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Make Small Living Spaces Inviting

March 31 2010

Do you wish your home were bigger? If you do, you’re not alone. The National Association of REALTORS® says the desire for more space is the most commonly reported reason among homebuyers between the ages of 25 and 44, as well as repeat home buyers.

Not every home owner can afford to live large, but with a little creativity you can make a small home more attractive. 

Think Cozy

There’s something to be said for a compact home – it’s efficient, less expensive to heat and cool and requires less stuff to fill it.

If you’re buying your first home, or you’re downsizing from a larger home, you may feel the squeeze of small spaces at first, but follow these tips and you’ll soon appreciate that less can really be more. The trick is having what you want, but recognizing that there’s no room, and perhaps no need, for extras or excess. 

Think Quality

A smaller home in a sought-after neighborhood that’s closer to the jobs, schools, and amenities you need will more than make up for a longer commute for a home with more space.

Go for quality. Fewer but well-chosen pieces of furniture and accessories can make a great statement about who you are and what you want your home to convey.

Think Clean

Minimize clutter. Nothing makes a space feel cramped more than piles of stuff, papers, videos, games, etc. Be ruthless. If you don’t think you’ll really read that magazine, donate it to the library.

Don’t populate the house with furniture you don’t need. If you’re veering around furniture to enter a room, it’s too large or too much.

Think Clever

Decorating a small space can be a lot of fun if you think in terms of furniture doing double duty.

Ottomans can triple up as a foot rest, extra seating or coffee table. Nesting tables can house two smaller tables underneath the largest table, that you can bring out when needed.

If you like to entertain, folding chairs work well, you use them only when needed and they store fairly flat. Consider shelves in areas like above the commode in the bathroom. Store unused baking pans in the oven.

Think Light

Let the light in whenever possible. Bright spaces look larger than dark spaces. Light cheerful colors on walls and in your décor can expand any room. Tall, slender lamps with small bases take up less room. Strategically placed mirrors can also expand a room.

Remember, it’s not the amount of square footage that matters – it’s how well you use it.