No matter how much we save on rent each month or the fancy neighborhood we traded the size for, small spaces are always difficult to enjoy without daily frustration and the wish for a bigger house.
Here are 15 hacks to maximize the space in your house or apartment that don’t require major renovations or technical knowledge.
1. Forget low and small furniture – play with different proportions
Unless you want your house to look like a meditation temple or a dollhouse, stay away from choosing all the small and low furniture you can find. Play with different dimensions and the furniture placement until you fit everything you need, so your space looks complete and far from small. Take clue from the living room above. You can’t guess its limited measurements at first sight, as it doesn’t lack furniture, but it’s instead rich in diverse proportions and scale.
2. Use different width shelves for different purposes
Not all things require the same space, so consider narrower shelves for specific things, such as books, pantry staples, beauty items etc. This will allow you to get advantage of every little nook and you will come up with creative ideas on how to store your stuff.
3. Replace or remove the doors to gain light in windowless rooms
Take advantage of the doors to save windowless rooms by letting in the light from other rooms. You can replace the doors with semi-opaque materials like frosted glass that allow some light to come through. Additionally, if privacy is not an issue, you can remove them completely, so they don’t mess with your already limited movement when open. The best result of going without doors is the creation of uninterrupted visual perception that automatically tricks the eye into perceiving a bigger space.
4. Define the areas – don’t divide the space
You can define areas with different functions, without adding walls or dividers into an open space. The most simple and inexpensive way is to use several carpets or rugs under the dinning space, sitting area, sleeping or working space. Using the floor to define the particular areas allows you to keep the upper part of the open space free and undivided.
5. Place mirrors strategically
Mirrors are known as famous space maximizing hacking tools. However, they should be put in a position where they can reflect light or give the illusion of depth. So avoid leaving them facing a dark messy corner of your apartment.
6. Put stuff you need to hide behind a curtain
No need to worry about stuff you have nowhere to place or things you need daily and can’t store away. Make a simple curtain to hide them when necessary. Choose a hue that matches the rest of the space to avoid visual clutter or go completely opposite with a bold print to add interest.
7. Use foldable furniture
Think about the surfaces you don’t need to use all the time and consider making them foldable or expandable. Tables, desks, ironing or cutting surfaces can be a few. Keeping them vertically on the wall or tucked behind other furniture when not used will be a beneficial space saver.
8. Install a retractable bed
They might look intimidating, but if you can have one built, it is worth the extra free space you will gain. Hung from the ceiling, installed on a wall or stored inside a closet, you can find a system that works for your space.
9. Use the space behind the doors for storage
Every door can serve as extra storage, as long as you avoid heavy objects. Simple hooks are the easiest to start with, but vertical storage systems are great for smaller items, like beauty tools, stationery, jewelry, gadgets, shoes, accessories etc.
10. Raise your furniture to create storage underneath
By raising the bed even a few inches, you gain more storage area underneath. Make sure to create a system of cases that fit the whole surface or a custom-built big drawer, so the under the bed area looks neat and stays dust free. After the bed, which is probably your biggest furniture and provides more space for storage, you can continue with other items of furniture, including nightstands, dressers, closets.
11. Choose kitchen cabinets over open shelves
Many experts favor open shelves as space savers, but I would advise against them if you are not extremely organized and minimalist. You should have cabinets to hide the clutter utensils tend to create. They can match the wall color and blend a little into the background, so the whole space looks neat and calm.
12. Use a narrow console as a dinning table
A great way to avoid a classic table and save lots of space is by using a console or narrow desk and replacing chairs with stackable stools. You still have enough room for two and the possibility to add shelves underneath or at the sides. Besides dinning, this surface can be used for working, cooking and other activities. The stools can also go under the console or tucked somewhere else, to create more freedom for your daily flow.
13. Put playing space vertically
To help the kids’ rooms remain clean for longer, try to organize the toys vertically. You can also set certain activity stations like painting, puzzles and magnetic shapes on the wall.
14. Think small and alternative for a nursery
There’s no need to devote a whole room to babies, as long as they are tiny and don’t require much. Consider hanging a bassinet and adding a few shelves in a free corner to welcome your little one in your bedroom.
15. Put the crib wherever there’s space
Another clever hack to maximize your apartment’s space when you have a baby, is to put the crib wherever there is a free space. Consider a closet or any free nook of the house, as long as the conditions are appropriate for the baby to be safe.