My last post posed the question does a small house make for a big life? The response I got to this post was great and so I think I will try to expand on it a bit. For today’s thought I would like to discuss how to love your small space. I think that the key to loving a small space is making it work for you. I am reminded of a very tiny apartment my husband and I lived in when we were in college. It must have been only about 600 sf, one bedroom, one bath, a teeny tiny living space and dining space but it was indeed a cozy little home. The key to getting this tiny space to work for us can be summed up in these five tips:
1. declutter- get down to the necessities: in a small space, organization is key. Purge your spaces of anything and everything unwanted, unuseful and that you have outgrown physically (like clothes) or mentally (like that ugly lamp you truly hate but it was an impulse buy). A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in a year, you may not need it anymore. Besides, there are probably people out there that need it more than you.
2. create getaways- if you are living in a very small space it will be important to create a few personal getaways. If you have a small window balcony or a patio garden utilize it by making a comfy place to sit and read or work. An outdoor space can be a great way to recharge but if you don’t have one, try to bring the outdoors in by incorporating plenty of plants and natural elements into your decor and art. Additionally, try to use light-colored fabrics and paint selections to create a calm, relaxing space in your bathroom and bedroom.
3. catch your own eye- decorate your home with things that are eye-catching to you, particularly graphically. In a past post I have introduced some of the basics of choosing a statement piece for a room but I also encourage decorating with items that are special to you. For instance, if you love cooking, line up your counter with tons of different cookbooks and let the bindings add to the color and theme of your kitchen. If you have a special art print that you got while on vacation, mat and frame it so that you can see it often when you walk in your front door. In a small space, a little personalization can be momentous.
4. have fun on hand- in a small space it is also important to have ease while entertaining. I like to stow games in an easy go-to place right off of our dining area… having them visible gives guests a sense of a relaxed environment that my husband and I prefer, plus it makes finding something to do a breeze. In a small space you also may not have a dedicated bar or entertaining area so it is important to have drink selections and a variety of different glasses on hand. decorating with these essential items can actually be fun and inviting to guests, it will give them a sense of your entertainment style.
5. create flexible spaces- finally, it is extremely important in small spaces to make your spaces as flexible as possible. Can a closet double as a storage space and a desk nook area if the doors are removed? Is your dining area flexible enough to accommodate two- six people with a few extra chairs? Can you create two spaces out of one if you separate your couch and a few arm chairs with a small table? These are just some of the things to examine when making use of a small space.