Living Large in a Small Space

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The primary challenge for living large in a small space is how to create a warm and inviting home while finding the best use for every square inch without creating clutter.

That’s quite a challenge, wouldn’t you agree?  But it’s not impossible.  It might just be the most rewarding home project you’ve tackled in a long time.  What a feeling of satisfaction you’ll have when you stand back and realize what you’ve accomplished!

Here’s a video I think you’ll enjoy.  The end result is quite inspiring.

This is the living/dining room, of course, but it’s the space where they spend the most time.

I love the table which can be used as a desk but expanded when you are entertaining. The wall mounted cabinets were a stroke of genius and created a perfect spot for the bicycles.

The only change I might suggest is that they swap out the sofa for a daybed which could be used as a guest bed.

Please share your thoughts on these ideas…I’d love to include your suggestions here, as well.

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Using Mirrors in Small Spaces

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Why You Should Use Mirrors in Small Spaces

Regardless of the size of the room, light is an important element in home decor. Light enhances the furnishings and the colors in the room. Natural light is ideal but sometimes it’s lacking in a space so including mirrors in room design is a favorite choice by many interior designers.

Mirrors and Light

Using mirrors in small spaces is an effective way to enhance the size and depth of the room by reflecting the natural light. Mirrors give the illusion of more space and add to the decor without adding clutter.

Where to Use Mirrors to Their Best Advantage

  • If you can hang a mirror opposite a window, go for it.  It will reflect the most light.
  • Using mirrors in living and dining spaces is a first choice, if possible. For example, reflecting the table in a dining room creates the illusion of double the food. That creates a feng shui symbol that signifies wealth and abundance.
  • Reflecting a pretty outside view brings energy into the room and it’s said that prosperity is signified by a reflection of water.
  • Placing a mirror in the entryway along with a chair or bench is a long standing tradition. If the foyer is small, a mirror gives the illusion of space plus a place to check your appearance before leaving home.
  • Never place a mirror to reflect something unappealing…you don’t want to reflect a toilet in a bathroom or the trash container in a kitchen.

Mirror Size and Shape are Considerations

So what size should you choose?  Well, it depends…

A large, floor mirror in between two windows gives the illusion of another window. But placing a large mirror across from a living room window is also a fine idea.

Put a mirror inside a bookcase or propped against the wall on a fireplace mantle. Placing a mirror inside a non-working fireplace is a wonderful way to open up and bring extra light into a small room.

A round mirror will bring relief to a room that has an abundance of sharp corners.

Mirrored furniture should be used judiciously but that’s an option, as well. Mirrored end tables or chests are good choices.
So there you go… just a few suggestions for using mirrors to maximize your small space!  You might want to check out a selection of Chic Modern Mirrors To Complete Your Wall at Dot & Bo.  I love that site!
If you’ve already used mirrors in a unique way, I would love to include your ideas, too.   And, as always, thanks for stopping by!
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Best Kitchen Storage Ideas

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Kitchen Storage – A Universal Dilemma

Well, if any room in the house is almost guaranteed to have a lack of storage, I’d say the kitchen wins, hands down!

There are a couple of tricks you can employ to ease the situation but first and foremost, it’s back to that pesky “purge what you don’t really need” task.

<img class="alignright wp-image-177 size-medium" src="https://smallspacedecorideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/stock-photo-kitchen-drawer-crammed-full-of-utensils-61332814-e1437170080396-300×163.jpg" alt="stock-photo-kitchen-drawer-crammed-full-of-utensils-61332814" width="300" height="163" srcset="http://smallspacedecorideas try these out.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/stock-photo-kitchen-drawer-crammed-full-of-utensils-61332814-e1437170080396-300×163.jpg 300w, https://smallspacedecorideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/stock-photo-kitchen-drawer-crammed-full-of-utensils-61332814-e1437170080396.jpg 450w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

I don’t know about you, but I have to confess to having a kitchen drawer filled with odds and ends…stray cookie cutters, a knife sharpener, jar openers, the odd canape knife, twist-ties, plastic forks or knives, straws, pencils, pens, a screw driver, odd nails & screws…you get the idea.

If you’re like me, half of the pens in that drawer don’t even work…you scribble a little on a piece of paper and if it’s not working you just toss it back in the drawer. And when was the last time you used that knife sharpener?

My point is, that drawer could be put to MUCH better use!

Vertical Storage Solutions

Another common storage problem is how to store cookie sheets, trays, cutting boards, cooling racks, etc.  I had mine in the bottom drawer of my oven but every time I needed an item, it was nerve-wracking trying to get to the one on the bottom…because what I needed always seemed to be at the bottom of the drawer. That drawer is a good place to keep lids from cooking pots or grilling tools, etc.

Here’s how I solved that problem: A vertical divider in one of my kitchen cupboards.  Now I can select just the tray or cookie sheet that I’m needing easily with no frayed nerves.  (That’s a food processor peeking out on the left side of the photo).

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My Best Kitchen Storage Solution

Kitchen dividers like this are not expensive, at all, but they’re worth their weight in gold as far as I’m concerned.  And there are dozens to choose from.

When all is said and done, it’s all about organizing…that’s how you maximize space.

Cookbooks

I’m the last person who should be talking about cookbooks.  There was a time when I had hundreds.  I’m not kidding.  I can sit down with a cookbook and read it like a novel.  I love to cook. I had a food blog so they were all necessary resources.

In this day and age, however, there is little need for cookbooks because there’s virtually no recipe that you can’t find somewhere online. There are food blogs galore and food network websites. And yet, I can definitely make a case for keeping cookbooks at home.

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My Cookbooks in the cabinet above my microwave oven

Some of my favorites I’ve had for many years and there recipes that are family favorites and recipes that I’ve tweaked so the modifications are noted on the pages.

You know that cabinet that’s above the microwave oven or over the stove or above the kitchen sink? Most of the time there’s a stove vent pipe inside or, in my case, the plug for the microwave and the outlet are inside so there’s not much room.  Well, as you can see, there was just enough room for the cookbooks I’ve decided that I can’t live without.

Pots and Pans in a Small Space

A good solution for storage of pots and pans is to hang them on pegboard mounted on a wall in your small kitchen.  An attractive and sensible idea.

pot hanging wall

Consider wall storage for cooking utensils.

kitchen wall storage

Five Amazing Kitchen Hacks!

This video illustrates 5 genius ideas for maximizing space in any size kitchen, but they’re particularly brilliant for small kitchens.

I hope these suggestions will help you think outside of the box for small space kitchen storage solutions. Let me know if you try any of these ideas or if you’ve created a unique solution that you’d like to share.  Send pictures, if you have them.

As always, I’ll periodically update this post so stay tuned!

Cheryl K.

 

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How to Personalize a Small Space Rental

Challenge: Personalizing My Small Space

Renting rather than buying your home can present another challenge…how do you personalize your small space while keeping within the terms of your rental agreement?

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This photo is of an apartment in New York City’s West Village.  It’s bright and open and only 500 square feet!

I know you’ll enjoy this Apartment Therapy video of two apartments in the West Village including the one pictured above.. They are both rentals. They’re in the same building and have identical floor plans.

This is a perfect example of how to easily and inexpensively personalize a rental apartment.  Notice how just changing the wall color makes such a difference in the vibe of each apartment.  Also, one is pretty much a wide open space where the other has been divided into “rooms”, so to speak.

So just imagine how you can employ these same small space ideas into your own tiny abode! Enjoy.

Your thoughts?

If you’ve got a great idea for personalizing a small space rental, please comment…add pictures, too, if you like!

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The Challenge of Small Spaces

The Challenge of Small Spaces

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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.

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:

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!

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