A well-designed plan avoids clutter
Small space living can be wonderful, but it does require some creative thinking. While you may feel that you have compromised on your square footage, this doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style, comfort or the functionality of your home.
Our clients reached out to us shortly after moving into their new condo in the heart of the city. Falling in love with the unit’s massive amount of natural light and a fantastic location was easy, but making this small space feel inviting and functional proved to be a bit of a challenge.
There are many tricks of the trade that can be implemented when designing for small space living. We started with a calm colour on all the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin, which is very light and airy, nowhere near as stark as a white can be. Keeping the rooms consistent and even toned can trick the eye into believing they are actually more spacious, while adding punches of colour and texture keeps it from appearing flat and ordinary. We accented the small, open concept living room with a simple, well-scaled, sofa and introduced these small, but beautiful caned chairs for extra seating and great texture. A glass waterfall coffee table was the perfect piece to complement this space. I love using glass in small spaces, especially when you are afforded so much natural light. It’s a great way to keep the light moving throughout and emphasize the spaciousness of your room.
In the adjacent dining room, we repurposed the client’s existing dining table, adding some freshness to it with new upholstered dining chairs. We designed a custom built-in bar which not only provided much needed extra storage, but also camouflaged an unsightly wall of oddly positioned bulkheads and alcoves that at first glance made the space appear much smaller than it really was.
We continued the soft shades of blues and greys into the kitchen, highlighting the simple white cabinetry with a beautiful eye-catching, yet calm, marble backsplash and then punching it up with black pendant lights.
Another little space-saving trick for small spaces is to use pocket doors instead of swing doors. In this condo, we opted to further enhancing the space by adding a barn door. Not only did it afford us much needed space for storage in the master bedroom, it also created a great focal point in a rather long, narrow and uninspiring hallway.
Small space living can be fabulous, stylish and inviting. However, the key is to have a well-designed plan, well curated pieces that complement the space and functional storage to avoid clutter. With this in mind, you are on your way to creating the “small space” home of your dreams.
Some tips to get you started:
- Edit and de-clutter, one of the first things that makes a space appear small is clutter. Make sure you have functional storage and a proper space for everything.
- Multi-functional furniture is a great asset in a small space, a coffee table that converts to a desk, or shelving with a hidden desk for example; select wisely and make every piece count.
- Think vertically to maximize storage and not lose valuable square footage on the floor.
- Don’t clutter the floor space with a mish-mash of small furniture pieces, selecting a few well-scaled pieces or even an oversized piece can actually make the room feel larger.
Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.
With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.