Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big Ideas for Small Spaces

Small spaces is a big topic right now.  Condos. apartments and town homes are so popular but they do present challenges when it comes to furnishing and decor.  Will I be able to fit my most precious pieces? Will I be able to entertain? What colours work and which don't? How can my space be both beautiful and functional?

Don't worry.  You can achieve all of your wants and needs even in a small space all you need is a plan that includes the right colours, the right furniture scale and placement and the right lighting - all of these elements together can result in the perfect space with big impact.

1-- PLAN.  Before you buy or select anything make sure you sit down with your partner (assuming you live with someone else) and plan out what you want to do with each room.  Discuss goals and priorities for each space plus you also need to discuss your budget!  Put together a master plan of attack for the entire space.

2 -- KICK CONVENTION TO THE CURB. You don't need to have a large sofa for everyone to sit on, think about seating alternative that can serve other purposes for when you are not entertaining.  A big sofa where everyone sits in a row can feel like a waiting room.  Try looking at ottomans, or cubes or chairs that offer some visual interest and can offer other functions too like storage and extra seating when needed. 

3-- TRUE COLOURS. Light colours are the best choices for small spaces - they make any spaces feel larger.  Also think tone on tone, light paint colours, light upholstery and linens but add accents through art and accessories.  With a neutral background, any 'pop' colour will work, so choose what you like.

4 -- OPEN UP.  The farther you can see into and through a space, the larger it feels - so furniture placement is one way to make a space feel larger.  So try not to block traffic flow or windows (as windows make spaces feel bigger too).  Look for furniture that is low and armless (and of course, comfortable too).

5-- LET THERE BE LIGHT.  A dark space feels small too, so let the light in.  Keep window covering light in colour, they don't have to be sheer.  Add pot lights they don't take up a lot of space but can add a lot of light.  Layer your types of lighting so ensure a well lit space.

6-- THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Well placed mirrors are stylish and functional.  A small nook space in a hallway is a great spot for a mirror.  In smaller rooms, like bathrooms look for larger mirrors as they can make any bathroom feel big - builders tend to installer smaller frame less mirrors which aren't as effective.  Glass is another great way to have larger furniture pieces that give the illusion of invisibility.  Because glass is transparent it doesn't seem to take up much space.  I like to use glass for coffee tables and dining tables in condos.

7-- SORRY, SIZE MATTERS.  Just because you are in a small space doesn't mean that everything else has to be small too.  Lots of small things in a space can make a space feel cramped.  In a smaller space, I still like to use really large art pieces.  Keep your furniture to scale so the room doesn't feel stuffed and most retailers are carrying lines of 'apartment' size furniture.  Or try a love seat and add 2 chairs for seating in the living room.  If you want a king size bed, go without a head and foot board (which can add a lot of bulk and they aren't really necessary). 

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