsizing bulking pieces and experimenting with different lighting techniques.