Small houses are charming but challenging. Growing families, couples who love antiquing, and merging households find they need more room for themselves and their possessions. Here are some suggestions on how to maximize living space in your home.
Wall Mounted T.V.
T.V. tables and stands take up floor space. Wall mounting your television frees up that space and makes your room look bigger.
Stackable Washer/Dryer Combo
Save space in the laundry area by using a stackable washer/dryer combination. They take up far less space and leave more room for a folding table and laundry cart.
Evict the dust bunnies and use the space under couches and beds as storage. Stow out-of-season clothing in plastic boxes or bags, keeping them unseen under furniture until needed.
Multi-purpose furniture, such as ottomans that open to provide storage, or side tables with drawers and shelves, help keep things organized and reduce clutter.
The oldest trick in the interior designer book is that using mirrors strategically can make rooms seem bigger. Additionally, doors with windows between rooms allow light to travel through. If your home structure allows, try using pocket doors that disappear into the wall when opened.
The more you put on the wall, the less floor space you consume. Rather than floor or table lamps, use wall sconces for lighting where you can.
Use a Few Large Pieces, Not Several Small Ones
Although you wouldn’t think so, a scattering of many small pieces of furniture can make a room seem smaller. One statement couch, and end table and a side chair, atop a space-defining rug, will make your living room seem bigger and airier.
Downsize the Dining Table
Think about how often you need to seat more than four to six people for a meal. A round table creates space where the squared edges of a rectangular one used to be. Consider a drop-leaf table if you’ll only need to expand occasionally to accommodate guests.
Use Light, Neutral Colors on the Walls
Lighter colors make a room look larger and cleaner. Use color wisely and sparingly in smaller spaces. A few accent pieces or pillows can add a pop of color without overwhelming the room.
Create Vertical Interest
Bookcases that extend to the ceiling, art mounted above eye level, and long curtains draw the eye up. This makes your rooms look taller.
Critique Your Designs
Go over your possessions with a critical eye. Furniture you’re keeping strictly for sentimental value can go in storage. Sell other pieces you don’t use regularly or don’t need anymore.
If your home is truly bursting at the seams, but you can’t or don’t want to move, consider a home addition. To make the most of your living space, you could bump out or up. Use a licensed contractor with great references and insurance. That way, you’ll ensure compliance with building codes and structural integrity with a result that gets you the space you need.