Sunday, April 10, 2011

Space Saving Ideas for Your Home

This Kitchen Makes Excellent Use of Space for Dining, Working, and Storage

According to a recent article entitled “Tiny Houses Catching On “by Susan Zevon of the Associated Press, “Tiny houses are going mainstream….The average size of the American home expanded from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,340 square feet in 2004, up 140%.” People thought that living big meant just that. Everyone was looking to make that “big” real estate investment. We soon saw the “McMansions” sprouting up in the suburbs, usually on  old farm land sold to a developer who built gigantic homes starting at 3500 square feet and more. Times were generally good and people continued to buy the bigger homes and deal with jumbo mortgages, high property taxes, and utility bills. However, with the economy being what it is now, today’s real estate buyer is buying smaller. “People have lost a ton of equity, “said Boyce Thompson, editorial director of builder magazine. There is more security in buying a smaller more affordable home especially with the high unemployment rates we have and the rising energy costs.

A Garage with Efficient  Use of Space for Projects and  Storage- Erin Feasby for House and Home

What happens, though, when you move from a larger space to a smaller one? How do you improvise or plan to fit into your new home? I watched as my kids moved from their 3800 square foot home in Dallas to a 2300 square foot home in Jacksonville. They eliminated a lot of stuff at a garage sale and called me to get the name of a reputable closet storage company. A good closet storage system can really be beneficial when you are short on  space. However, it's important to think about how you utilize a room in deciding how to tackle any space issues.

Making Use of Vertical Storage- the Bookshelves - When Space is Tight - Decor Pad 

Let’s take a closer look at some small spaces and see how the  residents have addressed these limitations keeping function in mind.

An Angled Mirror and Sink Give the Illusion of More Space - Decor Pad

This small  U-shaped kitchen makes great use of space with the tall cabinets and the metal rods that are attached to the backsplash - to hang kitchen utensils.  The peninsula also offers dining space.  Notice the towel rack on the outside end of the cabinet.  The accent and task lighting are also a plus for this well-designed "culinary den". 

A Well-lit Efficient Kitchen -

Here is an idea to extend counter space but not detract from one of the main functions of this bathroom . There is even one shelf for storage.  

A Practical Bathroom Design - Michael Tauber for Houzz

In the next photo, we see a very well-planned studio apartment.  This is one big open space that functions as a dining area, sleeping area, and living room.  Notice how the rug defines the eating area and the open bookshelves serve as storage and a divider - much better idea than just using a screen.  When you are living in small quarters, it's always a good idea to include dual-purpose items such as bookshelves, ottomans, trunks, benches, or ottomans that can provide storage, too.

A Rug Defines the Eating Area - Apartment Therapy

In this small nautical-themed boys' bedroom, the built-in bunk beds with drawers and bookcases still allow room for other activities as well as sleeping for four!

Bunk Beds Allow Sleeping for Four - Decor Pad

The owner of this home has pushed together two large ottomans to serve as a couch.  There may even be storage inside each piece.  Notice how the shelving satisfies the storage need. Magazines form a decorative border around the coffee table and the wooden tray serves to organize the accessories. Looks like someone is also keeping score here!

Two Ottomans Make a Couch- Domino Magazine

You can see that this biker has a very creative way of storing a bike by using it to decorate the wall. Notice how this open space uses the back of the couch as a room divider. A bookcase against the wall offers more storage space. The rug also defines the living area. Unfortunately, we don't see the coffee table to assess its storage capabilities.

Efficient  Use of Space - Bike Art - Apartment Therapy

Here we have another open studio apartment where the bookcase/media center divides the sleeping area from the social area .  What makes this nice is that the television can be turned so it can also be watched from the bed.

A Media Center Defines the Living Areas - 

If you are short on space, find areas where you can tuck some seating or a desk for writing or surfing the Internet. Since this space is so visible from the entry way, the owner selected a desk that could be closed when not in use. I need an office like that! 

Tucking a Desk Under the Staircase - Decor Pad

Laundry rooms are usually small, filled with clothes and tend to become deposit areas for junk. ( I think I've just defined my office!!!) The cabinets here provide lots of storage.  Love the way the countertop extends over the washer and dryer for folding clothes and a small sink is included.  Looks like they have included some closets for those items which have just come out of the dryer!  Clever idea. I'd like an ironing board that comes out of the wall.  Yes, I still iron; it's a bad habit!  Anything you'd like in your laundry room?  Let me know by leaving a comment on my blog after this post.

 A Small Space with Function in Mind - Decor Pad

An Idea for You:

A Shelf with Decorative Brackets Can Be Used To Create a Foyer Feel in a Small Home

If  you have no official foyer area in your home, create the illusion by installing a shelf on corbels which are  decorative brackets. You can then place some accessories such as a vase, a framed photo or candle and candleholder on it.  You can also add a piece of artwork or a mirror behind it.

In this tiny bathroom, the owner angled the mirror and sink in the corner  giving the illusion of more space.  There is also storage space behind the sink's skirt.  


Philippine properties said...

Your room is beautiful. I know I have visited here a couple of times but I truly must add you to my regular visits. Your photos and posts are just lovely. So inspiring.

Arrielle P

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