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From cluttered to cozy: Living in small spaces

Posted June 6th, 2014 at 11:00 PM by branethpaj
Though living in a small home means you have less to clean and maintain, it has its own set of challenges unique compared to living in a medium or large home. Small spaces have the potential to be cozy, but they often end up feeling cluttered. That’s because it’s difficult to shrink possessions and furniture into proportions that fit in your home but are still useable. If you’re living in a small space, here are some tips to help you feel comfortable, rather than crammed.

Creative furniture arrangements
Start thinking outside the box when it comes to furniture. Need an end table or coffee table? They don’t have to be big and bulky, and they can often be multipurpose. Get an end table with storage space where you can keep books, magazines, or even boxed or canned food. Coffee tables don’t have to be massive to be functional. One designer paired two small, identical, square coffee tables rather than having one big one. They are easier to move aside if more room is needed and lightweight, so they could even be stacked if necessary.

Seating choices
When space is limited, it’s often hard to fit in much seating. You’ll want to opt out of large sectional couches and look for shorter pieces. Replace a couch or love seat with recliners or other single-seating chairs. If you have a small dining area, consider constructing a built-in bar as your table. If you have a few carpentry skills, you can hinge the bar and make it easy to fold down and out of the way when not in use. Then the dining chairs can be used as extra seating in the living room.

Storage spaces
This is a topic that allows room for lots of creativity. If you’re short on cupboard space in the kitchen or bathroom, become aware of what other nooks and crannies are unused in your home. Do you have space beneath your bed frame? Under the couch? Behind the entertainment center? On a plant shelf? Don’t discount any of these places as candidates for extra storage. Instead of buying a coffee table or end table, fill a couple of boxes with your food storage, drape them in a sheet or table cloth, and use them as your foot stool or lamp stand.

Lighting choices
Standing lamps take up a lot of room, so stay away from traditional lamps when you have a small home. Pendant lights or lamps that have arm swivels so they can be placed behind a couch work best in small spaces. If you have few plug-ins or need to place a lamp in the middle of a room and don’t want a cord running across the floor, there are actually many battery and solar-operated lights for you to choose from.

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