Living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the city, practical interior solutions for maximizing our living space has been essential for us. Conscious planning of our living space has made us understand that our flat actually have more space than we’d initially thought. One of the things I’ve really come to understand when approaching the concept of minimizing my belongings and simplifying my surroundings, is that just because you have floor space does not mean you have to fill it, and this lesson has been a gamechanger. Maximizing your living space means to utilize every inch to the max; not necessarily cramming as much stuff as you possibly can in one space, but rather finding clever solutions that free up living space that in turn gives the illusion that your home is larger than its actual square footage. Below, I have taken note of the three things you can do to maximize your flat’s floor space and give you extra room to breathe.
1. Hang stuff on walls
If you’re anything like me, chances are the words “hang stuff on walls” seems a little dauting, if not terrifying, even. I used to prefer not having to hang stuff like shelves and cabinets up on the walls because I dreaded the thought of hanging it up properly; Would it be leveled? Would it fall down and hurt someone? That type of thing. It’s not to say that I don’t still dwell on some of these thoughts occasionally, especially when the task of hanging something new up on the wall presents itself. But – hanging stuff on walls is such a brilliant way to free up floor space in small rooms! So, the benefits very much outweigh the cons.
We’ve applied this wall hanging practice to our bedroom, our hallway and our living room. In our bedroom we threw out our wardrobe cabinets and replaced them with wall mounted shoe cabinets and a narrow clothe rail. In the hallway we used the same shoe cabinets, both for shoes and also for scarves, gloves and hats. In the living room, we threw out the TV bench for a wall mounted shelf and mounted the TV onto the wall (and this is an old, heavy TV, I tell you. But it’s hanging firm and safe. It’s all dependent on the type of mounting equipment you use).
It has freed up so much floor space for us, which I can admit was mostly for the benefit of Kira and Petrus (our free-range house bunnies), but it has been a blessing for us as well. So spacious and roomy! And our flat is only 581 sq. ft.
2. Fold your furniture
Tiny house TV shows are one of my binge watch crazes, and I am so fascinated by all the clever solutions people create for their tiny homes. Although our apartment isn’t thatsmall, it is small enough that it makes sense to apply some tiny house ideas to create more space. Foldable furniture can serve as one such solution. When Chris and I freed up all that floor space in the bedroom we figured that it finally was enough room to add a desk in the corner by the window. But at the same time, we would not want to lose all of our newly gained floor space. A wall mounted desk that folds down when you need it and can be folded up on the wall again after use was the solution we went with.
In hindsight, I wish we had chosen a firmer table top and better legs for it. One of the reasons for the table was the wish for a table for my sewing machine, after all, and now the table top sways when I am sewing. That’s a minor detail, though. Otherwise, the table works wonders, and creates a perfect space for writing, reading or other related activities where a desk comes in handy.
Other examples of foldable furniture are for example chairs that fold together and can be placed by or hung on the wall when you don’t need them, or tables that folds into smaller tables or shelves when you don’t need a large table.
3. Let one item serve several purposes
In small living spaces, one often has to compromise on what kinds of furniture to make room for. Both of the ideas above do create more space anything, even furniture. Yet, I’m not much for adding more stuff than needed into my living space. As such, another clever idea I quite fancy for small rooms and apartments is to let one item serve multiple functions.
In our living room, for instance, we have a large foot stool that matches our leather sofa. By itself, it complements the sofa as extra seating, foot rest or “day bed”, depending on the placement and our need for the moment. Given that it is particularly large, though, also having a coffee table in our living room would take up too much space. So, to solve this conundrum, we bought a table top from Ikea that matches the foot stools surface measures. With this on top, the foot stool functions as a coffee table. And when we want to put our feet up or use it for additional seating we put the table top away.
The table top also doubles as a surface for tool usage such as cutting paper and the likes; we just flip it over and use the backside of it, leaving the upside intact.