Home Experts: Local News
Small Space BIG Style
Creative and stylish solutions for those small living spaces
Story Updated: Jul 25, 2012
Those who follow the trends in home design are well aware of the craze for mega-sized rooms. Those grand spaces can be, well, grand, yet even people with large homes gravitate toward small, cozy places tucked into them. And when a small space sparkles with both efficiency and style, it’s all the more inviting.
Squeezing everything into the design of a small space can be challenging, though, and it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. We tapped some expert designers for tips on creativity and style to make the most of those size-challenged quarters.
When it comes to a small space, the key is making room. Successful styling starts from the ground up, so keep an open layout in mind when designing or renovating small real estate.
Built-in storage, including window seats, closets and bookshelves can enhance an open layout by minimizing the amount of furniture necessary.
“Small spaces benefit most from carefully planned built-ins,” says Catherine Call, of Blue Sky Studios.
Although a room may lack square footage, any space that’s open will appear larger.
Architectural elements such as windows or French pocket doors allow small spaces to steal the feel of extra square footage from the landscape or other rooms, by giving a view and letting in light.
“Small spaces can feel bigger if they connect visually to other rooms and to the landscape,” Call points out.
Another way to build the illusion of more space is to eliminate or downsize walls to create conjoining rooms.
Maintain consistent flooring between adjacent rooms to keep the visual flow, advises Jeremy Bauer, of Bauer/Clifton Interiors.
“Transitioning from one flooring material to another creates a division within any space and automatically stops the eye from ‘borrowing’ space from one room into another,” Bauer explains.
Less is More
Alaska’s great outdoors often require great amounts of gear, and as a result, high traffic areas like the entryway often end up looking like a backed-up parking lot. Keep traffic flowing by condensing your clutter and integrating smart storage solutions.
“Aggressive ‘stuff’ management helps with creating an appealing environment, whatever the style of the décor,” says Call.
Drastic downsizing does wonders for small spaces. When forced to prioritize your belongings, you’ll be surprised at how many unused items compromise the small amount of space available.
Bauer notes, “Most people find that they end up with much more space than they ever dreamed of after selling or donating all of their mismatched and unused items.”
For those other items you can’t bear to part with, contain clutter by storage choices. From shelving and cabinets to shoe racks and CD/DVD storage cases, today’s home décor industry offers a wide variety of clever storage options that are aesthetically appealing as well.
To make every inch count, incorporate multi-tasking furniture that balances function with fashion.