Go­ing small? fur­ni­ture place­ment is key

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - CONNIE OLIVER

WE re­cently moved an el­derly rel­a­tive into a small as­sist­edliv­ing apart­ment. The task of fur­nish­ing a small space was chal­leng­ing. For­tu­nately, the suite had a de­cent lay­out with an al­cove for a sin­gle bed, an­other al­cove for a small din­ing suite and a foyer that was sep­a­rated by a 5-foot wide wall. Large win­dows pro­vide tons of nat­u­ral light, which is help­ful in a small space.

The foot­print of the apart­ment al­lowed us to create five dif­fer­ent liv­ing zones. In do­ing so, we were able to ad­dress all of our rel­a­tive’s needs. Cre­at­ing these zones made the space feel larger and less claus­tro­pho­bic than it might have oth­er­wise been. Even though the apart­ment is quite small, the fur­ni­ture ar­range­ment of­fers com­fort­able con­ver­sa­tional ar­eas for vis­it­ing rel­a­tives. din­ing area.

The kitchen is the cook­ing zone and is vis­ually sep­a­rate from the other ar­eas be­cause it is set back into an al­cove. A wooden beam in­stalled ver­ti­cally be­side the fridge fur­ther de­fines the kitchen zone as does the jog in the wall on the other side of the kitchen. More subtly, the over­head beam sep­a­rates the kitchen and din­ing zones from the liv­ing room area. The light-coloured Behr paint in the kitchen helps bal­ance the dark cab­i­nets and the dark brick­work in the rest of the suite.

The over­all space is small but feels larger and func­tional with the cre­ation of zones.

The style, size and fin­ish of the fur­ni­ture you choose can have a huge effect on the over­all feel in a small space. As I men­tioned ear­lier, an ‘apart­ment-size’ sofa is a good choice over a over­stuffed, full-sized sofa. The low pro­file, tai­lored fin­ish and tonal fab­ric of the sofa in our fea­ture room all lend them­selves to a stylish yet de­mure look for one of the larger piece of fur­ni­ture in the space. The low pro­file helps keep the site lines clear, which is im­por­tant in an open-con­cept space. The side chair, sans arms, is in a sim­i­lar size and style that is be­fit­ting a small space. No big re­clin­ing chair in this suite! The ad­di­tion of open shelv­ing and a magazine rack be­side the chair of­fers a read­ing area.

When mov­ing into a small space, start by adding the nec­es­sary fur­ni­ture items only. One by one, add pieces that suit a small suite. Be care­ful not to over­fill a small space with ad­di­tional fur­ni­ture items, such as ac­cent ta­bles, which will crowd the space. Choose art­work and ac­ces­sories in the same fash­ion and edit out un­nec­es­sary pieces. You may have to be a bit ruth­less with your for­mer ‘stuff’ but that is part of down­siz­ing. The items that don’t make the cut can be do­nated, handed down or sold.

Liv­ing small can be stylish and en­joy­able. Each care­fully cho­sen piece will have more im­pact and per­sonal value to you. Add in some new items for a fresh start and en­joy the free­dom of liv­ing sim­ply and el­e­gantly.

The style, size and fin­ish of the fur­ni­ture you choose can have a huge effect on the over­all feel

in a small space.

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