Space Planning for Small Spaces


February 24, 2016

Open concept everyone loves it! And what’s not to love? In the smallest of apartments or homes, it can create a look and feeling of openness and spaciousness. To maintain those feelings after the furniture is placed is hard. Most people don’t realize that many factors should be considered before you start filling the room with furniture and objects. So many things should be looked at; furniture, lighting, colour just to name a few.

Here are some points that you should consider before you start purchasing pieces for your home.

FURNITURE

In a small space, you should get smaller pieces of furniture, in size and weight. Heavy sofa’s and large chairs can instantly shrink the room. You should also consider the legs of the pieces. Long and slender legs on your sofa makes it appear lighter in weight and with the space between the floor and the bottom of the furniture, it will instantly make the room look larger. You should also buy furniture that is light in colour. Darker colours tend to weigh the room down, on walls and on furniture. Keep it neutral. If you do love colour, you can buy light coloured furniture or have it pop as accents as your pillows, vases and other accessories.

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COLOUR PALETTE

Having all white throughout the space definitely opens up the room. Having the same colour throughout the whole floor also makes it appear larger. That happens because having a monochromatic colour scheme pushes the walls back and it draws your eyes further. If you are not a fan of all white, you can choose another neutral tone. As stated above, dark colours shrink the space. Painting an accent wall in a small room is also not recommended. Another way of doing an accent wall is showcasing your artwork or photos a certain way. That would be the better option when dealing with a small space.

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EMPHASIZE YOUR VERTICAL SPACE

Make your eyes work out! Using the vertical space is also another great option when dealing with small spaces. Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. The diagram attached indicates how you should dress your windows. Having them go beyond the actual window as well makes the window appear larger. By hanging them this way, you are also not blocking any natural light from coming in to the space and lighting plays a huge factor when making a room appear larger.

LIGHT IS YOUR FRIEND!

Lighting is crucial in any living space. A lack of light makes the room appear dull and dreary but it also plays a huge part in our mood. Not having enough light makes us feel sluggish and tired. By hanging the curtains away from the window allows more light to come in to the space. You also should stick to light drapery, nothing too heavy and dark. You can always double up your drapes if you want to have a layered look. Light fixture placements are also important. Many rooms, believe it or not, don’t have sufficient light in the space. If you are in one of those homes that does not have any ceiling light, you can add light by getting table or floor lamps. If you want to hang something beautiful, it might be best to call a professional electrician and have them set that up for you. With light, you should also consider your colour choice; lighter wall colours, like pale or white walls, reflect more light than dark colours.

CREATE THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATE ROOMS

If you have an open concept home, you need to get creative about how you place your furniture so you give the illusion that you have walls separating the different spaces. Make sure you are able to separate the living and dining room. It may seem counter productive to fill a coffee table with accent pieces and accessories because it may look bulky, but it gives the room a certain feeling and it simplifies the room. The typical layout is a sofa, a few chairs, a coffee table and a television stand. What you could do is, instead of chairs, have single seated fabric ottomans. For the coffee table, do a glass top with shelving or storage underneath. The glass will make the space look bigger as well.

Blesso Loft, Location: New York NY, Architect: Joel Sanders. Loft in penthouse in Nolita section of Manhattan with central light well and garden.

Blesso Loft, Location: New York NY, Architect: Joel Sanders. Loft in penthouse in Nolita section of Manhattan with central light well and garden. (source: http://casedesign.com)

CREAT CLEAR PATHS

Furniture has to be a certain distance from each other when you’re laying out a room. But when you’re short on space, you might want to shrink it down to adjust it to your room. You should have a pathway that is clear and visible; so your company can see how they are to maneuver around the room.

These are just a few suggestions as to how you can create a more spacious look to your open concept home. Proper colour, furniture, lighting and accessory selection play a huge role in how you can make your home look bigger.

Written By:

Vanessa Mitola
Interior Designer
Homes By DeSantis