The Challenge of Small Spaces

The Challenge of Small Spaces

Small Space Challenges and How to Deal With Them

There’s an interior designer from Boston, MA named Gary McBournie and this is what he says about small spaces:

“I prefer living in a small house. It just puts its arms around you and makes you feel at home.”

That’s a lovely sentiment and it’s exactly how I feel in spite of the challenges that are part of small space living.

I do know something about the challenge of small spaces.

Photo by christian koch on Unsplash

I recently downsized from a single family residence to a townhouse and, although it has everything I want in a home, it’s so much smaller than I realized when I purchased it!

Even though I purged a lot of belongings before moving into the townhouse, it was surprising how little room I had to work with.

For example, I had a sectional that I just loved and when measuring the new living room before moving in, I thought it would fit just fine.  Nope!  Even though it DID fit, it was just too big for the space.  So I sold it and purchased a sofa and two chairs.

Buying a smaller sectional would have been a good option but having a sofa and two chairs will make rearranging the room so much easier.  And I promise you, that furniture will be rearranged from time to time.  It’s in my DNA!

Actually, furniture for small rooms doesn’t necessarily have to be small.  Good proportions and style are more important, in fact.

My small space doesn’t look so small, now!

So I’m on a learning curve and I’ll share my journey with everyone facing the challenge of their own small spaces.

UPDATE:

I’ve since moved from that townhouse in Minnesota to an even smaller home in Arizona. So I’ve been able to use everything I learned when I first downsized!

First of all, I didn’t move all of the furniture I had in that townhouse. The layout of my new small home is totally different than that of the townhouse.

I decided to furnish my new abode AFTER I moved. It saved moving expenses and I used that money to buy new furniture.

Actually, a lot of it isn’t NEW new…I’m happiest when I find hidden gems at resale shops, consignment stores, and Craigslist. It’s the thrill of the hunt, I guess. I love everything I found, though, so all’s well that ends well. And everything fits!

There’s an article in the latest online edition of Apartment Therapy that I think you’ll enjoy.  It’s all about measuring properly before buying furniture.

In a nutshell, it reminds us to measure:

  • The room
  • The length, height, and depth to determine angles
  • Doorways and Stairs
  • The furniture that you’re planning to purchase

Had I measured that sectional as well as the room before I moved, I definitely wouldn’t have moved it! So this is good advice.

Your thoughts?

Have you overcome a small space decor challenge?  Please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheryl K Logo

 

Bedroom Storage Solutions

Bedroom Storage Solutions

How to Maximize Bedroom Storage small bedroom

One of the biggest challenges is the bedroom, especially if it’s small. Two people sharing the room presents an even greater dilemma.

  • Sort through the clothing or items that belong in the closet or cupboard and eliminate what you haven’t used in the past few months. Do you really need that piece of clothing or pair of shoes?
  • Purchase a closet organizer to replace the single pole that is typically installed in the space. There are so many styles and price ranges to choose from that you’re sure to find just the right system for your purpose.
  • Another idea for out of season clothing is to use vacuum sealed space bags. The downside to that is that you’ll likely need to press everything when you remove the clothing from the bags!
  • Put clear storage boxes on the top shelf to store out of season items. You’ll still be able to see what you have. Or use baskets that you have labeled.

Storage Space for Two

So there are two of you in the room? Been there, done that! As crowded as it can be for two people sharing a small space, there are DIY solutions.

One of my favorite ideas is to use low chests of drawers as bedside tables. The tops are wide enough for a lamp, books and a glass of water and the drawers are perfect for clothing.

My husband had the tall dresser in the room and I used the two low chests with drawers that doubled as bedside nightstands. A great solution for a potential problem!

An ideal height is between 27″ and 30″ and the width can be whatever size will fit nicely on each side of the bed.

There’s plenty of room in each drawer for clothing or accessories.

Extra Storage in a Small Closet

Yes, that’s possible. Usually, there’s a shelf above the clothes pole. There’s plenty of room above that shelf to add another shelf…possibly even two.

There are excellent closet organizers for sale that double or triple the space. Most of them are adjustable so you can have shelves at whatever height make sense for you. And double hanging rods, too, that save so much space by hanging shirts on a rod above the rod for hanging slacks or skirts.

If your closet isn’t very wide, how about this idea for the back of the closet door?

Under the Bed Storage

  • Consider under-the-bed storage, as well. Use clear plastic containers with wheels to store whatever you need to access on a fairly regular basis.

best-wheeled-underbed-box-XQKEf

 

These containers are ideal for shoes, for example. Because the bins are easy to roll out and can be opened from either end, it’s easy to choose the shoes you want to wear, then slide the bin back underneath the bed.

 

 

If your bed is too low to the floor, simply purchase bed risers to place under each leg. You can find bed risers in home improvement stores or online.

These Whitmore Wood Bed Risers from Target are an inexpensive and heavy duty. They have an espresso finish and add 4.375″ in height to your bed and will hold 800 lbs.!

Bed Risers

Whitmore Wood Bed Risers

This makes sense regardless of the size of the room or the number of people sharing it!

Utilizing Vertical Spaces

Storage in a small room can be created vertically, as well.

  • Use the backs of doors and walls as storage 5.-Use-the-back-of-a-bathroom-door-to-hang-towels-29-Sneaky-Tips-For-Small-Space-Livingsurfaces. This idea of attaching two towel bars to the back of the bathroom door is nothing short of brilliant. But the same principle can be applied in the bedroom. It would be perfect for hanging ties or scarves or even towels, for that matter, which frees up space in the bathroom. Especially if you only have one bathroom.
  • Consider attaching hooks to the back of the door or to the bedroom walls in an organized manner. It’s an attractive and functional solution.

 

Great Ideas are on Pinterest

I love these decorative hooks, too, for keeping jewelry in order. Every opportunity for being organized should be a priority in a small space.

Pinterest picture of wall hooks

These suggestions can be applied to just about any room. You’ll be amazed at how simple it will be to keep everything in order once you actually have it in order!

See which of these ideas will work for you. You’ll find that it’s easier to stay organized once you get organized!

Check out my Pinterest board on Small Space Solutions, too.

(Updated 10/3/2018)

Your thoughts?

I’d love to post photos of your small bedroom storage solutions so be sure to send them to me in the comments!

Cheryl K Logo


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