Oh, the joys of a little cosy space , that´s what many of us think when settling, be it alone or with a partner in a new abode.
Those joys start turning into oh nos when you can´t seem to fit all your clothes into the tiny wardrobe and your books are scattered all over the place from window sills to chairs for a lack of shelves.
But the worst is yet to come, you stop putting up a decent Christmas tree and you resort to the 10 cm tall tree you can hardly see on your jammed counter top.
Oh, the joys…
when your friends stop coming round because they can´t even find a place to sit, no, the floor is not an option any more, that has been colonised by toys.
Because that little love nest has welcomed new inhabitants.
What was seemingly the perfect home for the first few years (until you moved to the suburbs) becomes the worst nightmare for years on end…
So in order to help you cope and remain sane, that is, if you were ever sane before, these 5 tips will make your small space feel and look that bit bigger.
Although it seems obvious, I cannot count the times I have had to make this the first step in any of my projects. There is absolutely no way you can fit new things in (be it on a physical or emotional level) before you create the space for them. If you would like to learn my D-S-S system to de-clutter (I had a tendency to hoard onto memories, so I know what I am talking about), make sure you follow my profile because I will be writing about it next time.
Here´s a few tips to get you started:
1- Decide on an area — — — — -> Start small : a drawer, a shelf, a small table.
2- Dump what you don´t use and what doesn’t represent your life now. (Yes, all those “Take that” pictures…)
3- Keep what you use, what you love and what adds to your home. (Crap goes, quality stays).
IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL SO MUCH LIGHTER (LITERALLY!)
Keep walls and curtains light and similar in colour, that way you won´t be breaking any visual lines and the space will look bigger.
Light colours are not necessarily whites (yes, there is more than just one white) , you can opt for the lightest shade of blue, brown, grey…any colour as long as it is the lightest version of it.
If you like colour, keep it down to a minimum, just a few accents here and there.
Lower furniture, especially up to a height of 90 cm (35 inches) will make your ceilings look higher.
The more wall you can see, the taller the room feels.
Avoid tall cabinets and shelving as they will make the room looked cramped. If you do have tall furniture, keep it as lightly filled as possible. Leaving empty spaces will relieve the space visually. Good styling truly helps in this case. (More on that in future features).
When choosing furniture, go for light shades, white if possible. Combine shiny and matte finishes for an interesting look. Note that shiny requires more care, you will have to clean more often so keep it to surfaces and objects that are not in constant use.
Think lighter objects, visually lighter.
Open weave as opposed to compact.
Think Eiffel Tower instead of Trajan´s column.
The openness won´t congest the space as it visually fills it less.
Use mirrors and mirror finish (light reflecting) accessories.
Opt for tall thin shapes over short stout ones. Think coffee pot over tea pot.
Drapes if you are from the US!
Hang curtains as high up as you can. This is actually what I do in all my projects no matter how big a room is.
It will immediately make your ceiling look higher, elongating the walls too.
So many people get this wrong, they hang their curtains just over the window and it doesn’t do anything for the room. Try it, you will see what a difference it makes.
As to the length, take them at least all the way down to the floor, actually touching the floor. Despite loving the puddled effect myself (when curtains are extra long and sit puddled on the floor), I do not recommend this for smaller rooms. But taking them all the way down until they slightly touch the floor will make the room look higher.
I would love to hear if any of these tips make you fall in love with your little cosy space again.
Originally published at medium.com