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The previous post was about spending wisely on decor and interior decorating on a budget. Does a beautiful home mean that you must have a lot of money to spend on your projects? No, on the other hand, just plan properly and spend what you have wisely. Exploit your resources, work with what you have. A room/space that makes you feel good can be modestly furnished and very simple. In other words, it only needs a certain cheeriness and comfort. It only needs a few pleasant, eye-catching surprises and a sense of character. Most importantly, the lovely people living there will make sure of this.

Cute and cosy, tiny bedroom
Cute and cosy, tiny bedroom

Interior Design for Small Spaces

Certainly, another big consideration in regards to decorating on a budget, is space. Space is one of the seven imperative elements and building blocks of interior design. Space encompasses all into one entity. Before we go further into space optimisation and space saving ideas for home, let’s get to know our friend Mr Space a bit better.

Whatever your project, consider any living space as a whole. Design/re-design/decorate your space with a holistic approach and take into account your own and your fellow occupants’ wellbeing. Moreover, joining Space, are all the other design elements (line, shape, colour, pattern, texture, light). They all combine, they take hands as a team, as a close band of brothers, within any space/area to form an entity.

Smart utilization of narrow room
Harmonious design & smart utilisation of narrow room

How can I create a sense of spaciousness in a small space with clever Interior Decorating?

Space is the area in a room you have available to work with. It is defined by limits and boundaries like walls and walkways, and the usable space of one room ends where another room begins. Duuuh. You are the artist and space is your canvas. Clearly, the dimensions of the floor space determine how many and the size of the objects that can fit into a room. However, a sense of space and spaciousness is more than that. The shape and height of a ceiling are part of your most elementary contemplations.

Above all, always consider the entire volume of space you are dealing with. There are procedures for forming impressions in a living area that can make it look either larger or smaller. Firstly, understand the existing space before trying to manipulate it. In addition, decide how do you want the space to make you feel. Know what tone and atmosphere you want when the design plan is accomplished. Do you want it to be light and carefree, or cosy and safe, do you want a sense of intimacy or grandeur? What activities will the occupants perform in this space? In what settings will what solutions work best? Weigh up different possibilities with each other.

Greater space is considered a luxury, you are lucky to have it, but I tell you, you are not unlucky if you don’t. When space is limited it only means you must utilise what you have in a smarter, more inventive way and do your interior space planning sensibly. There are many space saving tweaks, useful space ideas and space saving hacks for small apartments or small rooms in your house. You can try these without having to spoil the comfort and look of a room.

Smartly designed small kitchen & dining
Smartly designed small kitchen & dining

SPACE SAVING HACKS

Throw away pitilessly and leave out anything that does not have an important purpose. It is not easy to discard sentimental pieces or souvenirs. Who knows, you may just find a spot for those selective few, very special items. Use the process of elimination – abolish a few of your least favourite objects at a time. After that, look at what was left, then eliminate your least favourite items again. This process may continue during the time you make sure how to utilise the available space you are dealing with.

Don’t look too far for space optimization storage solutions, b’cauz it may be just around the corner. Yup, corners are frequently the most unexploited, wasted spaces in any room, so make full use of them. One may treat a corner purely decoratively when space is plentiful, but with restricted space, corners should serve as functional places. Importantly, you can utilise corner space even when the placement of furniture doesn’t permit including cupboards or other objects in the arrangement.

Small bedroom with corner floating bed side table and dresser
Simplistic bedroom with multi-use corner “dresser”/bedside table
Corner arrangements can be particularly good space-savers in small rooms.

For instance, use it to place a small desk. You can even create a cosy corner with a bunch of floor pillows where you can read or meditate. Furthermore, use it to house a collection of indoor plants. Or, stack books, magazines, and valuable exhibition items on triangular floating shelves or in a corner cabinet or unusually interesting storage units.

Have you tried this trick for space optimisation interior design?

Whenever possible, place furnishings back to back. For example, if you have two bulky pieces such as a long table and a sofa, place the table against the sofa back. This makes more space available and doesn’t cause a different path for traffic flow. In addition, other brilliant space savers are ottomans or backless seats on casters. These you can move away entirely and put under a table.

Furniture Layout with furniture placed against walls in a small space
Most furniture against walls in a small space

Often, people reckon that the furniture placement solution for small spaces is to move all furnishings up against the walls. So, this leaves as much open floor space as possible to make it seem more spacious. On the other hand, when considering a small room, only a few pieces of furniture can swiftly use up wall space. As a result, it forms an arrangement that appears as if the furniture was pushed aside for floor cleaning or a dance ritual. This layout leaves insufficient space for everything necessary in the room.

Layout with more furniture away from walls in a small space
Most of seating away from walls in a small space

Float away seating from the walls to free up wall space for furnitures such as narrow storage units and work tables. That is to say, think in terms of ‘layered furniture’ from the walls inward to the middle of the room. The sense of depth and interest that result from the layered arrangement will more than outweigh the smaller inner floor space.

Desk in middle of small office
Desk in middle of a small office

Did you ask for more space saving interior decorating tips and tricks?

Merely decorative items can appertain any decorating scheme. But, when you are decorating a small area, you should try to narrow down non-functional ornamental items mainly to two-dimensional wall art. However, also try to keep this down to the bare minimum to make a living space feel less cluttered. One piece of just the right art hanging in the right spot can make more of an impact than a busy photo wall.

Aim to accomplish most of your decorating effects in two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional form. Consider only those, not-so-big, three-dimensional furnishings that will not occupy a lot of floor space or any at all. For example, place a plant on a floating shelf, or mount a narrow 3D metal and wood wall shelf to the wall.

Happy people in small, cozy spot
Cosy spot with high bookshelf in corner

As mentioned before, keep in mind that available space is not only floor space. Certainly, ceiling height has an impact on total perceived space as well. Lower to the ground, low-back seating furniture and lowly hung wall art are usually better choices for small spaces.

You can create an illusion of spaciousness by choosing to deliberately under scale or overscale a room’s furnishings. Under scaling allows one to include more items in a scheme. Over scaling can create a feeling of expansiveness and make a room appear larger. Most importantly, remember to still achieve unity of scale. But more on this in the next post.

Low furniture in small space
Low furniture in a small space

SPACE SAVVY PROPORTION & SCALE

Like elements of design are the building blocks when assessing an area/space. Principles are the available tools for an interior designer to apply to a living space as ideas advance. The design principles are rhythm & repetition, balance, emphasis, proportion & scale and harmony. Firstly, let’s get acquainted with one of our principles of design, Ms Proportion and Scale.  (We’ll chat about her sisters another time, although, they are basically inseparable).

Proportion and scale are reliant on the scope and the associations between matters. To clarify, it is the connection of one part of an object to its other parts or to the entirety. Proportion does not rest on a recognized size but is the relationship of one item to another. Scale is mainly based on perception and associates an item or space with something of a known size whereof human scale is the most logical reference.

Sometimes it isn’t the proportion of one item, but rather how all items relate to one another in the entire scene. As a result, it makes things appear composed and exciting.  It is vital to comprehend the practice of different proportions. This helps with observing and making decisions on how to apply changeable proportions fitting an interior style and circumstances.

Clever use of space in a small room

Important Interior Design Concept

Currently the norm for a modern, contemporary and sculptural look, is still that bigger is perceived as better. Large windows and open spaces, big sofas, cushions and vases are characteristic of this interior design style. However, this is not always possible, and this style wasn’t always favoured, and will perhaps not always be in future.

In the 18th century, small gilded chairs were used so ladies could sit on them with their massive assembled skirts. Similar gilded chairs are still prevalent in graceful rooms with a French style. This can make a great impact when a few of them are grouped together in a row against a wall under a hefty painting suiting the style. The same small chairs may easily disappear or look insignificant when placed around a large dining table.

The scope and shape of an object influence the space surrounding that object. In other words, objects themselves, as well as the space around them, impact how they relate to one another. We call this space surrounding the objects, negative space. It is an imperative concept and key consideration for all forms of design, including the placement of artwork.

Use the negatives to Emphasize the Positives.

Clever interpretation of negative space in small area
Clever interpretation of negative space in small area

Importantly, be attentive on how to use negative space and pleasing proportions. For instance, which has a greater impact? Medium sized paintings on each wall of a room, or a grouping of smaller paintings hanging tightly together forming a bigger whole? The grouping of smaller paintings off course. As a result, it forms one big positive entity which balances proportional perception in a larger area of negative space.

This negative space belief also applies to the example of the grouped gilded chairs as opposed to the evenly spaced out gilded chairs around a table.

While keeping in mind what Ms. Proportion and Scale is all about, we will dive deeper into space saving hacks and space optimisation tips in the NEXT post.

I truly hope this inspired you
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