There seems to be a clash between our desire for our own living space and the high cost of living. Too often we are forced to sacrifice our comfort for the sake of affordability. Everywhere you look, grand old homes are being converted to multi-family townhouses, old factories and schools are being turned into condos, and forget about a back yard. If you want to live near the city, you’ll almost definitely be shopping for an apartment, a studio, or a smaller home. But, a smaller living space doesn’t necessarily mean cramped, cluttered quarters: with a little bit of creativity, living in less space can be living large.
There are a few important changes you will have to make in order to adjust to living in a smaller space, and the first one is your mind. Rather than looking at what you don’t have, consider what you do have. Every bit of floor and wall has the potential of being used. Coming up with clever, unconventional solutions will inject your home with a shot of personality. Increasing your flexibility can give you more options, rather than designating every room for one purpose, get more out of each space. While it is nice to have a guest room, it is a waste of space to have a room that is only in use now and then. Instead, shop around for some of the dual-use furniture that is now becoming available and affordable.
You may be surprised how far these pieces have come from the heavy hide-a-bed sofas and ubiquitous college futons. You can now find couches, loveseats, and chairs that fold out in to comfortable sleepers of all sizes to suit every decor from edgy to classic. You may find yourself doing more work in your home office with additions like these, as you’ll have a place to stretch out and take a break. Many pieces double as storage units as well: get all those DVDs out of sight under the cushion of a storage ottoman and stash extra linens in the drawers of a trundle bed. Nesting tables look sharp when stored together, and if you’re having a party you can pull them into different rooms as needed.
If your kitchen seems cramped, consider a table that folds away when you’re not using it. Or do away with the dining table altogether, and create a sleek counter-top dining area. Free up cabinet space with a pot rack. The less intrusive your furniture is, the more space you will appear to have. If you have high ceilings, but not much floor space, divide a room horizontally by building a loft. A bedroom with office space below and sleeping quarters above looks modern and chic. Using glass or acrylic blocks will let more light in and give the illusion of more open space. Finally, take advantage of wasted space in your home: closets and cabinets that are occupied by pipes and water heaters can generally accommodate a few shelves for storage. Space under the stairs can be used for lots of purposes: bookshelves, bicycle storage, laundry station, and tool storage, to name a few.
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