As land becomes a scarce resource in urban fabrics like Mumbai and Bangalore, we’ve moved to high rise buildings for housing solutions. Designing here deals with maximizing the utilization of small spaces to provide a good quality of life for its residents. Affordability is a big factor that leads people to opt for cramped tiny houses in the big city as space has become a precious commodity here. Therefore, cost-cutting with careful analysis of construction and material costs could make the quality of living better in the suburbs.  

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A remodelled interior for a 500 square feet studio apartment _©Frank Oudeman

Minimalism that declutters spaces while maintaining an elegant tone has become the current mood in interior design. Maximizing the minimal is a more intentional way of living that forces people to prioritize and get rid of excess things that they do not require. Downsizing doesn’t essentially mean giving up your material possessions, you can always tuck them away in hidden nooks to achieve a decluttered space. A simple solution will be to look for well-designed and well-utilized spaces that will help u lead a simpler more decluttered life. These will come in the form of innovative storage solutions and multipurpose furniture to name a few.

Designing Small Spaces

Here are some tips for designing small independent houses:

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1. Space in the air

Higher ceilings can help make a small space look more voluminous. However, in designs where there isn’t sufficient space to facilitate regular activities, this space can be utilized. Designing in these cases can be a challenging conquest as it’s a thin line between overcrowding and utilizing space. 

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A tiny house called HAMRA by DinellJohansson in Sweden; _©DinellJohansson

2. Adding a Loft

Incorporating a loft into the design can also be a way of using the ceiling height beneficially. The loft can be used as a corridor, a smaller cosy space for reading or storage.

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Little Cottage by Bettini Architetto in Bologna, Italy; _©Bettini Architetto / architizer.com

3. Bringing the outdoors in

Creating a smooth transition between outdoor and indoor spaces can help to make larger spaces without defining a singular space. The openness creates the illusion of a bigger space. Maximizing outdoor spaces is also beneficial as this gives a secondary space for gathering instead of using the living room or dining.

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Ibiza Campo Loft by Ibiza Interiors in Spain; _©Ibiza Interiors / architizer.com

4. Prioritizing the view

Having a large window brings in a lot of natural lighting and this can also help to make a small space feel less restrictive. These windows tend to have a great way of improving these spaces making the view the key focus here. 

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Cabin at Norderhov by AtelierOslo in Norway; _©AtelierOslo / architizer.com

Here’s how you can remodel small spaces:

1. Smart Storage solutions

Concealed storage helps you declutter your space without taking extra space. The bookshelf below staircases, tall pull-out cabinets in kitchens, coffee tables with drawers are some smart solutions that are opted for hidden storage use.

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Staircase storage; _©Genuine Woodworking

2. Lighting

Letting natural light in is a great solution to make a space feel larger and this can be done in tactical ways like providing a large narrow window in your toilets while keeping privacy. Windows will also ensure good ventilation which will ensure that space does not feel stagnant or stifling. In spaces where windows cannot be provided interior lighting is also a great solution.

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Large openings allowing plenty of daylighting into a room helps in small spaces; _©asbe / Getty Images

3. White walls

Painting walls white in small spaces tends to make a small space brighter and helps it feel bigger as it is a colour that reflects light well. It also gives more room to your furniture in the sense that it helps it to stand out.

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White walls brightening up spaces; _©vanitjan/ freepik.com

4. Multipurpose Furniture

This can help you ensure that overcrowding is never an issue at your home and ensures to maximize space. In recent times multipurpose furniture has become a whole rage with competitive designers working to invent new prototypes. These include murphy beds, sofas that can be converted into beds and pull-out tables to name a few.

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Murphy beds are an efficient solution in urban living; _©Caesura / Twitter.com

5. Combine spaces

A studio apartment is a great example of simple living while maximizing on the minimal, with multipurpose spaces and furniture these can be made into great homes. However, the key here is to make each area distinct according to its purpose. This can be done with the flooring or by adding a slight level difference and still these spaces will give a great sense of openness. 

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Studio apartments a solution for simple living?; _©Husman Hagberg

6. Add Mirrors

Mirrors are great at creating a sense of illusion which helps to make a space feel larger than usual. This is due to the reflection that seems to imitate space and the additional reflection of light makes the room brighter making it feel airy and light. It can also be used in narrow entryways or even to hide wall storage effectively.

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Mirror reflects making a space feel bigger; _©aisglass.com

7. Scale of furniture

Contrary to misbelief, it is a big mistake to use small scale furniture to utilize a small space as it can make the room feel cluttered and busy. In contrast, bigger furniture can give these spaces a focal point and make them livelier and pleasant by making them seem of prime importance in this petite space.

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Sizing makes a big difference; _©blog.modsy.com

References

TOMASULO, KATY. “8 Tips for Making Small Houses Feel Larger.” Architectmagazine.com, 2021, www.architectmagazine.com/technology/8-tips-for-making-small-houses-feel-larger_o. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

Hough, Georgia. “6 Ways to Get the Most out of Small Spaces – Architizer Journal.” Journal, 14 Aug. 2019, architizer.com/blog/inspiration/stories/get-the-most-out-of-small-spaces/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

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Author

Mary is a final year B.Arch. student eager to find her place in the multiverse that is architecture. She believes that words have a hidden ability to inspire, providing an in-depth perception. Deeply passionate about preserving the natural world and its heritage, she also finds solace in penning down her thoughts, travelling and enjoys being cooped up with a good book.

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