Interior designers know a trick or about getting the most out of small spaces for their clients. Borrow from the best and you can expand that tiny studio apartment or starter home. Here are some tips to get you started.
Use mirrors strategically.
Create a faux window by placing a mirror next to or opposite the real thing. You’ll double your natural light and produce the illusion of an expanded natural view. Reflect light from a desk or bedside lamp. Place a full-length floor mirror behind a desk; the look is very chic right now as well as a space enhancer.
Furnish with open, airy pieces.
Favor chairs and sofas with legs. Ditto with desks. If you can see through your most substantial furniture, you’re faking the feel of a lot more space. Heavy, skirted ottomans and such are so last decade.
Look for unusual storage space.
See all that room beneath your coffee table and entry way Parsons table and sofa console table? Stack books, pile up pillows or poufs, fit in a vintage trunk or even small storage cabinet. Artfully arrange baskets. A lot of room is lurking underneath those useful table surfaces. If you agree that sofas with legs can make good decorating statements, you’ve given yourself even more room for storage.
Opt for multiple uses.
Bar carts make great bar carts, and they also make great moveable storage pieces. Look for carts with multiple tiers. Can you say bathroom towel caddy or TV stand? Find other furnishings that you can cast in a different light.
Double up on that itty bitty closet.
See if you can squeeze a garment rack or two into your bedroom. Look for the ones with shoe racks on top or bottom for increased usefulness.
Put up open shelving.
Open shelving can give your room an airy vibe. But be warned: you’ll need to be a neat freak. Plan to line shelves with baskets to stash the smallest pieces of clutter. Too much stuff on the walls can easily overwhelm the effort to create a spacious feel.
Use illusion in a tiny kitchen.
Use one color for walls, appliances and cabinets. White and light colors open up a small area. Patterns and stripes on floors and walls can pull the eye forward to enlarge your space. Consider a rug if you can’t tear up and replace the floor.
Get creative with kitchen storage.
Hanging pots and pans on the wall or from the ceiling can multiply your kitchen storage space. Using a knife rack to liberate cutlery from kitchen drawers does the same; it can save you from risking a cut feeling around blindly when you’re in a hurry.
Shine equals another kitchen illusion.
Trick the eye with stainless steel appliances, satin paint and glossy floors. Reflections work just as effectively in the kitchen as they do in your mirror-lined living room.