There is nothing more welcoming than visiting guests seeing a small yet warm and cozy living room that has been well decorated and invites you to curl up and stay awhile. This is one of the most used spaces in your home, so you want it to be functional and well-organized, which is extremely important when you are tight on space. You don’t want this space to feel cluttered, so small furnishings is key. Built-ins can be really helpful for small decorative items and keeping this orderly and out of the way.
You want your space to feel airy and bright, so please stay away from darker colors! Consider a neutral color palette with bold bursts of color. Lots of windows can help to really lighten a space, but if you don’t have this option, good lighting also works. A large mirror in your living room can help to make the space feel bigger. If you need a less expensive option, pick up some pieces of glass at IKEA and mount them to your wall. Think smart storage solutions, such as using functional furnishings like a coffee table with drawers, an ottoman that has a lid. Window sills can be transformed into a small cozy seating nook, just add some pillows and a throw. A sleeper sofa can be used for overnight guests if you don’t have a spare bedroom. A small space is typically more cozy than a larger one, so have fun with it and make it your personal oasis.
You have probably faced this problem at least once in your life: the space where you live seemed too small for your needs. Maybe it was your teenage room, the dorm room, the studio where you rented in college, or the two-room apartment where, after a child appears, nothing seems to happen. A small apartment also has advantages – a lower rent or maintenance, the possibility to live closer to the center or even in the city center. But how do you make it comfortable?
WHAT DOES COMPACT LIVING MEAN?
Because limited space is a problem facing an important part of the population globally, especially in mega-cities, a term was invented to define the concept of living in small spaces. It’s called Compact Living, a concept that translates to living in a small space, where you feel comfortable, because the organization and design make it pleasant and useful.
SMALL SPACES CAN BE COMFORTABLE
Compact Living is not just a solution for those who, regardless of their will, live in small spaces. Also at the gobal level, there is an initiative that tries to teach people to live in small, comfortable spaces, in order to save the planet’s resources. It starts from the idea that, if used correctly, a small space can provide many things, thus saving important resources. Even if living voluntarily in such a space can be an exaggerated concept, the foundation of the idea is as correct as possible: a small place can give you everything you need, if used properly.
Of course, we associate domestic happiness and well-being with large spaces and many things. But you can be happy and live comfortably even if you have to live in a small space, surrounded by few things.
6 IDEAS FOR A 45 MP STUDIO APARTMENT WITH ALL FUNCTIONS
To test this theory, we furnished a 45 sqm studio apartment located in the Ferdinand Hotel in Aarhus, as part of the project to celebrate 2,500 JYSK stores. About the first room completely furnished with JYSK products I wrote here , and below you can see how I arranged the 510 camper, where I had a space of only 45 sqm. Here we have integrated a bedroom, a dining room, a kitchen, a living room and a bathroom.
The challenge: arranging this space so that it has all the functionalities of a house, has a pleasant design and is comfortable.
IDEA 1: USING MIRRORS
Mirrors are often used in small spaces, because they reflect the room and give the impression of a larger space. To amplify the feeling of space given by the use of mirrors, place the mirror so that it reflects a bright area. For example, in front of the window, to reflect natural light, or in front of a lamp or lantern, to reflect artificial light. You can find out more about the use of mirrors in home decoration .
In the room of Hotel Ferdinand we used a large mirror, supported by the wall opposite the window, to capture and reflect the natural light outside. In the bathroom I used a small round mirror, which reflects the light of the light bulbs in the bathroom.
IDEA 2: USE STORAGE SPACE VERTICALLY, NOT HORIZONTALLY
When we put furniture in a room, we usually think of occupying the space horizontally. However, a room has several dimensions, and when the space is limited, it is good to take advantage of the vertical space. But don’t think about putting cabinets on every wall, because that would close the room even more. Use light shelves, which give the feeling of an airy, free place, but at the same time can be used as a storage place.
For example, ILBRO shelving sets include shelves of various sizes, which can be placed randomly on the wall, as an alternative to a bookcase or some classic, completely tidy shelves. I used these shelves for the bedroom and living room walls in room 510.
Also in the vertical storage category, we used several INGERSBY hangers to form an entire wall for storage above the sink and worktop in the kitchen. This way you can efficiently store kitchen accessories or towels, without loading the walls with hanging cabinets, which take up a lot of space and horizontally.
IDEA 3: HANG THE CURTAINS AS HIGH AS YOU CAN
Even if you do not have high windows, which are up to the ceiling, if you choose long curtains and hang them as close as possible to the ceiling you will give the feeling of height, so more space vertically. It is, if you want, an optical illusion that you can use to your advantage. Think of old houses that have high ceilings and you will see that the height of a room is very important, because it can make a space look small and claustrophobic or large and airy.
We chose long curtains that cover the windows from the ceiling to the floor.
IDEA 4: SMART FURNITURE
This type of furniture has also been called “smart furniture” or “smart furniture”, because it is a smart solution for living in small spaces. A sofa bed that also includes storage space or a down with storage space, such as EGELEV down , are dual-function products that help you save space and money.
IDEA 5: NEUTRAL COLORS
Maybe you want a room based on a dark color scheme, with masculine shades of dark brown, black, burgundy. Or maybe you want a room full of bright colors – pink, bright red, bright yellow. Well, you should know that these color schemes are not recommended for small spaces, because they make them look even smaller and more crowded.
Instead, choose neutral tones – gray, pale green, blue, cream – as the general color scheme, and if you don’t want to give up the idea of color, use bright colors only as small design elements (for example, a deco pillow or a candlestick). Using calm tones in the same color range makes the space flow easier and look more orderly.
In our case, in the bedroom we used a scheme based on gray – which is also a soothing color, suitable for sleep. The curtains, the bed, the deco pillows and the blanket on the bed are gray, and to have an even greater consistency we used deco pillows and blankets with the same model.
IDEA 6: USE FURNITURE WITH A SIMPLE, MINIMALIST DESIGN
Heavy, massive and grandiose furniture does nothing but unnecessarily load a small space. Think about how crowded our grandparents ‘or parents’ apartments looked 20 or 30 years ago, when solid wood furniture with a classic design was used, covering every corner or piece of wall in the house. This type of furniture is suitable for large homes but, although it is beautiful and quality, used in a small home will do nothing but suffocate it. Both the light design and the light colors are an advantage for the furniture used in small homes.
Instead, choose furniture with a simple, minimalist and compact design, which does not take up much space and can be easily moved.
To outline an interior design in the living room in an elegant way, you need inspiration and imagination. Maybe you’ve just moved and your new living room is just an empty room, devoid of personality, or maybe you want to turn an old-fashioned living room into a modern and lively living room.
Whatever the situation, your initiative will be successful without the need for dramatic changes. Decorative details, color and texture are the elements that, handled carefully, create a vibrant atmosphere in a space dedicated to relaxation and socialization.