What is just now gaining traction in North America is a trend that has been happening in Europe for years. The need for housing coupled with the downward economy is causing homebuilders to cave-in to the demand for smaller living spaces.
Living small does not mean one has to sacrifice style or comfort; manufactures of furniture and appliances are stepping up with smaller, economic and eco-friendly furniture as well as dual-use appliances that save energy.
Murphy beds have been around since the 1900’s and have come a long way from the uncomfortable fold down beds you may remember. They are now highly customizable and available with regular sized mattresses that can pivot up and disappear when not in use. Other pieces of furniture that would work well in a smaller space include nesting tables that can be used as a coffee table, end tables, or a night stand. Tables are available that are made to double as a bike rack by turning them on their side, and there are even chairs that can be placed together like puzzle pieces and configured into a table.
Dual use furniture is one of the best ways to make the most of a small space, such as using a dining table as a desk. There is one piece of furniture that acts as a side table for keys and knick-knacks, and then can be stretched out to a large dining table that can accommodate up to 12 guests. There’s a sofa that can be turned into bunk beds, ottomans that can double as storage areas, and a simple book shelf can do double duty as a room divider. The tried and true futon is not the hard, uncomfortable piece of furniture of days gone past. Modern futons are easy to set up and can convert to a comfortable bed when needed.
Color plays a large part in determining how your space feels, as dark colors can make a space feel smaller than it actually is. Using a light color throughout the space will make the room seem larger and brighter. Using the same color family from the floor to the ceiling will keep the eye moving and create the illusion of a spacious room.
Embracing a bit of minimalism is good for a small space; ensure that the pieces chosen for a space have a reason to be there. Too much clutter of furniture or knick-knacks can make a room feel smaller and even cause stress. Because a smaller space will need less furniture investing in high-quality pieces will be easier and much more cost effective, with the added bonus that they can also be used in a larger space when and if the time comes to move.
Living in a smaller space with less furniture and clutter can enable one to save more money towards an emergency fund or retirement. Creating a space that reflects your personality is not hard to do in a small space, it just takes a bit of imagination.
How Young Canadians Are Making The Most Of Shrinking Condo Spaces Credit Picture License: Andypiper via photopin cc