How to Live Comfortably in a Small Home

by Penny Lynch

If you’re living in a small house or flat then making every bit of space count is essential.

When thinking about the layout of your rooms think about what is important to you. For example; do you love to cook, do you like to curl up with a book in a cosy corner, do you like to exercise at home? All questions that will determine the fundamentals of your home.

Use mirrors – in the right place mirrors can give the illusion of space and really open up the room. Placed opposite a window with a view, you’ll instantly bring the outside in.

Mirrors can make a room feel bigger than it is.

Position the biggest, and most important, item in a room first – for example in the bedroom it would be the bed. Positioning that will then dictate where the smaller pieces of furniture will be placed.

Think carefully about storage and use every opportunity to bring in more.  A storage solution with a second function is a win win for smaller homes. A foot stall that opens up for storing blankets, or a bedside table with draws or a cupboard underneath, rather than just a table top. Under-bed storage. Other items you might consider, rather than having a TV console table consider a small sideboard or chest of draws, so that dead space under the TV isn’t wasted.

A coffee table with draws is a smart way of making use of space in a small living room.

If you have a garden or access to outdoor space use it! In the warmer months you are adding a room to your living space and in the colder months you are enhancing the ambiance, especially on a bright winter day.

If you are replacing furniture consider pieces with rounded edges. Living in small spaces with lots of sharp edges can become problematic, especially for small children or those less stable on their feet.

Try to have free-flowing space that will allow the eye to travel right through a small room, making it appear more spacious. It also means that you can move more comfortably through the area.

Choose compact versions of standard-sized furniture and avoid furniture with heavy frames.  Also, sofas with low backs so that slight-lines aren’t blocked.

Caravans have various clever storage solutions and can be a great inspiration for your home.

Adaptable furniture is useful as well. A dining table that flaps out from the wall and dining chairs that fold away, or a sofa bed.

If you’re decorating then consider fresh and neutral colours and nothing too busy.

As with choosing compact furniture also consider compact appliances. Anything from fridges to vacuum cleaners. Check out caravan and boating shops, you’ll be surprised what’s on offer.

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