Small can be beautiful too

Home Decor

Small can be beautiful too

Small spaces can be made to look big, with design ideas and proper lighting PHOTO courtesy: MODCCON INTERIORSDecorating the home is not limited to large spaces and mansions. Small spaces like apartments too need attention.

Most standard apartments are small in terms of floor space, which can become an issue when it comes to interior decoration. All you need is to understand and employ the principles of decorating for small spaces.

Floor space is the key

Floor space is important and gives a sense of freedom and flow. While this may be hard to achieve in small apartments, it is not hard to emulate.

Small apartments can be given the appearance of space, and even some style and flavour. Life in an apartment does not have to be drab and boring, nor does it have to be cluttered and overwhelming. The furniture can be used to create illusions of more floor space. Also, lights, colours and mirrors can make any apartment trendy and wonderful.

Buy furniture that will fit into apartments without overwhelming the room. Couches without skirts will give the illusion of more floor space. Pick up trimmer couches and chairs, pieces that may be armless or have thin frames, but still have deep seats, ranging between 20 and 22 inches for the most comfort. Closets and storage are equally important for smaller apartments, but should be cleverly designed and placed. A bulky book shelf may take up the much needed space. Alternate ways are to buy furniture that doubles as storage space. Hanging shelves will free up the space and and a stylish flair.

Keep your home well-lit

Keep the apartment well lit with chic floor and ceiling lamps as a dark room cuts down on the impression of space. Mirrors can reflect the light and make a room appear larger, so use them to create an illusion. A decorative mirror, especially a large wall mirror, will act as a room expander when strategically placed to reflect light or an attractive element in the room, such as a window with a scenic view, a doorway into another room or artwork.
A lit mirror will add warmth and depth to a small room with otherwise subdued lighting. A large mirror on the long wall of a narrow room will make the room appear wider.

The impression of the room being open and free flowing with furniture and shelves that take up as little space as possible while still providing comfort and style is the key.

Purchase a glass table top for a dining or coffee table. Being able to see the floor will make the room look larger.

Colour also plays an important part and can bring together the entire apartment. By using light colours and avoiding dark ones such as forest green, navy and black, you can make the room look airy. Separating the walls of a small room into blocks of colour can also add to the visual depth. Use gentle tones of colour in layers. If you want to keep the wall colours neutral, select an accent colour and layer it throughout the room with accessories to brighten up the room and bring it depth.

Continuing a single colour theme in two connecting rooms is a good way to help dissolve the lines between the two rooms and open them up to each other. This technique is only effective, however when used for the adjoining room that falls in the same line of sight.

Patterned wallpaper a no-no

Avoid patterned wallpaper, which has the tendency to overpower small spaces.
One great space saving idea that provides oodles of extra storage space is to build a floor-to-ceiling corner look shelf, which will take up only 12-inches of floor space, providing ample display space for collection. Upholstery for the furniture, curtains and even carpets or rugs should be a light colour and in a monochromatic colour scheme to make a visually unobstructed appearance. It takes creativity and forethought to come up with an effective space saving room design without compromising on home décor.

The living room is the most frequently used room in the house, especially for purposes of entertaining and relaxing, and it should not only be warm and inviting, but also appear spacious. Try to reorganise the furniture.

Remove all clutter and leave just one to three of any one type of décor room accessory, such as vases, throw pillows, end tables etc. Get as many items off the floor as possible including stereo equipment, statues, urns, potted plants etc. If you wish to keep them in the room, reposition them on shelves and pieces of furniture instead of on the floor.

A corner entertainment centre like a TV cabinet provides more space and makes the room appear more open. For a small bedroom, always remember, that the bed should be the largest, most prominent piece of furniture in the room. Too many objects and too many prints will make the room appear smaller, stuffy and closed in, instead of open, airy and relaxing.

Use bean bags

The family room can have a bean bag furniture-including love seat and soft beanies-which can be moved out of the way to create more space when needed, quickly, easily and with little effort. And with today’s fun prints and fabrics, the bean bag can complement almost any type interior design décor.

The easiest way to create more space in a small dining room is to downsize the table. A small corner china cabinet will save additional space, displaying but a few simple pieces will make the room appear less cluttered and give the illusion of more space.

Borrowing space for the kitchen

For the kitchen, “borrowing” extra space from an adjoining room will cost much less than adding new space onto the kitchen, accommodating such built-in features as a built-in oven or refrigerator.

Light colour solid-surface countertops visually brighten the room and make it appear larger, under-the-counter small appliances will increase counter space and reduce clutter.

Small bathrooms too can appear larger by using pale, cool colours that reflect light, whites, pastels and neutral colours.

You can use wicker baskets to hide the knick-knacks; you can also use wooden boxes and trunks for storage purpose.

Ilusion of space

Another idea on how to make a small room look bigger is to use vertical stripes on the wall: drawing the eye upward and giving the illusion of a higher ceiling.

*Simple, sheer window coverings will let in more light and help the room feel more open.

*Small does not mean the interiors cannot be artistic.

*Try wall decoration with paintings and artwork, which will be useful in creating dimensional space.

*The key is to use a minimum of accessories, but still get the desired effect in the room.

Thus, the illusion of space can be created in any style with an intelligent effort spent in small places. 

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