Small on Space, Big on Storage and Style

Shapeshifting furniture, doubled floor area, invisible walls and more. Here’s how you can live large in a small space.

When it comes to decorating our homes, most of us in Singapore may find ourselves facing a common challenge – small living spaces. But here’s the good news – if you do the right research (or approach the right people, that small space can make a huge impact. Here are some small-space interior design hacks for a small home that’s big on storage and style.

Try convertible furniture.
Imagine this: a piece of furniture that appears when you need it, and disappears when you don’t! Think about it – you may need a dining table, a bed, and a television console. But do you need them 24/7? By installing furniture you can hide when not in use, you can free up precious floor space, and reduce clutter. Think space-saving solutions such as collapsible chairs and tables, Murphy beds, hidden television panels, hidden ironing board, or even a foldable bathtub! Some of these innovations also result in multifunctional furniture – for example, a table can double as a mirror when flipped up.

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Image Credit: Rezt n Relax Interior Design

Use raised platforms.
Take space-saving to a whole new level, quite literally, by installing raised platforms. This can be done just about anywhere – under your bed, dining space, reading nook, and the list goes on. Doing this doesn’t just conceal and multiply your storage space, it can also elevate aesthetics. For example, it can highlight certain elements such as your favourite bar-inspired corner, home theatre or reading nook. It can also add refreshing dimensions to various areas of your home – especially ideal if you’re into open spaces and need some aesthetically pleasing hacks to zone your home without additional partitions or walls.

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Image Credit: Rezt n Relax Interior Design

Opt for sliding doors and windows instead of swinging ones.
Small change, big impact. Typical windows and doors aren’t exactly space-saving because they take up valuable space when they swing. Sliding doors and windows free up more space, so that you don’t have to be limited to smaller pieces of furniture. Plus, they are slam-proof, so you won’t get shocks from wind (or flying tempers) shutting your doors and windows loudly! Do note, however, that sliding fixtures require slightly more maintenance, especially when the wheels have accumulated dirt, or get misaligned with time.

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Make your furniture built to fit.
Another trick to maximise space is to tailor your interior decorations for your home – in this way, you can ensure that every possible inch of space is utilised. For example, you can customise your cabinets so that even awkward and often-underutilised nooks can house storage space. The general rationale is that when they are a part of your wall, you have less dead space. You’ll also be able to tailor specific parts of the cabinets (i.e. length, width and depth) to cater to the size of your items. Plan your organisation so that the things you use daily are kept on lower shelves, and mementos or items you need only once in a while are stored on higher ones. If you aren’t ready to go fully built-in yet, try floating shelves to get a feel of it – they’re easy to install and dismantle, and just as versatile.

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Look for space in unexpected places.

Having a small space doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice any well-loved furniture. With the right smart storage and organisation ideas, a lot can go into a tiny space and still not clutter up your home. Try to really look at areas that you’ve never noticed – perhaps that that awkward recess in the corner of your bathroom, the empty space above your table can house a shelf, or you could install tiny hooks or panels behind your door. As long as you have imagination, or know an interior designer who has one, you’re good!

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Make it light.

Spaces look much smaller when dark and enclosed. So, open up your space to make your home look bigger, better and brighter! Most homes in Singapore have fixed spaces for windows and doors, but you have so many other aspects to work with. For example, go with light- and cool- coloured walls, flooring or furniture for an airy feel. Or, further create the illusion of a larger floor area with strategically placed mirrors – such reflective surfaces also open up your home by adding reflecting light and adding depth to your space. Mirrored bedside tables and drawers, glass tops, chrome fittings are also options you can explore.

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