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Bright ideas for compact living

Living in a small space shouldn’t have to mean saying goodbye to comfort. Quite the opposite in fact! Check out our bright ideas for compact living and turn your home into a haven.

24/07/2013Print article
 
 
By Lotta Svedberg
Photo Malin Nuhma

If you live in a small house or flat you sometimes wish for more space but with a few bright ideas, we will show you that living on a small scale can be fantastic!

“Sometimes it’s about seeing the advantages of living on a smaller scale,” says interior designer and Feng Shui expert Karin Svanberg. “It’s a unique opportunity to create a space in which you truly feel at home, and to clear out all the stuff you no longer need or even like.”

If you have a small bedroom, start by finding the best place to put the bed. Lots of people go for a loft bed. You need a ceiling height of at least 240-250 cm for a loft bed so plan before investing in one. If your bed is on the ground, it makes sense to make the most of the space underneath it. You can buy beds with built-in drawers and cupboards underneath but it’s also easy to make your own.

“When I lived in bedsits I separated the bed from the rest of the space with a beautiful screen down the long side and a curtain at the short end. It was a way to mark out that this was where I slept and the rest of the home was where we socialised.”

If you divide your bedsit into sections, it will feel bigger. You can screen areas off with curtains hung from ceiling rails or use a bookcase. Make sure that all your furniture is multi-functional. A sofa bed makes it easy for friends to stay the night and the coffee table can be a chest for cushions and blankets.

“People often recommend folding chairs but I think it’s even better to buy floor cushions that can be stacked in a pile and then spread out when visitors come round.”

Invest in a drop-leaf table with round edges and use it as a desk, and as a dining table when you’ve got guests. With a laptop and a separate monitor, there’s no need for a desktop. Hang the flat-screen on the wall and organise the cables in a cable tidy. Use the wall space just below the ceiling for a shelf that can run all the way round the room.

“Make the maximum use of any storage space you have in the cellar or the loft and organise it so it’s easy to get at your stuff when you need it. Use it to store clothes that are out of season, the vacuum cleaner, the ironing board and anything else you don’t use every day.

Put up lots of hooks on the walls and the inside of doors. When it comes to lighting, uplighter floor lamps and wall lamps make the space seem larger as they reflect the light back from the ceiling. Lighting up the corners can also create the illusion of space.

“Be creative and make the space a reflection of your personality. Only surround yourself with things that are beautiful and inspiring,” Karin Svanberg concludes.
 

USB stick
Make a habit of saving all your important data, music and photos to a memory stick to minimise physical storage space.
 

Vacuum storage bags
Make the most of your storage and wardrobe space. Pack extra bed linen, cushions and winter clothes in a vacuum storage bag.
 

Kettle
A simple kettle that’s practical and takes up the minimum of space is your best friend when you’re living on a small scale.
 

 
 

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