Design,  Wellbeing

Living in small spaces

Living in small spaces

Small space living does have some advantages, if one looks at it from the financial and environmental perspectives.

  • First it enables you to fill your home with those things that you really need.  By limiting the available space, you can't buy too many stuff.
  • It also ensures that you spend less to heat up your home in winter (assuming that your home is well insulated).

Getting started: the first thing to do when planning to design a small space is to have a good awareness of your home and how much living space is available to you.  This will help you to have a holistic and clear picture of what constitutes as priorities and/or essentials - when choosing furnitures, accessories, etc.  Then you need to work out what is important to you and set priorities as required.  The trick is to ensure that the available space is maximised - with every inch of space accounted for.  This can be achieved by choosing the right furniture, accessories and fixtures.

Adaptability and storage

The concept of  incorporating multi-functional furniture in small space design schemes is a clever strategy for space management.  This will enable you to adapt your space so that different activities can be carried out in one area.

Providing adequate storage is critical to making small spaces liveable.  Again, the trick is to accommodate items that are necessary and to do away with unwanted items.  Avoid purchasing things that you don't really need.

The concept of open plan living

The concept of open plan living in today’s homes, means rooms are more exposed. Since the living room is now just a glance away from the kitchen, it’s important to have a variety of options in materials and colours so that one room doesn’t clash with another.

Buying a new home might mean that you will have to settle for something smaller than your ideal dream home - this calls for creativity when designing the space.  When your home is small, this might mean your living room will serve several purposes - for relaxing, home-working, dining, etc.  It is important to provide an element of separation for all the activities.  Psychological distance can be incorporated using partitions such as screens, clever lightings, furnitures, etc.



Enhancing natural light

The best way to enhance natural light is to incorporate neutral toned surfaces and finishes that are reflective in the interior space - such as mirrors, glass, metallic, etc.  Glass walls, sheer curtains or blinds that are translucent will allow light into the space by blending the internal and external areas.  If you are lucky to have your home with easy connection to spectacular views outside, blurring the boundaries between the outside and inside (with sheer curtains or glass walls) will have a huge impact on spatial quality.

Some excerpts taken form Elizabeth Wilhide's Small Spaces.

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