Advertising
Advertising

5 Design Hacks to Make Small Spaces Cozier and More Functional

5 Design Hacks to Make Small Spaces Cozier and More Functional

Living in small house or tiny apartment can sometimes feel constricting and limiting. As a result, you’re often forced to get creative with layout, furniture, design, and storage. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to making small spaces cozier and more functional, here are a handful of design hacks most will find valuable.

1. Use Bright Paint Colors

The community used special rubber-based traffic paint to fill in the design, which they received at the standard city utility price. The paint is manufactured specifically to withstand the typical wear-and-tear of being used on a city road. Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily
    (Photo by Ames247)

    Since you can’t actually make the room bigger, you’ll need to leverage some design hacks. One of the best ways to do this is by painting the walls.

    “Light and bright walls are more reflective, making a space feel open and airy, which helps maximize the effect created by natural light,” says Mihai-Cristian Micle of Freshhome. “Dark colors, on the other hand, tend to absorb light, making a room look smaller.”

    Advertising

    Another trick is to paint wall trim and moldings a lighter color than the walls. As a result, the walls actually appear further back than they are. This can make your living spaces seem much bigger.

    2. Create a Focal Point

    5127609091_5416d858e5_o
      (Photo by Katri)

      Small spaces need focal points that command attention. Perhaps the best option for creating a cozy focal point in the living room is a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces are not only cost-effective sources of heat in small rooms, but they also provide light and ambiance. The fireplace establishes a natural furniture layout and guides the room in a particular direction.

      Another ideal focal point is a large wall mirror. Mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of more space. They’re also great decorative elements and allow you to fill lots of wall space without unnecessary clutter.

      Advertising

      3. Let in the Natural Light

      SONY DSC
        (Photo by romana klee)

        Dark spaces feel small and dingy, while light spaces feel open and airy. Wherever there are windows, make sure you’re maximizing the natural light they provide. While it may be necessary to have blinds or curtains to ensure privacy, make sure you choose the right ones. White curtains are great because they can give you privacy without blocking out light. If using blinds, angle them in such a way that they still let in light without giving others a view into your living space.

        4. Be Strategic with Furniture

        11779910233_972d735349_o
          (Photo by Bonsoni.com)

          You need to make the most out of the furniture you purchase. For example, buy a coffee table that doubles as a storage unit, or purchase a sleeper sofa so you can give guests a place to sleep, even if there’s no guest bedroom. Find as many uses as possible for your furniture and design elements. The versatility won’t make rooms bigger, but it will make them more functional.

          5. Get Rid of the Junk

          851672959_6fc621ed25_o
            (Photo by Avi)

            There’s nothing cozy or functional about having lots of stuff. One of the beauties of living in a small apartment or home is that you’re forced to get rid of things you don’t need.

            Advertising

            Go through all of your belongings and ask yourself two simple questions: (1) Have I used this item in the past six months? (2) Will I use this item in the next six months? If the honest answer to both of these questions is no, then it needs to go.

            Let Your Creative Side Loose

            When you’re working within the confines of a small space, every individual element suddenly becomes more important. You can’t afford to waste any nook or cranny and you must take advantage of every opportunity to maximize functionality and aesthetic appeal.

            Use these five tips as a helpful starting point and don’t be afraid to let your creative side shine. There are no steadfast rules. When it comes to design, beauty is in the eye of the decorator.

            Advertising

            Featured photo credit: Ames247 via flic.kr

            More by this author

            Anna Johansson

            Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

            19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020 10 Uplifting Positive Affirmation Apps That Help You Re-Center on the Go hourglass as time is wasting 15 Ways You Are Wasting Time During the Day (And How to Stop) When You Have These Recipes, You No Longer Need to Suppress Your Appetite for Dessert. itchy skin 4 Natural Ways to Soothe Your Itchy Skin

            Trending in Home

            1 10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home 2 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of 3 5 Reasons Why Tidying Your Room Can Change Your Life 4 25 Really Cool Cat Furniture Design Ideas Every Cat Owner Needs 5 Scientists Discover Why You Should Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering Your Home

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on August 13, 2020

            12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

            12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

            As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

            1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

            I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

            Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

            Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

            2. What is the purpose of meditation?

            The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

            It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

            Advertising

            Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

            In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

            You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

            This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

            The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

            Less Physical, More Psychological

            Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

            This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

            The First Benefit of Meditation

            The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

            1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
            2. Relaxation of the body

            Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

            Advertising

            Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

            That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

            When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

            When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

            Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

            Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

            This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

            Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

            Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

            Advertising

            This benefit takes you to the second one.

            The Second Benefit of Meditation

            While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

            1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
            2. Observance
            3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
            4. Patience

            Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

            You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

            This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

            1. Energy

            Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

            2. Observance

            The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

            3. Peacefulness

            Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

            Advertising

            4. Patience

            The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

            The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

            Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

            Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

            The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

            • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
            • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
            • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
            • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
            • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
            • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

            These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

            Final Thoughts

            Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

            Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

            Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

            More on Meditation

            Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

            Read Next