If you're living and working from a small home, it can be easy for your space to become claustrophobic. Here is how to make a small space look and feel bigger
As property prices have risen, so have the number of small homes for rent and for sale. Small space living does require careful thought, but such properties do have one huge advantage: the running costs are far lower. With the energy price cap due to rise considerably for a second time later this year, that’s a good position to find yourself.
Living in a small space also brings out people’s creativity—you have to think laterally to make life comfortable. There are some wonderful examples online. If you’re gutting a place, you can get even more imaginative—that might mean a mezzanine bedroom, for example. But, if not, how can you make a small space look and feel bigger?
Read more: How to create an open-plan living space
Maximising small bathrooms
If there’s one room you should declutter, it’s the bathroom. That means you have to think about storage carefully.
If you have enough space, having a sink with storage will enable you to store your toiletries out of sight. Another option is having a bathroom cupboard with a mirrored door—that kills two birds with one stone.
Space-saving toilets are available in a wide range of designs. But, if possible, don’t compromise on the shower—having the largest shower possible will make the bathroom feel much bigger—if you can make it a walk-in shower without a door, even better.
Colours, textures and mirrors
Creating an illusion of space can be done by installing large, wall-mounted mirrors. Mirrors bounce light around too, which is especially important if natural light is limited.
Light, bright colours are essential—nothing makes a room feel smaller more than dark or gloomy walls. Too many contrasting colours and textures will make the space feel smaller too. Find a winning formula, and stick to it.
Floor space is important too. It’s better to have fewer larger pieces of furniture than many smaller pieces. Coffee tables might seem like a good idea, but they do tend to become clutter magnets. Too many pictures on the walls can also make a room feel claustrophobic.
One of the challenges of living in a small space is where to store your stuff. Fortunately, companies have been quick to rise to the challenge. There are numerous beds with built-in storage and the same goes for sofas.
These storage solutions work so well, as possessions are hidden away. The more things you have on display the smaller any living space feels.
The backs of doors are useful too - for coats, towels and even ironing boards and certain wall-mounted vacuum cleaners. If you have any “Russian doll” opportunities, use them—that might mean storing all your suitcases and Tupperware boxes one inside the other. High-up shelves, especially ones in corridors and above doors, can become a perfect spot for your books
Getting clever in the kitchen
Small spaces need less powerful boilers, and super compact combi boilers will save you a chunk of space. Don’t think you have to compromise on which appliances you have—there are slimline versions of almost everything.
Using the full ceiling height will provide much-needed storage, and hooks and pan lid racks can free up valuable cupboard space.
The power of plants
If you don’t have room for house plants, consider creative solutions: window boxes on window sills as well as hanging pots can bring the feeling of the great outdoors indoors.
Less is more
So, if you are pushed for space, congratulate yourself on your lower energy costs. And start getting creative!
Read more: Is now the time to fix your mortgage?
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