As everyone battles to save pennies more people are staying put rather than upsizing. If you’re finding yourself squeezed for space, fret not, there are loads of quick tips that should help push the dimensions in order to swing the proverbial cat. Here’s our guide to thrifty living for small spaces.
Tiny living spaces demand tidy living habits – sit down, have a cuppa and assess your everyday routines. Being organised enough to tidy as you go means an easier, calmer life in the long run. But this does demand creating a ‘home’ for everything.
Compartmentalising everything helps keep precious floor and surface space free – built in cupboards are a great way of maximising on space and tight corners. Boxing off lost space, like under the stairs, offers valuable storage for everyday necessities, including vacuum cleaners, brooms, coats and shoes.
Sift and sort through your belongings – especially paperwork, which has a tendency to swiftly build into small, unstable mountains. A formal filing cabinet is a good way to keep everything in order on a daily basis – though an annual ‘spring clean’ will be in order to shed excess hoarding. The same goes for clothes, books, music, toiletries, canned food etc.
Tiny living spaces also demand a creative take on furnishings – the huge popular sofas and dining room sets are just not practical in space squeezed apartments. But this doesn’t mean going without. Intelligent interior design has turned its hand to compact interiors and created not just practical, but innovative and beautiful solutions.
Modern chaise lounges are the perfect solution for small living areas – generally petit in design they offer the option of drop arms, which help increase the space of the sitting area when needed and are usable visitor beds for the odd night or two. Floor cushions can also be a good way to accommodate extra guests; whilst they will take up space they can be stacked when not in use.
Dining areas are often the first thing to disappear down the sacrificial shoot in small living spaces, but balancing dinner on your knees doesn’t have to be the only way forward. Key retailers manufacture slim tables – some even attach to the wall with a hinge and can be folded down when not in use. Dining chairs should also be of a folding or stacking variety, and there are loads of these on the market, right the way through the ages from the Ercol butterfly designs of the ‘60’s through to modern day.
The other key tip to compact living is to make use of all of the space you have – if you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings fit a mezzanine level or blank off to create loft space; fit shelving and cupboards right up to the ceilings; and look for furniture designs that offer storage from the floor up – rather than standing on legs.