Tips and tricks to make your space feel a little bigger
By Megan Wild (follow Megan on Twitter @Megan_Wild)
Living in a tiny flat or just a room in London can bring a series of challenges. Where – for example – are people going to sit when they come over? Two’s a crowd, so that third person better sit on the coffee table when tea is served.
Flats are notorious for their space issues. Though economical, it may seem that choosing for price means sacrificing some comforts and compromising on the few left to be had.
This article serves to tell you that there is hope out there for those of you who can walk from one end of your flat to the other in just a few seconds. By utilizing these five flat hacks and space-saving techniques, you can make the most of your space and turn your flat into a practical – yet comfortable – living area.
#1 Use Optical Illusions
You can trick your eye into looking at a space differently. To expand the look and feel of your flat, consider the optical illusions that are created when reflecting lights off a large mirror. The mirror makes the room look bigger, and the lights lend the space a bright and airy feel. Focus on getting as much natural light into the room as possible by pulling back curtains or ditching them altogether.
Besides, this way you won’t even have to turn on the the tele to check out the news, you’ll just be able to look outside for your London forecast. And don’t fret about higher utility bills when you do this, if your walls have the proper insulation you’ll barely notice the difference. Hanging curtains at the top of the wall can also trick the eye and give the illusion of height. Use the same idea when putting together storage: Go vertical.
#2 Bring in Bigger Furniture
Though this may seem the opposite of what you should do, bringing in larger furniture can actually give the room the appearance that it can handle the pieces. Just do so carefully. Use large furniture for items such as a couch or your bed, which will give you plenty of space for relaxing and rejuvenating.
When you choose your accent furniture, make sure they’re not cramping the remaining area. It’s always a good idea to know your total area before shopping and to have moving help ready to go if you make a purchase. That couch isn’t going to get itself up to your flat walking on its own two legs (though that would be nice)!
#3 Divide the Space
Flats and studio apartments often have open floor plans. This can create an issue as you try to separate your living and sleeping quarters. To do this, divide the space into sections. Whether you do so with actual room dividers, area rugs or through the use of color, creating zones can be helpful in giving the perks of separate spaces.
If you choose to use a rug or table, the main benefit is that it keeps the continuity that makes flats and open-concept floor plans so appealing. And let’s face it, room dividers don’t do much, and you’d rather spend the money at the local pub with your mates. Or stop at the McD’s if you’re feeling peckish.
#4 Choose Multifunctional Pieces
Maximize space by choosing furniture pieces that have multiple functions. Drop-leaf tables can act as a side table, as well as a dining space. Open shelving can establish zones while holding your book collection. Stackable seats may be great for more seating, but they are also functional as coffee or end tables.
However you do it, think outside the box when choosing furniture that is both attractive and multifunctional. This means that you probably won’t have room for that bar you’ve been eyeing for who knows how long. That’s okay though, you’ll make do.
#5 Make Do With Less
This may be hard to hear, but doing with less means there’s less to do with. In other words, spend some time purging items in your flat that aren’t functional and have no sentimental value to you. Do you really need that Doctor Who tea kettle? Probably not.
Marie Kondo made a big wave in Western thinking by proposing that the stuff surrounding us should either bring joy or hit the road. This philosophy has led many to appreciate the value of decluttering. It may help you out, too.
You may have a space that seems a bit small, maybe even humorously cramped. And unfortunately, unlike Mary Poppins bag, our room doesn’t magically grow to accommodate what we toss in there. Make the most of your flat by using these hacks to maximize your small space. So here’s to us, may our square metres be small, but our hopes high.
Megan Wild is a home decor specialist who loves to help people make the most of their home. Check out her blog, Your Wild Home, for more ideas.