Small-space dec­o­rat­ing mis­takes that take sec­onds to fix

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - HOMES -

When you live in a tiny home, it’s hard to know where to put all your stuff. That new pair of heels? I guess they’ll have to dou­ble as decor on the man­tel. That mas­sive ac­cu­mu­la­tion of books? Say hello to a makeshift side ta­ble. If you find your­self liv­ing in close quar­ters, then we don’t need to re­mind you how tricky dec­o­rat­ing can be in a small space, where max­i­miz­ing stor­age, uti­liz­ing square footage, and cre­ative or­ga­ni­za­tion hacks are of ut­most im­por­tance.

And while we often like to share new ad­vice for mak­ing the most of your tiny hous­ing, some­times it can be more help­ful to share what not to do. Since ev­ery­one has made some mis­takes along the way, we thought we’d share our quick fixes so you can avoid learn­ing the hard way. Read on for six mis­takes to watch out for when out­fit­ting your pe­tite pad.

MIS­TAKE NO. 1 UNDERESTIMATING NAT­U­RAL LIGHT

Nat­u­ral light is a small space’s best friend. Max­i­mize yours by plac­ing mir­rors on op­po­site walls from your win­dows to re­flect and spread the light. Opt for wo­ven blinds or sheer pri­vacy cur­tains to fil­ter sun­light rather than block it, and if the nat­u­ral rays fil­ter­ing into your space are limited, keep your paint hues and dom­i­nant fur­ni­ture col­ors light to brighten the over­all mood.

MIS­TAKE NO. 2 IN­TER­RUPT­ING VIS­UAL FLOW

Co­he­sion, co­he­sion, co­he­sion. If your home and start tak­ing steps to make the most of it, the quicker you’ll be able to craft chic sur­round­ings. If you don’t have room for a bed­side ta­ble, squeez­ing one in will only make your room feel more cramped. In­stead, opt for a stool to rest re­mote con­trols, mag­a­zines and tiny ta­ble lamps. If a me­dia cabi­net won’t fit in your avail­able square footage, mount a flat-screen on the wall, or tuck it into a book­shelf. In­stead of a full-size desk, con­sider a van­ity or nar­row con­sole. Cram­ming items in that will only lead to an un­us­able, squashed space.

MIS­TAKE NO. 4 CROWDING THE SUR­FACES

No mat­ter how many smart stor­age so­lu­tions you in­cor­po­rate, you’ll al­ways have limited space. It’s im­por­tant to eval­u­ate your be­long­ings and make sure ev­ery­thing is mean­ing­ful or func­tional. This can be su­per com­mon on our van­i­ties or in the bath­room, where prod­ucts tend to pile up.

Sep­a­rately, never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of mir­rors. They can dou­ble the vis­ual space in a small home and re­flect light and color to add vis­ual in­ter­est. Mir­rored back­splashes in­crease the size of a small kitchen, mir­rored fur­ni­ture pro­vides an unexpected re­flec­tive sur­face, and large mir­rored panels on a wall look like ad­di­tional win­dows.

MIS­TAKE NO. 5 WAST­ING VALU­ABLE SPACE

Get cre­ative when it comes to stor­age ar­eas and places to carve out more use­able square footage. In­cor­po­rat­ing floor-to-ceil­ing shelv­ing, uti­liz­ing the space above the win­dow frame and adding built-in seat­ing max­i­mize the func­tion­al­ity of this small fam­ily room. Plac­ing a sofa in front of the book­cases en­ables unexpected stor­age on the shelves be­hind it.

If your kitchen is pe­tite, rather than use counter space for dec­o­ra­tive bowls or knick­knacks, uti­lize the space un­der the up­per cab­i­nets for hang­ing uten­sil stor­age so your draw­ers and cab­i­nets are free to hide less-at­trac­tive ne­ces­si­ties. If your bath­room is tiny, forgo art above the toi­let in fa­vor of a hang­ing cabi­net to in­crease your closed stor­age space.

MIS­TAKE NO. 6 PLAY­ING IT SAFE

If you do pre­fer min­i­mal­is­tic styles, then am­pli­fy­ing your small space by avoid­ing clut­ter and crowding your home with pat­terns is prob­a­bly eas­ier. But if you love max­i­mal­ism, don’t fret over size. A lack of square footage doesn’t mean your home has to be bland. In­cor­po­rate large-scale pat­terns and bright-col­ored ac­cents to bring in­ter­est to your pad. Bold wallpaper in a color scheme that con­nects your rooms, or bright drap­ery hung close to the ceil­ing will cre­ate fo­cal points to dis­tract the eye from a lack of ex­cess space.

TIJSB / FLICKR

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