How to Live Large in a Small Space

Not everyone can afford a big house. If you wish to maximize the space you have, you can play around with lights, colors, and storage space. Focusing on the advantages a small space can provide is also a good idea.
How to Live Large in a Small Space

Let’s face it, not all of us can afford a big place. Whether you’re living in a dorm or studio apartment, making the most of your space is always a challenge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a functional room out of a few square feet. In fact, it only takes a few simple tricks to make a small room not only functional, but also stylish and even luxurious. Designing a small space can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible, and might even be fun.

So how do you live large in a small space? This involves two tasks: making the room look bigger, and maximizing the space that you do have. It’s easier than you think—all it takes is a bit of planning and creativity. Read on for a few simple tips.

Emphasize the plus side. Small rooms have several advantages over big ones, such as warmth, coziness, intimacy, and ease of maintenance. Focus on these characteristics when designing your space. Look for something that gives it character, such as the space under a staircase, and make it the focal point of your room. Warm lighting, homey pieces, and comfortable furniture all add to the charm and appeal of a small room.

Play around with light. Natural light plays a big role in maximizing small spaces. One large window can let in enough sunlight to brighten the entire room. If installing new windows is not an option, maximize the light that comes in by placing mirrors opposite the source. If possible, fill half or more of a wall with a large mirror. In the daytime, this doubles the natural lighting; in the afternoon, it creates an illusion of space by extending your view.

Invest in storage. Built-in cabinets and cupboards allow you to minimize clutter—your biggest enemy when you’re managing a small space. Use any extra space (such as under the sink or bed) to store your magazines, office supplies, household tools, and things that shouldn’t be lying around. You’ll be surprised at how much space you free up just by reducing clutter.

Free up traffic space. Traffic space is the space required to use the fixtures in the room. Examples are the swing space of a door and the size of a drawer when opened. Although they’re not always in use, they still occupy floor space. Look for sliding doors and windows so that they don’t use up any extra room. This bares a larger floor area, making the room seem bigger.

Use simple, bright colors. Dark colors make your room seem smaller than it already is. Avoid complicated color schemes—two colors is enough—and stick to bright pastel shades that give the room a light, airy feel. For variety, you can use a rich color or pattern for one wall (designers call this the ‘feature wall’) and make the rest neutral. Avoid outlining the walls as this will emphasize their limits, but add a few corner details to create an illusion of space. High-gloss paint will reflect the light and make the room seem cozier.