B L O G
beautifying, loving, organizing & good things
for your home & life
for your home & life
Pop quiz! What does the number 2,467 have to do with your home? Is it:
a) the dollar amount of the average mortgage payment
b) the average number of times a homeowner visits a home improvement store in a single month
c) the median square footage of new-construction homes built last year.
If you guessed 'c' - you're right. Nationwide our homes have plenty of space, much bigger than other countries. In fact, 11.2 Chinese houses would fit into the average American House. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have a growing trend towards tiny houses. If you’ve watched any home related shows you’ve noticed these tiny houses. Tiny House Nation. Tiny House Hunters. The tiny house trend has been growing every year. Architect Sarah Susanka is credited with starting this change of heart with the publication of her Not So Big House in 1997.
No matter what size home YOU live in, there are a few lessons learned from these tiny spaces that we all can incorporate into our homes.
REUSE EXISTING PIECES: Take an existing wine cabinet – you know the type – the one that used to house your collection of fine wines before you went to Celebrate Recovery. What do you do with it? For your nifty knitters, it’s an ideal place to store your yarn, one skein per wine slot. I’ve also seen old CD cabinets used in the same way. Before the iPod changed how we listened to music we purchased those CD cabinets. Look at those CD cabinets as storage! I can see them used as a place for storing your fabric fat quarters, organized by color. Crafty corners, nifty nooks, cozy cubbies.... make them work for you now.
BE AN EDITOR: We talk a lot about letting go the excess stuff that clutters our homes. When space is limited, this is even more important. Keep the most important items and donate or sell the rest. Think of it this way – you’re blessing someone else with your extra items. Everything you have in your home, supports how you live today. No extra storage needed
No matter what size home you live in, incorporate these small space solutions to make your home work for you.
Small space? No problem! When you have a cozy space, your furniture needs to work twice as hard.
Instead of having each and every piece of furniture only perform a single function, let’s have furniture that does double duty. We love this oft-pinned image (above) of a bench / filing cabinet. How can your furniture do double duty for you? Perhaps your old steamer trunk could be your coffee table. Inside the trunk you can store out of season decorating items, extra linens, artwork you’re not hanging right now, and so forth. It can serve as very effective storage. Pop a piece of beveled glass on top and you have a double duty hard-working piece of furniture. We also love this bookcase / crafting table combo (below). When your space is limited, let all the pieces of furniture work as hard as you do.
DOUBLE DUTY SPACES. Remember the old murphy beds? If you have need for an occasional guest room, but don’t want the space dedicated 100% of the time to something that only happens twice a year, consider the updated Murphy bed solutions. There’s a company in Denver called BREDA BEDS that offers a murphy style bed that also contains an IN LINE sofa. It’s less than $3K at the time of this blog. This would allow you to have a sofa AND a guest space. .
We love furniture (and spaces) that do double duty.
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One of our favorite small space solutions is to use mirrors.
Wherever we see light, whether it’s from a window or from a mirror reflecting light, we have a sense of AHHHHH – a sense of spaciousness. If you have a dark spot in the room, use mirrors to reflect light back into the space. I love to hang a mirror behind the occasional table for that very reason. In our own home we have a dark hallway adjacent to our offices. Each of the offices are bright but this hallway is not. Solution? I hung a large mirror vertically in that hallway, which bounces the offices’ light back into the hallway. Now we never have to turn on the light, and it feels much more spacious.
Where can you hang a mirror to bring in more light? How does your entry way look? Could you use a mirror opposite the doorway? Does your Living Room have a wall of windows? If so, consider putting mirrors opposite the wall of windows, doubling the amount of light, and doubling the space visually.
One of my favorite mirrors is the IKEA Mongstad mirror – it’s 37” x 74” and it’s less than $100. (pictured at left). I've also seen the mirror hung vertically on barn door sliders over a doorway in a luxurious spa in San Diego. Now you know the secret... it's less than $100.
Let there be light, lots of light! Let mirrors help expand your space with light. Let us know how you used mirrors to expand your space in the comments below.