When buying your first home, the initial excitement of finally getting on the housing ladder is often quickly followed by a worry about space. How exactly are you going to fit all your belongings that have been spread around the house at Mum & Dad’s (and in the loft and garage) into your first property, which in all likelihood is going to be small by comparison? If your first home is being bought with a partner, increase that concern – you’ve got 2 lives to cram into the property. Once everything is in, it’s all too easy to make the place cluttered and feel cramped.
First and foremost, declutter and be brutal about what you need to go in to each room. You’ll probably take a whole lot of things with you that have been stored away for some time. Do they really need to come out? Now we’re not saying to throw everything away – there will, of course be things that may not need to be on show but you still want or need to keep; things of sentimental value or simply things that you can’t bear to part with. That’s fine, but make sure they are packed away in clean, dry, airtight containers and stored safely out of harm’s way. If you have loft space you can use, great but if not, you may have to speak nicely to your parents in the hope that things can be stored there, or even consider a small self storage unit. Where you store your things will be impacted by what you are storing. If it’s old photographs, books or records, the temperature fluctuations in a loft space can have an impact.
Once you’ve decided what’s staying and what’s going there are other things you can do to make a small room look bigger.
- Use light colours on walls and floors. It’s easy to be tempted into making a bold colour statement, but whilst dark colours may seem cosy they absorb light and can make a room feel smaller.
- Mirrors area great way to make a space look larger and reflect light.
- Multifunctional furniture will help keep the amount you need down. For example, a coffee table that has storage or even better, an ottoman that can be used as a coffee table as well as a seat is perfect!
- Sofas or chairs on legs can create a feeling of light and space.
- Many houses now have a combined living and dining area. Consider a table with leaves that can be folded to reduce its size when not in use leaving more space to move around.
- Curtains. There are people that say remove them altogether to maximise the window space and light, however that’s not always ideal. No-one likes people peering in at you as they walk past! Blinds won’t shroud the window space but if you are going to hang curtains, don’t go too heavy; use light breezy fabrics.
- Furniture size. There are 2 schools of thought here too. One says have each piece of furniture you need but on a smaller scale. The other, have one big statement piece that gives the feeling of space around it. Only you can decide which is best for you!
- Bedrooms. Many modern bedrooms have a built in wardrobe and space for just the bed and not much else. Don’t be tempted to overfill the wardrobe with bedding so it doesn’t close, or to try and squeeze in a cupboard that you have to manoeuvre around. Consider a bed with storage underneath. You can keep spare bedding etc. handy but out of sight without invading your wardrobe space.
There are many tips and ideas out there to help make a small room look bigger, some practical; others may be not so practical. One thing is for sure, when you are living in a smaller space you have to get inventive about your storage space and utilise every area wisely.
You might also find inspiration in some of the following articles. Not everything will be right for you, but they may just give you that inspiration to think outside the box!
Expert Advice for Making a Room Look Bigger
25 Tips to Make a Small Room Look Bigger
If you need extra storage away from home Space Centre Self Storage has sites in Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud. We have units of all sizes, the smallest of which is just 10ft square – ideal for storing a few boxes!
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