The housing market isn’t doing anyone any favours right now. Prices are rising, rent is rising, and affordable homes are shrinking. It’s why most of us are likely to find ourselves trying use every piece of space we can find in our homes. Making your current small space liveable might seem insurmountable, but with these budget friendly tips you’ll soon be on your way.
Encourage natural light
The number one rule of making a home feel bigger is to let in natural light. It might not give you more physical space, but your head will feel less cramped. There are a lot of things you can do to encourage natural light.
You could start by painting every wall white, because light will bounce off white walls better, although this may look a little bland. Other good colours to use to create the same effect might be very light natural hues, such as greens, blues or beiges. Research suggests that using these colours helps to instil a sense of calm, too.
Getting yourself some mesh curtains so you let the light in is another good idea. Why not team them with a blackout roller blind? That way, the morning light doesn’t disturb your sleep, but visually your window dressings are neat and tidy and don’t take over the space.
You can also make the room look bigger with mirrors. Dupe your brain into thinking there is more space and light than there really is. Mirrors make a stylish addition to any room and come in all shapes and sizes to suit.
Don’t block out the light. Look for anything that stands on a windowsill or near to the window that might be bulky and could throw shadows into the room. Clearing windowsills can really help the line of sight to travel further too, so decluttering them might help to create a sense of space.
Gut the place
Harsh words come with a harsh act but, maybe you’ve simply got too much stuff. If this is the case it’s time to be a little ruthless. Perhaps you could put some in self storage. This doesn’t need to be costly, neither do you need to rent a huge unit. Sort your things first, then put away anything you don’t need at the moment. Seasonal clothes, music equipment, surfboards are all easy targets for putting to one side for certain months of the year. You can always move them back again when you’re finished your clearing process.
Next, focus on things that could be gifted elsewhere to shelters or charity shops. Clothes you never wore, gifts that were not well thought out, towels that feel like sandpaper, they can all go. Animal shelters will sometimes take old bedding too, which is worth bearing in mind.
Really think about your space whilst you’re doing this. Do you need all the furniture you have? Does it fit in well and do you utilise the space within it? If not, you can always donate it. Charity stores that accept furniture, like the British Heart Foundation, will come and pick it up for free, so you don’t have to worry about loading it into your car. If you want to keep a hold of it, consider brightening it up through upcycling which could add to a light airy feel in your room.
Hide it away
While on the subject of furniture, the concept of “out of sight, out of mind” can be useful in very small spaces. Consider removing furniture that features the idea of “display”. This might include display glass cabinets or open bookshelves, basically anything that has the potential to look a little cluttered. Look instead for cabinets with doors, or think about covering glass with some stylish fabric like cotton or linen.
This retains the option of having somewhere to put things away, but removes the belongings from permanent view. If you have ornaments, models or action figures that you want to keep on show, then clear the area around them which will help with the overall feel of your space. Everything else can go behind closed doors, ready to find when you need it.
Use vertical space
If you’re a bit like me and can’t bear the idea of hiding your books away, look into installing decent wall shelves. You might need permission if you are renting, but this will use up some undervalued vertical wall space. With everything stored up high you could put a desk or a sofa underneath too, to really make the most of the space available.
That isn’t the only way to use vertical space. There are so many tips and tricks to hanging pots, pans, mugs, glasses, spices, and utensils around a kitchen for example. A quick search on Pinterest might really help to inspire you with this.
In the bedroom, you can use vertical space by getting a bunk bed. No, really. They tend to be called loft beds when marketed at adults, but they are readily available and can really help to utilise your space. Tuck a hanging rail for clothes underneath, or perhaps a cupboard or desk and you can quickly clear the floor space in other corners of the room at the same time.
I hope that these suggestions are helpful when it comes to creating space in your home. For more home décor ideas, you might like to take a look at how you can spruce up your bathroom on a budget too!
N.B. This is a collaborative post which means that I have had input from others. For more information about how I work with others, please take a look at my disclosure page.