Space optimising is one of those life skills that we always want to perfect and thankfully, we think we have enough fantastic inspiration at hand to do exactly that. Whether you have a small home or a bigger house with lots of people in it, knowing how you can get the most from your interior spaces is vital and makes for a far happier and more productive life.
We aren't just talking about clever storage, although that is a factor; we are looking at a much bigger picture, with colours and textures all playing an important role too, so if you are looking for a way to get the most from a small home, take a look at our tips for mastering space optimising and see what you can do!
In a small home it's important to make sure that any communal areas have continuity with others. What we mean by this, is choosing a decor style that you can easily put into place in say your kitchen as well as your bathroom, as the comparative styling will help trick your mind into thinking of them as one large, combined area.
Space optimising relies of perception, so if you can keep decor schemes nice and neutral throughout your home, just like this one from Basch Architects, you will have a far greater chance of making your home feel larger and more open.
A tried and tested method for space optimising, using white as your main colour scheme will certainly help to make walls and rooms in general feel much more airy and spacious! Don't be fooled into thinking that you can't have any colour at all though, as accents of bright shades will help to actually accentuate the effect of the white.
Take a look at this kitchen. It feels like a decent size, doesn't it, but in reality it is fairly small and simply decorated and accessorised cleverly. We do like those colourful framed pictures that add a nice contrast too!
If you don't have a large footprint to play with, sometimes you need to start looking upwards for inspiration! Though bookcases and sideboards are a common inclusion in many homes, they take up such enormous amounts of space that rooms feel far smaller, so we think that space optimising techniques don't get much simpler than adding shelves to your walls.
The illusion of a free and empty floor that wall shelves incite will make any room feel far larger and you can still display all your favourite trinkets. What a win-win solution!
When you are trying to master space optimising techniques, have a think about the textures that you are using, as striated lines can most certainly be your friend! To create a room that feels far larger than it actually is, using materials that have a horizontal stripe to them will widen the perceived width of the room.
Take a look at this living room. The stone wall is making the space feel extremely wide, when in reality, it is a small lounge. Similarly, if you were to use vertical textures, rooms would feel much taller. The wall in this picture is such a statement that it runs the risk of making the space feel far smaller, but thanks to the implementation of clever optical illusion techniques, that potential problem has been sidestepped.
While deep or vibrant colours en masse will certainly not help with your mission to make your rooms feel much larger, when used as an accent or a statement wall, they can play a vital role in space optimising techniques. We love this bright red feature wall, as though the bedroom itself is fairly small and enclosed, we aren't aware of that because we are transfixed by the bright panel. Clever isn't it?
By keeping the rest of the room very neutral, it simply melts away next to the vibrant red, leaving us to assume that the room is much larger and more luxurious than it is.
If you are actively attempting to put space optimising into action, you will definitely not be looking to make necessary architectural features large or outlandish, so perhaps you could try to scale them back. Items such as staircases, which traditionally take up vast amounts of room, can be re-designed and pared back to become far less invasive and a whole lot more interesting!
Isn't this small staircase fantastic? With a camouflaged handrail, walking up and down it will be far easier than it seems and so little space has been dedicated to it! Amazing.
Secret cubby holes, hidden storage and sleek furniture are all key components of space optimising and we have to say that this incredible desk is one of our favourite discoveries! The perfect way to ensure you have enough room for studying or working when you need it, but that you don't need to waste an entire spare room on building a study, this desk encapsulates everything that space saving is all about.
The flip down table is amazing and coupled with the sneaky little hidden side cupboard, makes for some fantastically practical small home furniture that has us wondering if we really need a static desk at all.
We've already talked about adding shelves to your walls as a space optimising technique, but what about mounting a fun little indoor garden on them too? If you have a green thumb and enjoy having a lot of plants in your home, why should you negate that or make too much of a compromise, just because you are trying to be economical with your space?
We think that embracing unusual ideas is a key part of space optimising, as some of the best solutions no doubt seemed a little out there when they were first tried, but look at us all now, with our televisions mounted on our walls and blackboard paint in our kitchens!
If your space optimising has been a huge success and you have freed up a wealth of extra room in your home, don't forget to take your new skills out into the garden! Even a tiny garden can be a treasure trove of usable space and one of our favourite ways to make the most of it is by installing a hammock! Easy to hang and just as easy to remove when you're not using it, hammocks negate the need for bulky and hard to store patio furniture and if nothing else, it's always fun watching people try to get in them!
If you are feeling inspired to free up some space in your small home, why not take a look at this Ideabook: Your Introduction To More Minimal Living. We know minimalism isn't for everyone, but we think you might find some extra useful tips anyway!