While previous generations believed that bigger was better when it came to property, today’s younger homeowners have embraced a minimalist approach. With real estate values and wages uncertain and environmental concerns at the forefront of millennials’ minds, smaller homes have become increasingly desirable.
USA Today states that, some 10,000 American families live in homes no larger than 400 square feet, up from just a couple hundred families five years ago.
This beautifully decorated home is even smaller, measuring a total of 250 square feet! Whether your home is truly tiny or just on the small side, there are probably parts of it that you’d like to have appear a little roomier. We’ve handpicked the best small space solutions to make the most of the space you have.
1. Mirror, Mirror
You use a mirror to make sure you look presentable before headin’ out the door. But did you know that mirrors can make a cramped room seem more expansive?
This trick works by reflecting back the space you already have to make it seem twice as big, and has been featured in publications like Houzz and Apartment Therapy.
Even in a beautifully designed small home, narrow hallways tend to appear cramped. Mirrors are an easy way to “open up” the space. To add more personality, check out vintage shops and Etsy for unique mirror frames and styles.
2. Stealthy Storage
Nothing shrinks your space like clutter.
Unfortunately, living in a small space doesn’t always mean you can live with a minimum of stuff. Take advantage of creative storage solutions to use every inch to the fullest.
For instance, you could create a shoe rack in the space under your staircase to stash your bags and shoes. Don’t your most comfortable work boots deserve a space where no one’s going to trip over them?
Wall storage is another underrated way to make the most of a space. If you have attractive cookware, like cast iron or copper, you can hang them on your kitchen and dining room walls to save that valuable kitchen space. Place hangers inside cabinet doors, too, to stash pot lids, cleaning supplies and more.
3. Accent the Positive
Want to give a small room a sense of depth? An “accent wall,” or feature wall, is a great way to draw the eye into the room, making it appear larger. Simply choose the wall that’s furthest away from the entry into the room, and paint it in a brighter color that contrasts with the main color of the room.
For example, a room could be mostly sky blue with a bright French blue accent wall, or mostly ivory with a sunny yellow accent.
Coordinating a few accent pieces in the room, like a modern indoor fireplace or vases and lamps, with the brighter color can help create an interesting line of sight. By encouraging the eye to move around the room more, this adds to the impression of a larger room with a richer visual style.
To take this concept to the next level, don’t just add color — add texture. A natural brick or stone wall makes a great feature in a small space, but if you don’t have one, you can fake texture with wallpaper or decals, or paint on an eye-catching design instead of just a solid color. Sponge painting one contrasting color over another is an easy and cheap way to add visual interest.
4. Raise the Roof
You can’t actually make your ceilings higher without a full renovation. But you can make them look higher by using small space solutions to emphasize the vertical aspect of your space. To make everyone feel like they have a little more headroom, try adding a tall, narrow bookcase or two, extending all the way up to the ceiling.
This works the same way that wearing vertical stripes to look thinner works; it keeps the eye moving up and down instead of from side to side.
A slightly more involved way to create that high-ceiling look is to add wooden molding to your walls for a DIY chair rail. This is an ideal solution for a more formal space like a dining room. Visually “breaking up” the walls into different colors and textures makes them look taller and a whole lot classier.
5. Lighten Up
Finally, this may be the simplest trick of all time for owners of small homes. To make your space seem bigger and more open, decorate in lighter colors.
Dark jewel tones can be gorgeous, but they absorb more light, making the space seem more closed up. Going with light, airy colors and fabrics enhances the appearance of natural light and open space. Pale blues are especially effective, because they evoke the wide-open sky.
Whether you live in a tiny house, a studio apartment, or any home that can be a tight fit, these small space solutions can help you make the most of the space you have. Yes, you can choose a practical, sustainable home and still fill it with open, airy spaces. Be sure to add your own personal touches and have fun! And if you want even more small place solutions, check out these twenty five interior design tips for small spaces.