(STATEPOINT) — No matter where you live, you want to make the most of your available living and storage space.
This is especially true for residents in urban areas who typically have smaller living spaces. And urban living is on the rise. As of 2010, more than half of all people lived in an urban area, and by 2030 it is anticipated that six out of every 10 people will be living in a city, according to the World Health Organization.
But less space doesn’t mean that you have to go without, say experts.
“A few simple adjustments can help you maintain your comfort in a small home,” says Robin Wilson, celebrity interior designer with expertise in creating healthy spaces.
There are plenty of ways to “open up” your living spaces to create more room.
The Living Room
Choose furniture for a small living room that is appropriate for the space. For example, avoid sofas with skirts and select couches which are raised off the floor to create a more open look.
A large, strategically placed mirror can also help create the illusion that your living room is actually much larger than it is. The same goes for lack of clutter. Be sure to keep a small space organized with a daily once-over.
Living simply can go a long way toward making your home feel larger. Every season, go through your closet and toss aside items that are worn out, no longer fit, or are out of style.
Use creative storage solutions to make more space. For example, an ottoman that doubles as a trunk is a great place to store old photos and keepsakes. A bike rack that mounts to the wall can clear valuable floor space in your foyer.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, particularly if you like entertaining or love to cook. Unfortunately, kitchens can get overcrowded quickly by excessive gadgetry.
“If counter space is at a premium, consider highly functional appliances that have multiple uses,” says Wilson.
For example, the Panasonic Genius NN-SD681S microwave is equipped with inverter technology, which gives this kitchen essential the ability to function like an oven and ensures every dish is cooked evenly throughout. Though it is compact in size, it still maintains a spacious interior and comes with an optional trim kit that easily converts this microwave to a built-in, freeing up counter space while giving a stylish accent to cabinetry. More information can be found at www. Panasonic.com.
Give the illusion of space by decorating with pale or pastel colors on the walls and floor. Avoid using bolder colors, except on towels and ornamental pieces
Throughout the Home
Ensure that you have lighting at floor, table and eye level to help limit shadows. Another trick is to use a tall lamp to draw eyes upwards and add height to the room.
A small home is no excuse for feeling cramped. With a few interior design strategies in place, you can make even the smallest space feel larger in size.