In London, space is at a premium, so we're very aware here at Ideal Home of what it feels like to cram all of our belongings into a tiny home. We're sure many of you who live in a town or city are more than familiar with this problem too. Small properties can be fantastically cosy, and there are many advantages - a big one being that there aren't loads of rooms to clean. But of course, there are drawbacks, so here are some tactics/thoughts/feelings that we think you may well recognise...
1 Multifunctional furniture and appliances are key
Getting more from each item you purchase is absolutely vital in a small home - from the humble sofa that converts into a bed and the washer that also dries your clothes, to the storage trunk that doubles as a coffee table.
2 There are things stored under any piece of furniture that is elevated off the ground
A bedstead that has a decent height underneath is a godsend. But sofas, cabinets, chest of drawers and any other furnishings with legs will not escape your storage-seeking eyes.
3 Every nook and cranny is filled
No space is safe from being used as a storage unit - including that tagine you were given as a birthday present. You may even have gone a bit Carrie Bradshaw and employed your oven as a place to keep your jumpers. At the very least, you will have stored clothes in unintuitive places such as the living room, or food in the hallway.
4 The higher the storage, the better
Low-level furniture just won't cut it. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases or shelving units mean that barely an inch of wall is exposed. If furniture does happen to be lower than ceiling level, wall-hung shelves are a great solution.
5 Decluttering is a way of life
No matter how minimalist you are, there is a limit to how much you can throw away. We all have things that we want/need. But that old rule about only keeping things that are useful, make you happy or are beautiful really is one to live by if you have a small home.
6 The charity shop is your friend
As part of your decluttering mission, you're either rushing to donate your clothing to charity or embarking on the process of selling it online. However, the latter often leads to more piles of clutter while you wait for the highest bidder.
7 You've put mirrors everywhere
Having taken the advice of interiors writers around the world, you have hung multiple mirrors in the hope of creating the illusion of more space.
8 A one-in-one-out rule is in operation
As you walk around the shops at lunchtime, you see a gorgeous dress. ‘But you have no more room for it in your wardrobe,' you say to yourself. You hesitate, but ultimately, the dress (and the naughty side of your brain) lures you in. You vow when you get home that you will give something else away to make space - and to ease your conscience...
9 You're extremely familiar with the storage section at your local homeware shop
Thankfully, there are so many pretty designs, which really do make buying cardboard boxes more inspiring than you could ever have imagined. Frankly, they're almost worth having in their own right.
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