Smaller places are tricky to decorate. Every piece of home décor needs to be functional. Aesthetics can make a small space look big. However, it's not always easy to find the right balance. And with the workspace moving home due to the pandemic, the home has suddenly started to feel smaller.
Saloni Khosla, Head — Centre of Design Excellence (CODE), Pepperfry, agrees on the impact of small size on space utilisation and décor. “First, it can be difficult to find places to put all your belongings, especially if you downsize from a larger home. Additionally, smaller homes can make it challenging to furnish and decorate in a way that feels stylish and cohesive.”
For Mumbai-based Ar. Ami Mehta, Architect & Interior Designer, Rising Energie, homes are becoming smaller due to rising demand for budget-friendly housing. “Most millennial homebuyers are averse to investing in both the higher maintenance costs and extra efforts that larger properties entail. Compact housing is the fastest seller on the resale market. Such homes give them both location and financial flexibility while allowing them the security and investment advantages of home ownership.”
The ‘work from home’ space | pics: pepperfry
Smaller homes with lesser square footage let your feed on your creative juices flow. They have an intimate and cosy spirit and provide a relaxing environment for unwinding. You need good ideas to maximise the minimal spaces without stripping them of their individualism.
Anand Suman, Founder of Cinnamon Homes, shares, “Living room can be utilised as a bedroom for the night if the home size is smaller. It will accommodate extra people. SOHO (small office, home office) is becoming popular. Here, a recliner with a working pad for placing a laptop and a cup of coffee is quite useful.”
To make the room look bigger, allow natural light to seep through glass doors and walls. Brighter-coloured walls and sofa sets are also an option to consider.
Khosla suggests techniques for apartments to look spacious and uncluttered. “Declutter your house and use multifunctional furniture like convertible sofas cum beds, sleeper chairs, storage side tables, etc.
The cosy armchair corner | pics: pepperfry
Modular storage solutions are also an excellent way to save space. Choose furniture items that provide additional storage options.”
It will be great fun to play with symmetry with the help of mirror pieces that reflect a cleaner look. Design originality and an eye to know what can or cannot work are what a small space requires.
Mehta feels small spaces (400-500 square feet) allow for a low-cost minimalist lifestyle. “The same materials that are used in traditionally constructed homes are used for tiny homes because it makes them more durable and more valuable.”
She suggests opting for natural accents for a more sustainable lifestyle. “Hang a chandelier in your bedroom, install Edison bulbs in your bedroom, or make your tiny home’s living room stand out with a modern lamp. If you’ve run out of floor space, go vertical instead. Maximise wall space creatively by installing floating shelves, hideaway tables, and wall desks. You can also hang photos, plants, and other décor above eye level to create the illusion of height and take your tiny home décor to the next level.”
French doors are a great way to make small spaces look big, charmingly decorative and let natural light enter the home. Sliding doors do not take up much space and give a stylish touch.
Mehta feels floors are the players in interior design. That is why runners in a small hallway make it bigger. “You can also use runners to make certain areas feel cohesive. Meanwhile, use smaller rugs to distinguish between different areas of your home to give the illusion of separate spaces without changing the floor plan. Opt for compact refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, and coffeemakers to save space and money. Use a combined laundry unit to create space in a small room.”
Bunk beds in the kid’s room save space. You can put storage with drawers or shelves. Another bed style is with lofting the beds. It allows the separation of living and sleeping spaces along with adding privacy. Book lovers can opt for minimalist techniques like floating shelves or DIY bookcases.
The Bedroom space |
Play by the rules
Khosla seconds that a clutter-free space gives a touch of spaciousness to the place. “A super-popular but a super-stodgy rule of decorating small spaces involves fitting in furniture as per your room size. A single piece of sofa can make your living room look iconic. Mixing up furniture pieces — like the same style of dining chairs in different shades — adds a hint of boldness and doesn't look layered.”
You can also use wall accessories like vintage frames, animal illustrations, traditional antiques etc., to add a quirky or chic look. Place heightened houseplants, potted plants, and creepers throughout the room to make the room look airy.
Anand considers minimalism as setting up homes with simple designs, and plain lines of furniture, maximising storage and opting for neutral colours. “It also means the use of plants, and paintings at appropriate places and allowing maximum natural light to come inside the house. An open kitchen along with dining and living is also gaining popularity for minimalistic homes.”
Homes will no longer remain tiny if some ideas used have a long-term impact on making it long massive.