I’ve lived in New York before and now own a tiny Cape Cod house, so I’m well acquainted with the appeal and difficulties of compact living. They can have the atmosphere of a cosy, Zen retreat when done properly. But when you try to pack everything you own into a small area, the results can frequently feel congested, claustrophobic, and anything but relaxing. It requires some deliberate effort to achieve the former as opposed to the latter.
The good news is that it can be simpler than you think to live well in a tiny place. It all comes down to using three straightforward ideas—scale, light, and movement—to deceive the eye into seeing more space.
1. Scale it down.
Above: To accommodate the little living space at Harbour Cottage in Maine, every piece of furniture—even the woodstove—has been scaled back. Picture taken from A Cottage Reborn in Coastal Maine by Justine Hand.
Everything about tiny space furniture is about proportions. Simply simply, an item is too huge if it bumps up against the room’s edges, either vertically or horizontally. Always allow some space between the sides of your furniture and the walls to give the impression that the space is larger. (A bed is the one exception; a queen put between two walls, for example, makes a comfortable sleeping cave.)
Additionally, stay away from bulky, heavy things that take up too much of the room’s useful space. For instance, a modern sofa or chair will offer you the same amount of seating space as its overstuffed cousin while taking up considerably less space.If you’ve been wanting a big, bold item (like a piece of art or a mirror), hang it up. Do not place it on the floor to save important living space.
2. Keep a low profile.
Above : to make her living space feel airy, designer Corinne Gilbert utilises low-slung furniture. Additionally, take note of how the mirrors are hanging low to “relate” to the sofa. Image courtesy of Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home, Matthew Williams.
Simply by leaving more space above them, furniture that is lower to the ground will give a room a sense of spaciousness. Pick a loft bed for the bedroom or even try putting a mattress right on the floor. Indulge your inner Mad Men style in the living room with low-to-the-ground midcentury furnishings. Alternatively, 19th-century furniture also has a low profile if your preferences lean more towards the romantic and grandiose.