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Designing for small spaces

Designing for small spaces

With Canberra experiencing a multi residential development boom, apartment living is becoming a popular choice due to it's affordability and suits those who want to live in a low maintenance property. Although one of the most common issues with apartment living is lack of space.  Here are 5 designer tips on how to maximise the space you live in:

1. A room within a room.

So you have purchased a one bedroom apartment, but need a place for friends and family to stay? The couch doesn’t always have to be the only option. Investigate how much space you have in your lounge / dining area and look at dividing it using glass walls. The clever design of this space allows for a bed to be permanently positioned in a section of the room using a glass partition. Privacy is easily fixed with the introduction of floor to ceiling curtains.

2. Who needs a coffee table anyway?

A large traditional style coffee table may not fit in your space or suit the functionality of your living area. For these reasons, look at alternative table options. If you need to fit a table into a tiny living area, a small side table might suit. You may also want to try a nest of tables. Nests of tables are flexible and allow you to spread them out when you are entertaining and then compactly bring them together when you are using them in an everyday scenario. Another option is looking at a pair of occasional tables. Although a pair of occasional tables sitting side by side may take up the same room as a coffee table, they give the illusion that they do not.  

3. Pay attention to your outside space

Sometimes we are so focused on ensuring our inside spaces are furnished well; we can sometimes forget the importance of designing a functional outside space, especially when it comes to apartment living. You have paid a lot of money for that outside space, so why not use it? If you think you can’t fit an outdoor lounge, you might actually be pleasantly surprised that you can. Many furniture manufacturers, like IKEA, are designing smaller lounges for apartment balconies. You can complement your outdoor lounge by using an outdoor rug and create a great atmosphere by introducing mood lighting.

4. Storage is your new best friend

With lack of space, comes lack of storage. Often we are seeing developers build apartments without a linen cupboard and also with wardrobes that are basic design. However, what you do have in an apartment is wall space. If you can work with a designer or joiner to create a clever design, you can be amazed at what storage you can gain with built in cabinetry. Look at extending your kitchen to create a study nook or building a bookshelf around a window or a doorway. Within the second bedroom, you can make the bed and cabinetry as one cohesive design.

5. Maximize the light

Unlike a house, in apartment living you usually only have one aspect, unless you are lucky enough to have a corner apartment. For this reason, it is important to maximize the light. Look at painting the main living area walls in a white tone and the ceiling in a bright white colour. Also, paint with an eggshell or low sheen finish. Matt finishes are flat when dry and absorb light. Another way to maximize light is to ensure your window furnishings can open up completely off the windows. If you are purchasing new curtains, ensure the material can be drawn open onto the wall space either side of the window.

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