FOR TINY-HOME DWELLERS, THE SECRET IS TO PARE DOWN TO THE ESSENTIALS
BY Zoe Phoon
A big house with some land may be our dream. However, compact or small space living is on the rise to overcome scarce land, expensive housing and as cities absorb more people in the future.
This is happening not only in the world’s most populated city, Tokyo, as urban housing supplies are already straining worldwide.
In North America, about 82% of the total population or 474 million people live in urban areas and many of the new units being built are getting smaller and smaller.
But that doesn’t mean living small can’t be efficient, comfortable and with enough privacy to make these petite spaces home-sweet-home as well as decent housing.
And the bright side is, a simpler and more affordable lifestyle will mean a home that’s easy to maintain yet you can still make it into a pleasant retreat.
For dwellers of tiny homes, to make space feel bigger, the secret is to pare down to the essentials, so your home is nice and clutter-free.
Simple ways to make spaces feel more open:
- With laptops now commonplace, for small spaces where a kitchen or dining room doubles up as workspace, consider a pullout breakfast- or bar-style table built into a kitchen unit.
When not in use, slide it back into place.
- Bunk beds are ideal for children’s rooms where they can also play adventure games.
- A modular sofa will let you add as many or as few pieces as the space allows.
- Glass is a good choice for small space as it doesn’t block sight lines.
- Dual-purpose furniture like a slim sofa bed is perfect for saving space and double up as a bed for the occupant of a tiny studio or as another sleeping space in a one-bedroom pad.
- Neutral, muted colours make a space feel more open. White or off-white paint colours accentuate your décor rather than overpower it.
If you don’t want to totally repaint, hang a black or white photograph or add a few neutral throw pillows to your couch.
Overstuffed couches and clunky pieces have no place in a tiny home.
- Opt for clean surfaces. Cover chaos to minimise clutter. Keep shelves and tabletops clean. Only display what you want people to admire.
- Choose stripes or geometric designs instead of busy prints.
Uncomplicated stripes or diamond prints freshen up your living room or bedroom and make the whole space look bigger than it really is.
- Natural light is an accessory. Allowing more natural light to shine in through the windows and your home will instantly make it feel more spacious.
So pull back the curtains and let the sunshine in.
- Mirrors take what sunlight you have and bounce it around the room. Place your mirror to reflect a window or view to add bonus light.
- Properly spaced objects make your home look and feel less disordered.
Avoid piles and stacks that crowd the space and overwhelm the eye, when organising your closet or coffee table.