Like what hoa said in her comment here, condo spaces are becoming smaller and smaller. The average size of a studio unit is around 30-40 square meters, but can go as small as 20 square meters. As the space becomes more compact, it’s much more challenging to fit everything in and make your space look and feel comfortable. Here are some ideas to help you make the most out of a small space.
1) GET REAL!
Before you start doing or buying anything, you have to re-assess your lifestyle in the light of your small living space. A small space will require you to sort of have a lifestyle change. You can’t expect all of your belongings from a 100++ square meter home fit a 40 square meter studio without looking like a storage room. This means, take only those that are essential. When you want to buy something new, you have to give-up something to make room for it.
2) THINK MORE-IN-ONE
When buying furniture, incorporate pieces that have multifunctional features—an ottoman with storage which can be used as a coffee table, an occasional seat for the living area, an additional seat for the dining table and, for some models, a single foldaway bed (check Dimensione).
3) BE CREATIVE!
Storage doesn’t only come in the form of built-ins. You don’t want to fill your space with built-in cabinets because this will make your interiors look more like a walk-in closet or a pantry than a home. Be discreet with your storage. Consider fitting large drawers under your bed frame and using seats (stool, ottoman, and even upholstered sofa) with hidden storage. Maximize small corners. Instead of an end table, consider a slim chest of drawers which has more storage space. Above all, take only what is essential (see #1).
4) OPTICAL ILLUSIONS
How to make your small space look bigger? First, simplify interior elements to minimize visual clutter. Use less color contrasts (go monochromatic), less details, and less number of furniture. If you want color and details, limit them to just a couple of accent pieces.
Second, maintain an open plan layout. Avoid using dividers or screens because they just chop your small space into several minute spaces. Instead, define areas by arranging your furniture into groups and adding an element that will emphasize their centers such as an area rug or a pendant lamp.
Third, blur elements that signal boundaries/space limits such as walls, corners, and edges (photos above). Choose accent lighting over general overhead lighting. Accent lamps create a play of light and shadow that create depth, while general lighting make everything visible, and accentuating all four walls and corners of your little space. Add depth to walls by placing a large mirror, especially the tall kind (door height), that seem to create a door on the wall leading to a different room.
5) BE TRANSPARENT
Avoid bulky-looking furniture and add depth to a space by going for “transparent” pieces—a dining table with a clear glass top, chairs with a see-through backrest, and buffet cabinets with frosted glass doors.
6) ADD TEXTURE NOT CLUTTER
While it is encouraged to keep interior elements simple, you are not discouraged to give your space a theme and personality. Decorate with your belongings. If you love reading, use your books to decorate your shelves (top image).
Combine surface materials and introduce simple accent prints so your interiors won’t look dull and boring. Natural texture is not limited to wood. Indigenous materials (below) such as coco shell, crushed bamboo, buri, rattan, and abaca, blend well with wood. Use them for accent pieces if you want to maintain a clean modern look. Combine these with metallic accents to add a “kick” and to avoid monotony.
7) RENDER YOUR SPACE WITH LIFE
Use plants for decorating (above). Apart from adding color and texture to your interior, plants help clean your indoor air. For those who do not have a balcony where you can occasionally expose your plants to sunlight, choose plants that can tolerate low light levels. Examples of low maintenance indoor plants (based on my experience) are sanseviera, yellow water plant, some types of bromeliads, and dracaena.
Tags: condo living, decluttering, decorating tips, diy, interior design, organizing, small space
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself | 3 Comments »