Picture your dream home. Are you imagining a giant mansion with a huge swimming pool and more rooms than you know what to do with? You’re not alone. For a long while, size was the measure of a great house but that’s all changing. In recent years, the craze in small home living has blown up. The tiny house movement is really taking off as people start to focus more on the environmental impact of their homes. Rising house prices and the cost of running your home also has a big role to play. More people than ever before are choosing to live in a smaller home rather than splashing out on a big place.
A lot of people are also living in smaller houses out of necessity because they simply can’t afford anything bigger. Whatever your reasons for living in a small house, there are some drawbacks. Having limited space means that you have to make a lot of sacrifices and trying to decorate the place can be difficult. The reason that people usually go wrong is that they’re using the same interior design rules that they would use in a big house but small house living is a different game entirely. If you’re living in a terrace house rather than the mansion you dreamed of and you’re struggling to design and decorate it, you need to follow these rules.
Cut Down On Junk
This is good advice for anybody but it’s especially important if you’re working with limited space. People are so prone to collecting junk these days and you’ve probably got a house filled with clutter that you don’t want or need. Having all that stuff lying around in a small home is going to fill the space and make it feel incredibly cramped. You’d be surprised just how much difference it’ll make if you streamline your stuff. Go through everything you own and consider each item; ask yourself when the last time you used it was. If you can’t remember, get rid of it.
Ditch The Curtains
A big pair of thick curtains look great in a grand house with spacious rooms but in a smaller house, they’ll just make the place feel claustrophobic. They take up a lot of space on the walls and windows and they suck up a lot of the light in the room, which is vital for making the room feel larger than it is. Instead, you should go for lighter, more minimalist options. Shades, shutters and blinds are all way better than curtains. They’re a lot lighter and they don’t fill the room anywhere near as much.
Limit Your Colours
Using a lot of different colours is a good way to make your interiors more interesting but in a small house, you can have too much of a good thing. In such a small place, loads of different colours can be a bit too overwhelming and again, make the space feel cluttered. Don’t try to cram too many colours into one room. Instead, you can use slightly different shades of the same colour so you strike a good balance between simplicity and variety. You should also try to limit the difference in colour between rooms. In a big house, it doesn’t matter too much because you can separate them a bit more but in a small house, the transition will be jarring if you jump from one colour to something else entirely. Always stick to one palette and use lots of different shades of the same colour throughout the house.
When you’re choosing a colour scheme, always think light. Dark colours are going to soak up a lot of light and make the place feel dark and dingy. Lighter colours will have the opposite effect and really help you to open up the space.
Heavily patterned fabrics have the same effect as too many colours. If you haven’t got the room to spread them out a bit and you’ve got a load of patterns all laying on top of each other, it’s all going to be a bit too much. You can get away with using them sparingly but you should definitely avoid heavily patterned sofas and chairs etc. If you’ve already made the mistake and bought a patterned sofa, you can use a plain slip cover on it. It’ll make a massive difference to the space.
Reflect The Light
Light is your friend when you’re trying to decorate a small space. Getting a good amount of light into the room will open it up and make it feel a lot larger than it is. Putting in mirrors to reflect light is one of the most common pieces of design advice for small spaces but there are more ways to get light in. Using a semi-gloss paint on the walls is a good one because you’re reflecting light off every surface. You should also think about the furniture that you’re putting in there as well. For example, anything with glass is going to help (coffee tables, cabinets etc.), metal surfaces are good too. On top of that, making sure you give everything a good polish on a regular basis will increase the amount of light bouncing around the room.
Storage space is another challenge you’ll face in a small home and if you don’t have enough, you’ll struggle to keep the rooms free of clutter. The only problem is, conventional storage is going to eat up most of the space you’ve got so you need to be clever about it. Hidden storage and multi-functional furniture is the best solution here. In the bedrooms, always go for beds with storage drawers underneath. You can also get ottomans that double up as a bench for seating with storage inside. You should also look upwards and put shelves in around the perimeter of the room, it’s a great way of adding a lot of storage space without taking up any extra floor space in the room.
If you stick to these rules when you’re decorating a small space, you can make it feel a lot larger than it is.