May 27, 2011

5 small space tips

We all want the best design solutions, especially for small spaces. Try one or more of these tips for your apartment, condo or small home. They work well in multi-unit homes and dorms too!

A great way to lift clutter in the kitchen.

1. Get organized. Clutter can make smaller spaces feel cramped and uncomfortable. Make a plan and place for everyday items. Upgrade closets with built-in organization systems rather than just rods. Digitize music and video collections and remove the boxes from view. Add pre-made desk units, storage cabinets and items that will help hide but make work and stored items readily available. In the kitchen, add shelving and store items above the visual plane.

2. Connect with the outdoors. On a wall with only windows to the outside, try a wall color and window coverings that appear like the outside colors and textures. If your doorway opens to a usable outdoor space, treat it to flooring and furnishings that look like your interior. Clean your windows since grime will cut down incoming light.

Adding a raised desk keeps the floor area open.
Combine spaces. Open adjoining rooms (you do not need to remove walls)  by installing glass, a built-in bookcase with an open back, or a wider pass-through. Remove doors between rooms and leave the passage open. Can you raise or lower a floor area? A loft in a bedroom or sinking a living area will create the illusion of a larger room. Good color choices are another great solution. Sharing colors in adjoining rooms can visually connect and expand them.  Send along your photos and we'll give you on-the-spot solutions for your small space challenges!

4. Let in the light. Install windows above or below cabinets to brighten and make it feel larger. High, narrow windows let in light while maintaining privacy. Transoms on interior bedroom walls or over doorways are great to bring light into rooms. Change window coverings to open weave blinds and fabrics and keep the colors lighter.  Translucence adds privacy but allows light in. Install fabric panels beyond the window frame to make the window look larger.  Can't add windows, try adding 'light boxes', up-light cans behind furniture and plants, and rope type strips under shelves, cabinets and moldings.  
Window sheers bathe this apartment in light.

5. Change the furniture arrangement. Pieces set away from - in lieu of lining - the walls, does make spaces appear larger. Remove pieces that are not useful. If needed, add TALL pieces to bring the eye up.