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Downsize Your Home: Smart Tips For Small Space Living

Updated on February 17, 2020
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With almost 20 different addresses behind her, Alex Jackson is no stranger to a small space or a spot of interior design.


There are many reasons why you might consider downsizing your current home. It could be that your children have flown the nest for the final time. Or you might be heading towards retirement age and looking for a property that’s easier to manage. Spiraling costs may have made downsizing a necessity or you could have been dreaming of living in a tiny home for as long as you can remember. These small space living tips will help you make the most of your cozy living quarters – no matter why you're making the move. Let's dive in.

Choose Plain Colors

Nothing makes a small space look smaller quite like a wallpaper with a large print or a loud pattern. Using plain colors offers a streamlined look that's tricky to achieve with patterns. Decorating pros often recommend colors like classic white, light gray, and neutral tan. Don't be afraid to go for something darker though. A feature wall painted in a vibrant blue-green hue makes a statement for sure. Splashes of bolder colors and simple patterns can come in the form of art and fabrics too.


Use Simple and Functional Furniture

Fancy furniture looks out of place in a small space and may make your home appear smaller than it is. Simple pieces, such as an extendable table, will help you to achieve a more spacious look for much of the time. Better yet, choose adaptable or multipurpose furniture that offers extra functionality. A storage ottoman bench can serve as both a toy chest and a coffee table – not to mention a place to put your feet up. Your cat probably won't need much convincing to use it as a bed either.


Get Closet Clever

Closet doors that open into a small space can get in the way and make a room appear tinier. There are a couple of ways you can tackle this problem, but a common solution is to install a sliding closet door. If that sounds like too much DIY, you could replace the doors with a light-colored curtain. And if your space is so small that it doesn't have a built-in closet, a pretty clothes rack is a good swap for a bulky wardrobe.


Extend Your Living Space

If there’s a private yard attached to your new smaller home, you’re in luck. With a little TLC and forward planning, that yard can serve as another room. Small space living is about getting creative with each square foot of available space – and, yes, that includes the great outdoors. You could create a reading nook or perhaps an outdoor dining space that's perfect for entertaining. Or perhaps your new abode is a cute condo with a balcony. That counts as extra space too.


Cut Clutter

Clutter can cause chaos in the largest of homes but can take on a life of its own in a small space. No matter how skilled you are in the use of multipurpose furniture, storage only goes so far in a downsized home. Take time to consider whether you will ever start that old magazine craft project and whether you really need 100-plus pairs of shoes. Donate or gift things you don’t need, use, or want and bin or recycle anything else. Need some tips on how to clear clutter? Read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō. She also has a series on Netflix.


Create Space Using Windows and Mirrors

Now for a little magic. It probably goes without saying but clean windows let more natural light into your space, so be sure to give them a polish now and again. Heavy drapes are overbearing in a small space. Choose light or sheer window treatments instead – or nothing at all if you're not overlooked. Finally, to create the sense of more space, hang a few mirrors or lean a large freestanding version against a wall. This will help to reflect more light into the room. You can also get creative by hanging groups of mirrors together.


Make Wise Design Decisions

Color is not the only thing that can make a space seem bigger. There are some great results to be had by making wise design decisions too. Low-profile seating is a good example. Do away with those high-backed chairs in favor of low sofas and your ceilings will appear higher. There are plenty of other smart swaps you can make – not least ditching heavy bookcases for floating shelves and switching out bulky coffee tables for glass ones.


Mount Your Appliances

There’s no room for a huge media console in a small living space. Mounting your TV on a wall or above the fireplace allows you to reclaim a huge amount of floor room. The same idea applies in the kitchen where fixing your microwave to a wall will save valuable kitchen counter space. For a quick fix, you might try this microwave shelf rack instead. This will instantly double your available space. And it comes with handy hooks for towels and utensils.


Downsizing your home comes with a host of benefits – and there's a ton of fun to be had from decorating and designing it to suit. Hopefully, these small space living tips will help you get started.


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