8 ways to maximise your space
Just told friends you’re moving to the big city to pursue your life long ambitions? ‘Oh how glamorous!’, they exclaim. ‘I’m so jealous, you’ll be living the dream!’
In many ways yes, living under big city lights fills us with so much hope and joy …and in other ways it makes us want to die a little bit inside, because what our friends don’t know is that we can only afford to live in the tiniest of flats. Seriously miniscule.
However, there are 10 very simple things you can do to maximise the space you’ve got to work with; follow our advice and you can get yourself back to living that dream!
1. See the light
Enhancing natural light is the single most important base on which to build an amazing space. It creates a sense of openness and proportion as well as lifting shadows and injecting vibrancy in to colours. Go all out: maximise all available light with clever positioning of mirrors, pale woods and metals, which’ll all help reflect the light around the room.
2. Use colours
If the above doesn’t apply because you just don’t have access to large amounts of natural light (and in cramped city flats that’s a hugely realistic possibility!) then colours will be your best friend. Pick a light, bright, energetic colour or wallpaper for a feature wall!
3. Get savvy with storage
The annoying difference between an exhibition room and your own home is that exhibition rooms don’t account for actually being lived in and thus have a distinct lack of life’s general clutter. Nabru understands the problem all too well: ‘the number one reason why many people don’t have much living space is because they have given it away to clutter. Look around your rooms. Unknowingly, you’ve probably built up piles of clutter while telling yourself they’re organised piles that you ‘need.’’ Yep, we’ve all been there! So be creative (and brutal) with the floor space available to you; do you really need two bedside tables and two wardrobes?
4. Think about furniture shape
Large, round shapes need to be handled with particular care. Sure, it worked for King Arthur but his round table was not in a tiny city apartment, was it? They eat up an unnecessary amount of space. Approach chairs with wide legs with similar trepidation. Having said that, there are a few exceptions to the rule, like these fantastic space-saving and multifunctional pieces!
5. Multifunctional living
At the heart of compact living is the ability to squeeze everything that isn’t completely necessary from your available space. We know, you just want your apartment to be a place for parties and relaxation, but unfortunately functionality has to be your top priority! It can be more fun than it sounds though, promise. Using a sofa bed or under bed storage is a good first step, but that’s just the beginning; it’s about applying imagination! Matroshka Furniture is a Swedish company doing just that with its living room, dining room, bedroom all-in-one designs.
Once you’ve got your imagination focused on the challenge there’ll be no stopping you – check out this chair by Italian armchair design company Nobody&Co, which’ll combine your love of books, magazines and sitting all in to one!
6. Retain and inject character
Ensuring that you retain the original character of a space is key to ensuring that the final design works with the existing lines, rather than against them. We so love what’s been done with this Airstream! The warm flooring juxtaposes the famous metal shell exterior and reflects the internal ceiling lights to create a gorgeous warm and inviting space.
We’re also completely obsessed with this amazing kitchen, and would probably opt for something similar even if we did have more space!
7. Acknowledge negative space
Carefully controlling areas of ‘action’ and ‘rest’ ensures overall cohesion and balance. No idea what we’re on about? The bookshelves below are all at a height that’s immediately accessible and allows the top half of the room the purpose of allowing the white to come through and bathe the room in light. Got it?
8. The best things come in small packages
There are some really fantastic tiny innovations available, designed to help people maximise their space. This amazing little kitchen from French manufacturer Kitchoo, is a very novel (and practical) example of how to squeeze everything in to a small space.