Small homes can be cozy, comfortable, and cheerful hideaways. They can also be cluttered, cramped and confining. If you find yourself nodding furiously at the later description, it is definitely time for a makeover! Lack of space is not an insurmountable barrier to achieving your dream home. Rather, see it as an opportunity to be creative and devise some ingenious renovations that effectively utilize the space that you do have.
The fantastic thing about small spaces is that they force you to find clever solutions, especially regarding storage (there never seems to be enough space to store fishing rods and those hundreds of pairs of shoes). Remodelling a small home requires prior planning, innovative thinking, and a little inspiration, so here are some crafty ideas for transforming your home into a functional and versatile space bubbling with personality. Are you up for the challenge?
Clutter fills up any space, large or small. Luckily, there are plenty of ingenious renovation ideas that will help keep your home looking organised and spacious. Consider installing shelves and rotating cupboards in corners, or adding a bathroom cabinet to the wall. In the kitchen, you can hang pots on the wall or from the ceiling. Drawers under the bed are always a winner, and this crafty storage space can be extended further by raising the bed up on a plinth or platform.
Between trays of freshly baked cookies and stacks of dishes, you are probably fed up with always running out of bench space. Roll-out cupboards and slide-out chopping boards offer extra bench space in an instant, just one of many fantastic small kitchen ideas.
Brighter lighting makes rooms and hallways seem bigger and more spacious. Mirrors are an easy addition to any décor that will enhance your lighting scheme, and add a whole extra dimension to small spaces.
This is also the opportune moment to replace those tatty old curtains. Blinds are a stylish and modern option that can let in light while retaining your privacy. There are many designs and materials available depending on the style of your home and personal preferences, including fabric roller blinds and venetian blinds made from wood, synthetic wood or aluminium.
Accordion glass windows and doors
Indoor-outdoor flow is all the rage at the moment, and for a good reason. Sliding doors open up a room so outdoor spaces can become a functional and easily accessible area. Windows let natural light flood in, making indoor settings feel light and airy. Play around with shapes and styles to see what works best in your home.
Skylights and glass ceilings
Who said glass ceilings were a bad thing? Remaining on the theme of lighting for one last remodelling idea, consider installing windows in your ceiling. Sunroofs bring the warmth and light of sunshine into your home, while at night you can stargaze from the cosy comfort of your bed. For those dark and awkward areas, solar tubes may also provide a practical and affordable solution.
One of the smartest ways to get the most out of a small home is to design multi-purpose rooms. For example, your living room could double as a guest room by replacing your regular couch with a futon or convertible sofa bed. Or, your guest room may also act as a home office with the addition of a stylish desk and comfortable chair. If you are really short on space, investigate using fold-away furniture.
Transform those little, awkward spaces
What hides in your closet? A desk, laptop station, or perhaps a laundry? Utilize even the smallest of spaces and convert nooks and crannies into productive hideaways, with the option to literally close the door to conceal that washing pile.
Not just Harry Potter’s bedroom, the space beneath stairwells can be transformed into a mini-library, wine cellar, shoe rack, or general storage space by simply installing shelving. Add some cushions and a lamp, and you have your own personal hideaway to escape to with a book and cup of hot chocolate (with those all-important drawers for storage underneath, of course).
Have you figured out the main theme of this post yet? Utilize every space available, including using that space above a stairwell and making the most of high ceilings if you have them. Lofts can either be used for storage, an extra bedroom, reading space, or a playroom.
A final note on color
Colour schemes can play a fundamental role in creating atmosphere and mood. Dark colours tend to make rooms feel small, gloomy and enclosed. Conversely, light coloured walls and furnishings open up rooms, bringing a fresh and spacious feel to your home. The same rule applies to floors and ceilings, so stick with light, neutral colours for these areas.
Don’t worry – bright, bold colours and intricate patterns have an important role to play in small homes. Too many colours or complicated patterns can be overwhelming in a small space. However, when chosen carefully, bold trim, bright-coloured furnishings, a patterned rug or a cheerful piece of art will add character and personality and is easy to accomplish on a budget. Lastly, colours and themes that link throughout the house can achieve a sense of flow, aiding in your quest to fit a big heart into a small space.
Sofia Lockett is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. She is passionate about travel, interior design, and home trends. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her checking out the latest design news and blogs. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr.