Spacious Living- Overcoming the limitations of scale
Creativity thrives best when constrained. Tight boundaries shape and focus problems and allow us to see the challenges to overcome. It may sound contradictory, but limits can actually boost creative thinking. Small spaces are therefore the perfect setting for designers to demonstrate their originality and expertise when it comes to planning.
The majority of advice about small space design seems to work on the assumption that in order to create the illusion of a larger space, we are prepared to sacrifice style and personality. There are in fact various ways in which one can live large within the limitations of a tight floor plan:
1) Change your way of thinking about scale. Do not assume that small spaces require small furniture. Consider your basic human functions (eating-sleeping-relaxing) and create a space that caters to your own lifestyle. How we feel in a space is the most important factor.
2) Allow for custom built-in architectural details. Beds, desks, lounge seating and tables can all be designed to be folded away making a space more versatile.
3) Fight against clutter. Small spaces necessitate excellent editing skills, forcing us to keep what is necessary and having an assigned space for everything, whether on display or concealed.
4) Going minimal is not always the best solution. Personal belongings such as books, framed photographs, items from travels and objects d’art are what give any space its individuality. Clearly assigning where each is to be located allows for an uncluttered display.
5) Maximize the use of vertical space for storage and the display of your favourite items. Drawing the eye upwards will create an illusion in your favour.
6) Play with the ceiling heights to create different zones. Lowered ceilings are good for creating cozy areas, whereas high ceilings are best for a spacious and airy feeling.
7) Tie it all together. In small spaces the living room may also need to function as the home office and/or the dining space. In order to keep a cohesive look, ensure that the overall color palette and style is unified. Trying to distinguish these functions stylistically in a small space tends to look confused and disordered.
This post was written by Maria Economides, Senior FF&E Interior Designer, Draw Link Group