Whether you are moving into your first solo space or downsizing to a cozy nook, making a small living space work can be tough, especially when it comes to maximizing storage and opening up the flow. You may not have the option to bust out a wall or install more windows. As property managers in Portland and the West Coast, Utopia Management has seen its share of small apartments. They’ve shared with us these clever tips to transform your cozy nook into a functional, comfortable, and organized living space without compromising your security deposit.
This advice may sound like a broken record, but it truly is the best place to start when making a tiny space work. With the downsizing of living space comes the downsize of storage space. Cutting down on possessions and clutter will lead to a much more organized storage system.
Streamline Your Storage Bins
In smaller spaces with limited closets, your storage bins may be out in the open, but people don’t necessarily need to know that what they are looking at is storage.
Utilizing baskets, matching bins, or strategically placed hooks can appear much more attractive and less like, well, storage. Floating cabinets are a great way to implement storage space in a dining nook or in bathrooms. This makes for a decluttered and organized space.
Paint Makes a Difference
Light colors tend to make the space feel bigger and brighter. Colors such as white allow light to bounce while darker colors absorb the light and make it feel cramped. But you certainly don’t have to forgo your creativity with a boring white room! Implementing a fun color and extending it to the ceiling prompts the eye to travel upwards and gives the illusion of a taller and more wide open space because it’s more difficult to pinpoint where the walls start and end. Matching your paint color to a large piece of furniture like a sofa also creates a cohesive feel as your sofa will appear to take up less visual space.
Utilize Storage-Friendly Furniture
Finding a piece of furniture that doubles as storage space is a total score. Ottomans are a great solution to storing pillows and blankets while functioning as additional seating for the living room. A chest can be used as a coffee table while also storing books, vinyls, or even your winter coats. When selecting a bed frame, you can always opt for a frame that comes with drawers below or storage cubbies for baskets. Another helpful feature when selecting furniture for a small space is to choose furniture with legs. This brings it up off of the floor, allowing plenty of room for storage bins to be tucked underneath and out of sight.
Go Vertical and Utilize the Walls
When you are conserving precious floor space in a small layout, mounting can be your best friend. Freeing up floor space makes the room feel less cluttered and appear more open.
Floating shelves and a mounted TV will make all of the difference. And while you’re at it, opting for wall-mounted lighting will offer a sleek profile without taking up a corner of the room.
Divide the Room
Small homes like a studio may require a little visual divider to establish two separate living spaces. While accordion dividers or curtains will certainly do the trick and add texture to the space, you may want to opt-in for something that could offer even more storage.
Bookshelves can act as a wall to separate your sleeping space from your living space, or if you want to keep that open floor plan feel, a double-sided bookshelf will still offer storage without cutting the room in half entirely.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
Multipurpose furniture is perfect for smaller spaces. Placing a small dresser at the entry way is a perfect console for keys or sunglasses while also storing items like shopping bags, umbrellas, and purses.
Ottomans can also act as a sneaky little storage space, as mentioned above, while also tripling as additional seating, or if you place a tray on it, you’ve got a coffee table. Benches are also a great option in dining rooms since they can seat more people but then get tucked away beneath the table when not in use.
Select the Right Decor for the Space
Welcoming in the light by keeping windows open or installing sheer curtains can brighten and widen the space naturally. If natural light is scarce, mirrors can do wonders by reflecting light around the room, which gives the illusion of a bigger space. Choosing the right rug to accent a room can also make a major difference. A large area rug will make the room feel bigger and draw the eye wider. Rugs can also be a nice way to break up single-room spaces such as studios.
Tiny spaces, though small, can pack a ton of personality and functionality given the opportunity!