When my partner J and I made the move from Denton, Texas out here to Las Vegas. We started over almost completely. While in Texas, we had lots of stuff. There was his stuff and my stuff but not really our stuff. While he likes transitional, comfy looking furniture and natural colors, I love mid-century and bright colors. Needless to say, our home did not represent either of us well so we decided to sell most everything and start over. In addition to getting rid of everything, we went from a rather large house to a much smaller condo. Of course, most people can’t just sell everything and start over; however, these tips, that helped me in my new smaller space, are pretty universal.
Walls can hold more than art.
I have always been a proponent of wall shelving. They are fantastic for both storage and display and also create visual space. Wall shelves are fantastic for leading the eye up and distracting from the small footprint of a space. In my living room, I used wall shelves for several purposes. I have many things that I love to display. I also have a big TV that I like to watch but would like to disappear when it is not on so I used my wall shelving to display some of my favorite items, draw the eyes up to make the space feel larger, and as an attempt to disguise my TV.
Organization is essential.
As I keep saying, organization doesn’t just happen organically. It takes lots of time to get yourself properly organized. Ask yourself, is it more important to have a great space or lots of stuff? When in a small space, organization involves thorough purging, setting priorities, and thoughtful selections. Thorough purging for small space living is a process that you must reevaluate every step of the way. First, purge anything you don’t need including anything you have not used in the past six months or thought about in the past three months. Then evaluate and set your priorities. Determine all the uses of the space and organize based on which of those uses is the priority. This becomes the basis for the entire organizational process. It helps you make thoughtful selections. Selections that can serve multiple purposes so that they help you meet your organizational needs.
Proportion and Scale are key.
The proportion and scale of the furniture and accessories in your space have as much to do with the space in your room as the actual size of the room. Picking pieces that fit not only in the room but together as well are key.
Don’t forget to light it well.
Lighting is always essential. You probably know that you can use color and pattern around a room to move the eye around and make a space feel larger but you may not realize that you can do the same thing with light. Levels of light make a space inviting and beautiful. If you use light smartly, it will fill the entire room but also spotlight art or collections that you love which will make the eye move around the room.
You can use dark colors.
So many people are afraid to use dark colored paint on their walls because there is a very common misconception that dark walls close in a space making it feel small. That is simply not true! Dark colors can be used to make a small face feel more cozy which doesn’t mean small despite the fact that many seem to think it does. Making a space cozy means giving it a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. The key to using dark colors in small space is to place furniture and accessories in similar tones against the dark wall. This makes the items fade into the wall creating more visual space in the room. In my living room, the wall, mirror, sofa, lamps, and side tables are monochromatic and blend together well while still creating visual interest.