“When you live in a very small space, you have to love everything you put in it.”
That’s what one of my wise customers said as she was contemplating a purchase. She’s spot on, and as more people choose small space living that advice has grown in relevance.
Who’s living small? It’s not just millennials opting for micro-apartments. It’s also empty nesters adjusting their square footage to match the next stages of their lives. Then there are people outfitting a second home, maybe a winter condo or summer lake cottage. And for people who know they’ll move multiple times in their mobile lives, it’s a necessity.
Living smaller is bigger than ever, so here are some tips for making your compact space work harder.
1. We’re so used to spreading out we can forget to stretch up. Go vertical with a china hutch, wall unit or tall shelving.
♦ Choose a piece with versatile storage including cabinets, drawers and open shelves
♦ A piece like this can go in any room – and even be tucked into an entry area or alcove
2. Multi-tasking is a thing, right? Choose versatile furniture that serves more than one purpose.
♦ The perfectly scaled accent chair can work at the dining table
♦ Speaking of dining tables, pick an expandable one like a Danish design with self-storing leaves
♦ Use nesting tables (small tables that tuck under each other) as a modular coffee table
3. Sometimes more is less.
♦ Opt for one bigger dresser to hold clothing, as well as linens, rather than having two pieces
♦ Use a larger love seat to replace two chairs – and zero out the dead space between them
♦ One big piece of art could be less visually demanding than lots of small ones
4. Use your closets to reduce the furniture you need in your living space.
♦ Invest in a modular closet system to maximize storage and adapt to changing needs
♦ If you have a well-organized closet you might not need a dresser
♦ Reducing visual clutter in a small space is key, so tuck things out of sight
5. Steer clear of too many fully upholstered sofas and chairs in favor of seating that’s visually (and literally) lighter.
♦ Mid-century style frame chairs and sofas give you all the comfort without the bigger footprint.
♦ Bonus: they’re easier to move because they’re lighter
♦ A simple daybed can double as a guest bed for overnight visitors
6. Small-scale accent furniture gives you flexibility.
♦ Stackable ottomans are extra seating when you need it
♦ Display ledges show off your favorite art and objects and keep clutter down
♦ Opt for a floor lamp so you can opt out of an extra table; even better is a floor lamp with a built in table
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