We live in a world where buildings are getting taller, but homes are getting smaller. As ironic as that might be, you’ve got to make the most of the cramped space you get.
Hopping from one apartment to another not only breaks the bank but it’s quite a hassle too! After all, how many times can you possibly get accustomed to a new neighborhood? Or change your posting address? It’s not feasible!
And let’s say you manage to move to a bigger apartment. Can you really ever have enough space? Go for one open-hearted shopping spree and your new big apartment will suddenly start looking small and cramped!
That’s just the way it is.
It’s not the size of your apartment that makes it look small. It’s how you manage the space which lends to its roominess or cramped feel. So if you want your flat to accommodate every earthly possession you own, you don’t have to shift. You just have to follow proper space management.
If you don’t know how to do that, you have landed up at the right place. In today’s blog, we are going to reveal to you 15 clever hacks that will show you the way of maximized living in a small space!
Let’s get started-
- Get rid of all the clutter
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If you truly want to master the art of space-planning, you will have to take the difficult step of de-cluttering.
Go through the stuff you have. You will certainly come across things that are of absolutely no use to you, whose lifespan is over and the kind that you abhor now. Throw these out. There’s no space for these in your house.
Your house and your head will feel much lighter once the shelves, drawers, racks and cupboards look emptier than before.
- Turn your rooms into multifunctional spaces
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So, you have a 1BHK and now you have to cram in a study room, a living room and a bed for your pet (or cage or fish tank, you get the drift) in it.
As tough as that might sound, it’s quite possible and easy to do. You simply have to divide your overall home space into separate sections, which means one room could serve multiple purposes.
For example, you could install a small, retractable study table in your bedroom and turn into a bedroom-cum-study with ease. You can do the same with your living room by adding a space for your pet or a small rack for your books. The choice is yours.
- Use furniture of different proportions
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Common sense might tell you to use furniture of similar proportions in a small house, but you don’t have to. In fact, we’re going to go on a limb here and say that you shouldn’t!
The problem with choosing furniture of smaller proportions is that they can make your already small house look smaller. Think of a dollhouse. That’s exactly what your home will end up looking like if you stick to the “rules”.
We say break the rules!
If you want to maximize home space, you should play with furniture of different dimensions to your heart’s desire. Go high or low, big or small – experiment till you get everything in place. When you’re done, your house won’t look small, it’ll look complete due to the diversity of scale and proportion.
- Add shelves of different sizes all through your house
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When working with limited home space, you have to get creative to form an illusion of a big house and yet be able to fit everything you have in your small world. One of the ways to do that is to add shelves to your house.
Find an empty wall? Slap a shelf on it! You can vary the width and height of the shelves to fit more into tiny spaces. For example, the size of the shelves in your kitchen could vary depending on the objects you intend to put on each level.
If you’re a book nerd, we suggest getting a shelf that reaches from the floor to the ceiling. Not only will you be able to fit a lot in but your house will look much bigger due to the emphasis on height.
- Install dividers instead of doors when you want privacy
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In our experience, one of the most creative home designs in terms of space utilization is the installation of dividers instead of doors.
Dividers give off a soft and wistful vibe while creating the illusion of extra open space in your house. You could use glass walls, sliding doors and even curtains as divider.
If privacy is not a major concern for you, you can get rid of doors and dividers altogether to create an uninterrupted visual illusion of a much larger space than there is!
- Put mirrors – loads of them
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Okay, maybe not loads of them. You don’t want your place to look like a mirror house at the end of the day. Anyhoo, you should add mirrors to your place and put them in strategic spots.
You see mirrors are famous for maximizing home space. But they only achieve that goal if you hang them in a place where they can reflect light – natural or artificial. You could also put them in a place where they give an illusion of depth.
Home décor experts recommend putting mirrors on the wall opposite the window so they can reflect the sky and the greenery outside and instantly give your house a roomier feel.
In any case, never hang mirrors in dark, messy corners of your home as they’ll make a cluttered house look more cluttered than it is.
- Take full advantage of high ceilings
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Belong to the one room living scenario? That’s okay. You can still use space management to make your one room look like two rooms. Especially if your studio apartment comes equipped with a high ceiling. Then you’ve hit jackpot!
You can use the high ceiling to your advantage by creating a loft space. You could either put your bed there or use the area as an attic to store things you don’t use frequently. No matter what you use the loft for, it’ll add an air of elegance and functionality to your place. Oh, and did we say lofts make your home look much larger? Told you, jackpot!
- Stock up on foldable/retractable furniture
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This is our favorite space utilization hack on the list! In every room, the maximum space is occupied by furniture. We know that you can’t really skimp on furniture even if you live in a small apartment. You need to have all the basics. And you can fit them and then some if you get foldable or retractable furniture.
Know the best part of getting such furniture? Almost any and every furniture can be folded or expanded on a use basis! Tables, chairs, ironing boards, desks – anything you don’t use 24×7 can be folded up and kept away as and when needed.
You could stack such furniture up against the wall or stow them under your bed or couch to have extra roaming space in your house.
- And furniture with built-in storage spaces
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If you’re not fond of lugging around foldable furniture every time you need a table or a chair just for the heck of space management, we’ve got a solution for you-
Furniture items with build-in storage spaces!
Furniture that can double up as storage units can serve as great space savers in your house. So instead of getting regular chairs, you could get yourself ottomans, which you can use to throw in newspapers, magazines and the like.
When decorating your house, ensure you get yourself box beds, desks and dressing tables with cabinets or drawers and the like. What’s more, you could get them in pretty colors and designs so your place not only looks bigger but also grander!
- Opt for kitchen cabinets over open shelves
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Ask any interior decorator and they’ll likely tell you to get open shelves in your kitchen as opposed to cabinets in order to maximize space. We’ll tell you to do the exact opposite.
Unless you’re Monica Gellar-level organized, you shouldn’t have open shelves in your kitchen. Cluttered shelves can lend to a claustrophobic and disorganized feel, which actually takes away from the open space concept.
Cabinets, on the other hand, offer you a lot of space to stow away your pots and pans, while keeping your kitchen counter clean. If you still think cabinets will make your kitchen look smaller, get them painted in the same color as your walls. They’ll blend in and almost disappear into the wall so you don’t get that cramped feeling.
- Turn a narrow console into your dining table
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Chances are that if you have a small home, you will likely have to design an open concept kitchen with an attached living room in a small space. In that kind of a setting, cramming in a full-fledged dining table will make your apartment look smaller and leave no space for walking.
Naturally maximizing space is your agenda and you can’t eat on the bed. A simple fix to this problem is to turn a narrow console in your kitchen into a dinner table. It’s sleek and stylish and well, narrow, which means it’s a great space saver!
Throw in some stackable stools as seats and you’ll have plenty of room for 2 to 4 people to sit and enjoy a hearty meal, no matter what the size of your kitchen is. You can even use the console for other activities – cooking, working, studying etc. It’s just a great way to save some space.
- Add storage space under the stairs
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Even studio apartments have stairs. They usually lead to the loft that has the bed. Technicalities aside, you can use the space underneath the stairs as a storage unit. Just add vertical sliding drawers beneath them to get a neat storage space for all your essentials such as books, toys, files, linens etc. If the stairs are closer to your kitchen, you could use the drawers you install to store kitchen items. Besides, if cabinets are too expensive, you could add wooden shelves instead and save yourself some precious bucks.
- Play with light and colors
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Part of the art of space management is knowing how to play with lights and colors in your house. Both the right lights and the right colors can make your home look much larger than it really is. The strategic placement of different kinds of lights in your house can brighten it up and add to its height. Keeping your windows clean and open can have the same effect too.
As for colors, the use of contrasting shades can make your room feel taller and more spacious than it is. But that’s only if you use colors that add warmth to the room. Which means darker shades should be avoided. Choose a pastel palette instead and you’ll get more light into your room, which will instantly add the illusion of extra space.
- Ditch the conventional bed
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How to make the most of a small bedroom? That’s a good question. And yes, we have the answer to it too. You just have to ditch your conventional bed and opt for a more outlandish solution.
It might sound crazy but if you have a small home it can actually help you save a ton of space. You could get a retractable bed that’s hung from your wall or the inside of your closet – whatever works for you.
If retractable beds don’t sound like a good idea, a sofa-cum-bed can help you in your home space management and utilization efforts. You could use one as a couch when people are over; and unfold it to form a cozy bed when you’re alone. A simple and practical solution to your space problem!
- Think vertically when you redecorate
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While redecorating your house to save space in your home, it’s common tendency to think from left to right. While that’s okay and should be done, don’t forget the space that’s above you and near your feet. You could really use that to store seasonal items such as heavy blankets and sweaters etc.
With that said, bear in mind to never stack up heavy items on top of cupboards, lofts or high shelves. If there’s ever a chance of them toppling down, you could get seriously injured. Also, invest in a sturdy ladder so you don’t fall when reaching out to get your stuff from higher places.
It might seem difficult to get some extra space in your house at first, but a little thought and planning can go a long way into maximizing your space utilization efforts. So follow the hacks we’ve laid out for you and we’re sure your humble 200 sq. ft. abode will look double its size once you’re done redecorating.