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Home Design Tips for Small Spaces

As a landscape and interior designer, the challenges of designing for small spaces are a daily occurrence. There are sofas and planters that don’t fit through doors, unappealing views of neighboring buildings, and the need to maximize every square inch of real estate in the most attractive way possible. To help people who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to design their own small spaces, here are a few general guidelines to help get you on your way to designing like a pro. Here they are:

REDUCE CLUTTER

A small space will feel larger the less clutter there appears to be. Having lots of individual, free-standing cabinets and dressers will sometimes make the space feel smaller and more hodgepodge. Consider having streamlined, built-in cabinets put in, instead, for storage of books, clothing, and other objects.

MAXIMIZE THE SPACE

Let no corner go wasted in a small space. Make use of the vertical height of a room by having cabinets reach all the way up to the ceiling wherever possible. Choose furniture pieces that can serve more than one function. Murphy beds are an excellent way to make the space more usable for different functions — i.e. bedroom at night and office workspace by day. Mirrors can also help make the space feel larger. Opt for fewer, larger pieces of furniture, rather than lots of smaller ones. A connection should exist between the interior and exterior of a home, so that the garden appears to flow outward as a natural extension of the inner space. It’s important to create a sense of rhythm and flow that is as seamless as it is beautiful.

THREE’S COMPANY

It’s interesting how groups of three objects generally look better than than groups of two or four. For whatever reason, odd number pairings work better and stand out more visually than even numbered pairings. It’s easier to create symmetry in even numbered groupings, but odd numbers are more dynamic and visually appealing.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

One of the most important influencers of mood in a space is the lighting. It’s important to have a mix of task, accent, and ambient lighting to make the space at once both visually appealing and as functional as possible. For an outdoor space, try to have a mix of high-voltage sconce lighting and low-voltage up-lighting mixed in with the plants themselves. For indoors, a mix of overhead lighting and soft, ambient lamps is usually ideal.

WHY THE LONG SPACE?

Long spaces can be broken up into separate “rooms” to help create a cozier, more intimate feeling. Terraces and decks can easily be divided up by having part of the space used for one task – i.e. dining, and another part for something else, i.e. comfortable lounge seating. A long living room might have a cozy conversational seating area, and a separate area for curling up on your own with a good book. Furniture and rugs can be placed in such a way as to create a separation of the different spaces for the feeling of multiple rooms all in one place.

COLOR SCHEMES THAT WORK

It’s generally helpful to design a room or outdoor space with one dominant color in mind, along with one secondary color, and also a third accent color. If there is any existing furniture, choose colors that already exist in the largest patterns of the furniture. To make the space feel bigger, try using the darkest colors at floor level (i.e. wood floors or rugs) contrasted with light colored walls and furniture, with the brightest at ceiling level, much the same as the earth is darkest at soil level and brightest when you look up at the sky. Light colors will generally make a space feel larger than darker colors. On the other hand, dark colors will make a small space feel cozy — add some soft textured pieces like velvet or wool to make it even more inviting.

MIX IT UP

Contrast is one of the most important features of good design. Square and rectangular shapes often look more interesting when paired with one or two round shapes. Contrast can also be created by pairing high contrast colors together or by using textures that are quite different – for example, a fluffy white pillow on a smooth leather couch. Ask what the existing style of the space is and then bring in furniture and d├ęcor that mostly matches that style, but also don’t be afraid to put in a few touches that are a little different. For example, a contemporary loft with a lot of metal and clean lines might look more interesting with a few soft, round shapes mixed in for contrast.

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS

Every well-designed space should have something that draws the eye to it right away. It might be a fireplace, a piece of art, a paint color, a great view, or a piece of furniture – whatever it is, it has star power and people can’t help but gaze at it. The focal point will also set the mood of the room as playful, formal, traditional, contemporary, artsy, rustic, etc. Don’t be afraid of using large focal points sparingly, such as a single large painting, in a small space, especially in a color that recedes (like blue) to make the space feel bigger. One large piece of furniture, such as a four-poster bed, can also make the room feel larger than it actually is.

Modern Approach in Interior Designing

In today’s world, we look for ways to make things easier; we search for that perfect marriage of both simplicity and beauty. This is basically how modern design can be best described. It forgoes the unnecessary and gravitates towards a more straightforward art and style.

Modern interior design started at Bauhaus School of Design in Germany back in 1919, by a group of European designers and architects. This new age design sprung out from the school’s philosophy in combining form and function in designing. They eliminated what is superfluous and focused on functionality through simple shapes. It was also at this time that they started to use industrial materials like metal and glass to create furniture, such as tables.

The modern interior design is characterized by sleek and clean lines and an uncluttered look. It is a stark contrast from traditional ones which emphasizes more on intricate forms and ornate embellishments. You don’t see much going on in a space, but it doesn’t leave the element of style out of the picture.

Color palettes in modern interior design are more of the neutral shades, such as brown, black, white or beige and the occasional reds. It creates a subdued type of mood which makes a perfect background for key pieces or furniture to gain more focus.

The kinds of furniture used in modern designs are also in dark wood tones or in plain and stark colors, which creates an air of sophistication and class. There are no little figurines that line the shelves or any colourful knickknacks that adorn every nook and cranny. Instead, it only uses few key pieces to accentuate. It holds true to the saying that less is more.

The architecture of modern design can be distinguished through angular lines, geometric shapes and polished surfaces. Good lighting (both natural and artificial) are also necessary to show the forms and grooves that adds character to a space.

Much of the inspiration from modern design came from the Japanese sense of style. If you went into a Japanese home or restaurant, you would see that it is a far cry from Spanish settings or old-American designs. They only make use of key furniture, while surroundings remain uncluttered for the purpose of maintaining enough space for easy movement. You can see here that they utilize what is called functional design. Without deviating from style, they only use what is necessary.

Modern interior design is also confused with contemporary design. What most people don’t know is that the two are different. A contemporary style on design is more of the trendy looks which are the “in thing” at the moment, whereas modern interior design is the general clean and geometric style of designing. A modern interior design can be part of a contemporary style.

Nowadays most homeowners, especially in urban and suburban places, are going for that clean and streamlined look. They want less clutter, as well as less and easier cleaning, considering their on-the-go lifestyle. Modern interior design has definitely created that right blend of style and function, which is perfect for the modern individual.

Home Design Details

Buying a new house for the first time is a very nice experience but also quite a big challenge. You are spending a lot of time on searching the right location and appropriate price. When you make a decision and find a perfect place you feel a great relief when the deal is done. After buying furniture and arranging them you think that the case is over. But didn’t you forget about something, design details maybe?

”The devil is hidden in details”, says the well-known saying. And also appearance of interior of your house depends on small details that you may probably forget about. They are probably not as much essential as dining table, wardrobe and bathtub but having them makes life easier and more pleasant. Make it also more human. What are those details?

First, curtains. It is very important to decide if we want to have them or not. If the answer is yes we should think about the color and material that they are made of. They are very important when it comes to a bedroom: they bring intimacy and specific mood. And in this case they might be heavy, quite long, in deep red color. If it is a kids room the curtains should be colorful to suit children’s happy mood. In turn window in kitchen may have nice ornament from small curtains, in some food patterns perhaps, and frills.

Second, cushions, blankets and bed throws. There are not only useful stuff for every home-lover They not only bring worm in a cold day but also a nice feeling that we are in our own house. How does it work? Most of people have their own favorite blanket that is a souvenir from childhood, that brings moments in their life that they barely remember but feel and know that was the most peaceful ever. Cushions and bed throws that match blankets pattern or color will give a complementary and very nice look.

Third, carpets and mats. The floor is very important part of the house and every apartment. Especially when we live with a dog – having the house clean becomes a hard work. So, we can’t forget about special dog mat or just a good washable door mat that will easily keep the dirt of dog’s paws in one place. As it comes to bathroom bath mats will make the deal of slips and falls when coming out of the shower, and mats in the kitchen with signs ”kitchen” will make it look more sophisticated. And carpets left in the whole house is a great way to complete the look of the living room, bedroom, dining room and corridors.

There probably might be more important items that number you can’t even imagine. But when you deal with those which were mentioned above you can ask yourself: “What is still missing in this room?” and the room will tell you itself. Thanks to curtains, carpets and blankets you will gain great basis to arrange with even smaller details.