Why am I so intrigued with this topic? Maybe the reason is my apartment of 40 square metres. I live there with my husband and our two year old boy. We're planning a baby soon, but our home is not nearly prepared for it.
We have to make room for kids to have a space just for them, and of course we want to have our privacy (we share the room with our Bumble Bee).
It would be great if our Bumble would have his own room, space for playing,enjoying,studing in the future... Kids need their own space to grow in it,to feel free and not stiffed.
In that case (if we ever manage to make two small,but separate rooms) what's left for living-dining-kitchen area is 20square meters. Not big,but I believe to know how to make the best of it... Someday... sigh
That's why I want to share some of my thoughts how to make the small seem bigger. I wrote a few posts on space saving ideas here and here...
1 Lightly colored wall paint can make a room feel larger. Let me tell what I've learned from Maria,colour consultant and editor of Colour me happy blog (my daily must read). Don't use white for walls in small or big spaces if there's no plenty of natural light..because it will not look light and bright,but dull and non-inspirative. Reason is that white as we see it is actually the lightest gray-I'm talking about wall paints.
Better choice is to give some tone to white walls. It's up to you if it 's gonna be cold or warm colour palette - of course,you'll consider tones and coloures of your furnishings. Slightly colored walls should make the room feel bigger,and even lighter during long winter time.
2 It's ok to use accent walls in small spaces,because it drowns attention to that corner,and it gives certain personality to the space. Please,don't exagerate with accent walls, one or maybe two are more than enough. If someone doesn't know,accent wall is the one wallpapered or coloured in different or bold colour of your choice.
Similar to accent walls is colour blocking, a new term for me, but something we all are familiar about. It's the way to put attention on something without colouring entire wall,but just a part of it..ex. you have a framed picture above sofa that's not big enough,the easiest and cheapest way is to color the area behind the picture big as the picture should be.
3 Instead of painting the ceilling white, use the one or two shades lighter colour than one on the walls.
4 Use white trim on the floor instead of wood trim
5 Furniture and accessories definitely have the most impact on how large or small the room can feel. Keep things simple,not too hard angles,and not too curvy...furniture should feel light. Try to keep things off the floor,cause the space will look cluttered and smaller of course. Use the walls instead, for wall shelves and lamps..
6 Look for scaled furniture,most furniture shops make it in smaller sizes if ordered..and always,always look for multipurpose furniture
7 Use mirrors (two or three will do the job) for optical illusion of more space..and more natural light! Place the mirror across the window,and there's much more light in the room :)
8 I said before to keep things off the floor,and get use of walls,but here too you should not exagerate. I can't give you concrete advice what's empty and what's cluttered when it comes to walls,because it's a story itself.
9 Windows without treatment gives the feeling of bigger room, but I don't like untreated windows at all. It looks to me it's for industrial environment. There are ways to achieve what you want...using light or transparent curtains, roman blinds, panels or wood venetian blinds.
10 One more thing about color combination...or sort of. Dark floors look perfect together with light walls and ceilling. Than it almost doesn't matter what colour is your furniture.
11 Use ottomans, folding chairs, table that can be extended,square containers(they are more efficiant than round ones),instead of buying bedside tables,use chairs-it's smart and can be used as extra seating if needed
Here are pictures of apartment I simply adore! That's what I call good design :) Look pictures carefuly,there are planty ideas for you to use...enjoy
photos scanned on my computer from CASAVIVA magazine july/august 2009note: my Bumble bee got in his hands this magazine particularly,and that is why you see scotch tape on one photo,hi hi hi hi