Some of the homes in Nevada County are tiny. From tiny under 500 square foot miner’s cottages to 1200 square feet 4 bed 2 bath homes, some local properties are compact. Despite the challenge of space, many families make it work. They do what they can to make their home feel as spacious and inviting as possible. Have you been challenged with a small space? Here are a few tips to visually elongate your home and make it brighter and more open, along with furniture suggestions that up your storage capacity so your petite space doesn’t feel claustrophobic.
Double drop-leaf tables. These tables can provide eating surface for one or two people and expand to accommodate small groups. When not in use, certain models can completely fold away to be tucked behind a door or leaned against a wall. Pair one with folding chairs and you’ll save even more space. Find a version with wheels or add your own to easily pull the table around to create a console near the entryway or a makeshift bar cart. If you’re looking for something similar for your own tiny space, search for terms such as double drop-leaf, narrow dinner table or expandable table to find a piece that will be multifunctional and work in a petite space. A few big-box stores have new versions of this style, but if you’re looking for vintage, the midcentury era was especially big on multifunctional pieces for compact living. Try a local garage sale, thrift store, or one of the many vintage stores in town.
Sofa with storage. A sofa that offers storage is a double whammy in a small space. Splurging on custom built-ins, if you can, provides the best results, and homeowners never regret the expense of smart storage. But if you’re looking for a DIY option, seek out a sturdy shelf that has cubbies and a strong frame. Ideally you’re choosing a shelf that’s made to either stand upright or be on its side.
Murphy bed. A Murphy or fold-up bed is one of the best ways to have your cake and eat it too in a small space. If you’re unwilling to part with your king-size bed in a 200-square-foot space, for example, this will allow you that luxury. An additional benefit of a Murphy bed is that you don’t have to lose light or ceiling height as you do with a loft bed. You can buy hardware and make your own Murphy bed, purchase a ready-made one or even have one custom made. Adding trim to the exterior makes it feel more finished and intentional.
See-through table. A “ghost” table is another great multipurpose item. It’s a desk, console table, bedside table or dinner table for one and will visually disappear into a room.
Horizontal lines. Choose repeating horizontal lines in the flooring, siding and even ceiling boards to make a room feel longer. Forgoing a rug is another helpful way to make your space feel bigger. Not having any visual interruption on the floorboards creates an optical illusion that your space is longer than it is.
Let the light in. Choosing glass French doors allows more light to enter your space, making it feel more open. They also let as much light in as possible without having to cut into the walls to add extra windows, particularly helpful if you’re modifying an existing small space. There are plenty of decent low-end French doors out there, or try finding some used ones to keep costs down.
Light paint. A lighter wall color allows you to keep your space open and bright while then accessorizing with pops of color and enriching the room with various textures.
Paint furniture the same color as the walls. Painting furniture and appliances the same color as the walls (or choosing appliance finishes in the same color) also helps a space feel bigger. Bring in accent color with plants, textiles and accessories. Placing a cutting board over a sink creates an extra cutting and prep surface when you’re not using the sink — another great space-saving trick.
Go up. Continue your storage up your walls to create more room without taking up precious square footage. Choosing attractive versions of staples like containers or a tea kettle allow you to skip additional storage by keeping such items in the open.
Go out. Continue your interior space outside to allow your petite space to feel more expansive and less limiting. Add additional seating, accessories, art, plants and anything else to entice you and your guests out. Having the space, even if it’s a small balcony for one person, to have tea in the mornings or wine in the evenings is something you won’t ever take for granted.
Want to downsize to take advantage of these tips? Contact a Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty agent today!