Draw­ing Board

It’s all in the de­tails

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

Ad­vice for plan­ning a small home of­ten in­cludes tips for elim­i­nat­ing, par­ing down and, in the end, mak­ing ma­jor com­pro­mises. How­ever, there are some things even the lit­tlest homes should in­clude. Here are eight essen­tials that are al­ways worth mak­ing room for.

A drop zone.

Smaller square footage might mean do­ing away with a for­mal en­try­way, but ev­ery home should have a space to de­com­press and neatly “drop” your things when you re­turn home. Des­ig­nate a lit­tle space by the front door with a ta­ble and hooks, per­haps, for stor­ing your coat and keys. Some sort of seat like a stool or bench is also a nice ad­di­tion as it serves as a place to sit while putting on shoes or if you’re wait­ing on oth­ers to leave. A mir­ror or group­ing of framed pho­tographs will pro­vide a wel­com­ing touch.

Smart light­ing.

In a small space, the light­ing is of­ten in­ad­e­quate, as it tends

to be as­sumed that a sin­gle fix­ture can prop­erly light each area. In re­al­ity, good light­ing can never come from just one source, so it’s al­ways im­por­tant to in­clude a di­verse pal­ette of fix­tures.

Small-space so­lu­tion: Use wall sconces. These will brighten your walls and add to the over­all style of your house with­out tak­ing up any square footage from your floor plan or ta­ble sur­faces.

A quiet place to get things done.

In­cor­po­rat­ing a des­ig­nated work space in your home is a smart idea, es­pe­cially when you’re in tight quar­ters. To ac­com­plish this, think about how to se­quester the space to make it pri­vate. You could plan ahead and build this area into your home’s floor plan, or it could just be a mat­ter of find­ing a spot that feels com­fort­able be­fore us­ing a cur­tain or screen to sec­tion it off. It could also be as sim­ple as in­cor­po­rat­ing a series of tall ob­jects to cre­ate a “wall” around the space.

A real din­ing sur­face.

In a small home — and even in a lot of to­day’s larger houses — you rarely find a ded­i­cated din­ing room. This can make the house feel more com­fort­able and ca­sual, but you should still in­cor­po­rate a space for a proper sit-down meal that isn’t on your lap or at your cof­fee ta­ble. A smart way to in­clude seat­ing for meals is by tuck­ing stools un­der a kitchen is­land, or you can try push­ing a small din­ing ta­ble up against a wall or win­dow to seat just a few din­ers.

Color, pat­tern and tex­ture.

Com­mon in­te­rior de­sign knowl­edge states that us­ing lots of whites and neu­trals in a smaller house will make the in­te­rior spa­ces feel more open and, ul­ti­mately, larger than they re­ally are. But that doesn’t mean that all color and pat­tern should be strictly for­bid­den. Keep your small home feel­ing warm and cozy by in­clud­ing color, pat­tern and dif­fer­ent tex­tures in limited doses, such as an ac­cent piece of fur­ni­ture or through area rugs and throw pil­lows.

A com­fort­able place to sit.

When you’re work­ing with a smaller square footage, it’s tempt­ing to size down your fur­nish­ings, cre­at­ing lit­tle seat­ing ar­eas all over your home. In­stead, in­vest in at least one re­ally com­fort­able full-sized place to sit and re­lax. This means a deep sofa or over­sized arm­chairs over more mod­ern de­signs. If space is truly a fac­tor, opt for a set­tee or loveseat over a large couch. Also, to fit in ex­tra oc­ca­sional guests, have com­pact side chairs on hand that are only meant for sit­ting in for a few hours or you can even pull up an ot­toman for added seat­ing.

Wel­com­ing out­door spa­ces.

A ba­sic out­door kitchen, with a grill, sink, coun­ter­top and pe­tite fridge can cost as lit­tle as a few thou­sand dol­lars — far less than it would cost to build ad­di­tional con­di­tioned space — and the boost it can give your en­joy­ment of your cozy home is price­less. Even sim­ple pa­tio and deck spa­ces will draw you and your guests out­doors, putting less pres­sure on the ac­com­mo­da­tions of your home’s in­te­rior.

Space to breathe.

Lastly, when dec­o­rat­ing your small home, don’t for­get to leave room for one very im­por­tant thing: empty space. Fill­ing ever y square inch of your walls and floor­ing with ac­ces­sories and un­needed fur­ni­ture leaves the space feel­ing clut­tered and cramped. Let some walls re­main empty, and keep lots of cir­cu­la­tion space open so you can move about freely and re­ally en­joy the square footage you have.

In­cor­po­rate a land­ing or “drop” zone near the front door for set­ting down keys or mail. A bench makes the space even more func­tional.

ABOVE: Even when you’re work­ing with limited space, it’s im­por­tant to cre­ate cozy sit­ting ar­eas with com­fort­able (trans­la­tion: not small or for­mal) fur­ni­ture. RIGHT: Push­ing a din­ing ta­ble up against a wall is a smart way to save on square footage in a...

A com­fort­able out­door area, com­plete with plenty of seat­ing and a fire­place, makes for ad­di­tional year-round en­ter­tain­ing space.

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