Living Large in a Small Space, Part V

Whether you’re a college student living in the dorms or a boomer considering downsizing to a smaller dwelling, the need for a functional yet minimal living space is ever more important. The small space movement, fortunately, is catching on. Here are three keys to living large in a small space.

Dividing Spaces

For a dorm room, a viable option might be to divide the room into two sides or to choose bunk beds which provide more communal space.

Curtains, screens, and book shelves are optimal ways to either divide a room between roommates or to section off sleeping and living areas. A creative dorm room idea is a hanging garden room divider made from a curtain and faux flowers. A raised floor can also subtly divide sleeping and living areas; this is a common practice used by many all-suite hotels and, guess what, it works.

Furniture is often limited to a bed, desk, and closet area. Personalizing your desk and walls with pictures and momentos adds customization to the small space.

Go Vertical

When space is tight, go vertical.  Use your wall space and your air space economically.  Express and organize yourself in the choices you make for shelving and storage bins to arrange books, decorative items, and belongings. In addition to traditional shelving, there are a wide variety of floating shelves on the market, especially for small spaces and corners.  For imaginative ideas, take a few minutes and visit Pinterest’s listing of floating shelves. These shelves creatively display and organize your items.

Other ways to optimize vertically include mounting your flat screen TV on a wall, suspending your bike from the ceiling, or even hanging dining or folding chairs on a wall. To create the illusion of more space, the addition of a large mirror on a wall does the trick. Just make sure to securely fasten shelves, mirrors, and other heavy objects, anchor them into a wall stud by using a stud finder, such as the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep®.

Multipurpose Functionality

When downsizing to a smaller living space, the reduced square footage limits floor and storage space and infringes on privacy. For tiny apartment dwellers, the Murphy bed is a viable option as is the Domino Loft System.  It has a sleeping area, work area, room for storage and a guest room (a Murphy bed), all built into one unit.

A smaller space may not necessarily require smaller furniture –  an improved furniture arrangement and an eye for functionality can be the solution.  The nooks and crannies that are often overlooked in a larger home now become valuable real estate for functional furniture or storage.  Furniture can also be repurposed.  A dresser can be transformed into a TV stand in the living room and, in addition to holding dishes and serving platters, a sideboard can serve a dual role as a food pantry.

What ways have you creatively solved your small space challenges? Share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook. Tweet home décor and DIY ideas using #decortrends or @zircontools. For more small space living ideas, visit www.zircon.com or read more blogs here.

References:

https://makespace.com/blog/posts/create-personal-space/

http://www.mydomaine.com/small-apartment-decorating-tips

http://www.zircon.com/tools/multiscanner-i520-onestep/

https://makespace.com/blog/posts/domino-loft-system/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/ideas/201611_idde01a/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/ideas/201744_idde03a/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/a-design-bloggers-rental-advice-for-small-space-dwellers/2015/10/19/4ae55be8-7377-11e5-8248-98e0f5a2e830_story.html

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Flooring, Doors, and Windows to Shape Your Décor

During our recent #decortrends chat, participants had insightful ideas of how to spruce up the home’s décor.

Image credit: @DODByBrownWood

Our co-host @windowworksCA shared that “Dark wood is trending, especially in restaurants and bars, to give them a ‘homey’ feel.” Expanding upon the topic of flooring, @windowworksCA continued, “Agree that sustainable flooring is very big. Cork, bamboo, and more are beautiful.” @aecdaily added, “#Sustainability is important! If we can use #recycled content like the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Asoc, that’s good…” For flooring colors, @best_flooring stated, “We can’t say it enough: grey, grey, grey! Grey tones are hot sellers for us.” @best_flooring further stated, “Luxury vinyl flooring is becoming a popular option too. It is waterproof, unlike some hardwood.”

@Dodbybrownwood stressed how “Windows can make the room” while @tonisabstyle cited, “Moulding plays a huge part in window and door dressing.” However, one shouldn’t disregard the benefits of window film. @windowworksCA mentioned, “Window film is pretty and prevents glare.”

Participants were also equally enthusiastic about barn doors, pocket doors, and novel door designs.  “Barn doors are never going to go out of style and I can see why,” stated @pureplumbingLV.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have attended our #decortrends chats. We appreciate all the keen insights, tips, techniques, and ideas shared throughout the years.

While #decortrends is on hiatus, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com to see and share other inspiring ideas.

Storage and Organization Solutions for Every Home

As the warmer weather approaches, it’s time to think about effective storage and organization solutions and how those ideas work with your décor style. During our recent #decortrends chat, participants shared how to organize living spaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and throughout the home.

Our co-host @fabuwood cited creative organization ideas. “Also, (you can) expect storage space in places you wouldn’t expect.” Further, optimizing space or using it in a different manner can yield effective results. @fabuwood continued, “I think when you’re in a tight space, you begin to question what can I do to maximize this?”

Image credit: @fabuwood

Image credit: @revashelf

On the topic of storage, @jorgensonlocker added, “Storage bins and trays are great. Vintage locker baskets are a fun way to organize.” Revashelf amped up this idea by mentioning, “Pots and pans last much longer if they’re properly stored and #organized.”

White, gray, blue and green cabinetry is especially trendy although color choice is often dictated by personal preference. Contrasting colors are often the homeowner’s choice as well. As @jorgensonlocker stated, “White cabinets are still trendy. Having the island a diff color than the rest of your cabinetry seems to be on trend, too.” Added @best_flooring, “White and off-white cabinets are making a comeback. They create a great, clean look for the kitchen.” @color911 shared, “Absolutely. The color defines the personality of every room!”

Image credit: @ncontours

Other storage options blend functionality and beauty. @ncontours mentioned, “Floating shelves are up there (no pun intended!) Love making storage & organization part of the design!”  Further, @jorgensonlocker said, “Storage can be an issue in a small kitchen. It’s fun to think outside of the box & use lockers (via @AptTherapy).”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Spring Trends Recap and Look Forward

Our latest #decortrends chat focused on spring trends – a recap of what is working and a look ahead to what popular home and décor projects are on the horizon.

Image credit: @ncontours

The chat highlighted the popularity of metallic designs, grey and green as rising neutrals, and the need for effective use of smallish spaces.

A mixture of metals and contrasting designs were noted during the chat. @best_flooring shared, “You can’t go wrong with metals, stones, and woods. They are great to contrast texture with other decor in a home.” Added @MrsAJRogers, “What about the new #decortrends of #marbled #wallpaper, #copper and #wood #tile – to name a few!”

Regarding color choices, grey was noted as a new neutral. Greys that are lighter in color exude a warm,  friendly, home environment. “I think you’re right on with greys that have a little more warmth to them!” mentioned @ncontours. According to @jorgensonlocker, “Depends on the shade…lighter colors would prob(ably) work better as a neutral. Bolder colors work better as pops of color.”

Also, green not only stands out, but depending on the shade, it can also be a neutral, too.  As our co-host @tonisabstyle stated, “I love it as a backdrop.” The trend toward natural elements further propels green’s popularity.  As @ncontours shared, “(We see green) more so in living plants, which are everywhere! Maybe spring/ summer will bring more green to décor.”

The challenges designing within a small space vs. large space were also discussed. “Sometimes (it is) more challenging to succeed in designing a small space than a large– making every part & piece count,” mentioned @best_flooring. Adding to this remark, dual duty spaces are especially functional in tight spaces. For more living large in a small space ideas, make sure to visit this blog.

The group discussed former popular ideas from the 70s and how what is old is new again. @jorgensonlocker said, “Trends are seen to be cyclical, so everyone will move on eventually.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Your Décor Choice: Splurging vs. Budgeting

 

When decorating a room or your entire home, deciding on what to budget and what to splurge on is often a big question. Our #decortrends chat participants had key insights on the subject.

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Image: @distinctivetile

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Image: @ncontours

“Splurge on things you want to last a while–appliances, countertops, cabinetry, flooring,” mentioned @jorgensonlocker. “The best thing to #splurge on is luxury tile!” added @distinctivetile. On the other side of the spectrum, chat attendees, such as @sweetloretta cited that little details can go a long way, “Paint is probably the number 1 thing on a budget. A change in artwork works too.” And @dreamwallsglass also recommended to “Try mirrors. Framed mirrors or whole walls, they’re economical sq/ft and can visually open up spaces.” @ncontours mentioned, “Here’s our budget design inspiration: A new coat of paint, re-purpose accessories by color!”

A tight décor budget can prompt decorators, DIYers, and homeowners to be more creative. Upcycling was cited throughout the discussion as an effective method to save money while still personalizing the home.  The inspiration for new home décor ideas, whether on a budget or not, can be derived from Pinterest, Instagram, participation in chats, customers and colleagues.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Simple Ideas to Transform Your Bath and Kitchen

During our recent #decortrends chat, our participants had a multitude of ideas of how to transform a bathroom or kitchen into a dreamy spa or culinary hot spot for friends and family.

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Image credit @rahomes

Decorative changes, such as painting, installing new light fixtures, and adding accessories can immediately change the style of the kitchen. Mentioned @ncontours, “Consider a fresh coat of paint or a fun, new way to accessorize– love the little white ladder!”  Even small detail changes can have a meaningful impact. Added @jorgensonlocker, “Changing your door & drawer hardware can freshen up the look of your cabinets.”

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Image credit @distinctivetile

New tile can dramatically change the room and can provide a focal point. Mentioned @tiledistinctive, “Here’s something we love: wood look tile with gorgeous color! Added co-host @rahomes, “Wood-look tile has advanced so far. It’s really incredible these days.”

The countertop can be enhanced with a new coat of paint and installing a new island kitchen counter adds space as well as a brand new look. @rahomes shared not one, but two different islands. “How about an island…or two?”

Functionality and ease-of-use within the kitchen and bathroom can be accentuated when kitchen and bath items are easily accessible. “Pull out cabinets let you view every item in your kitchen collection,” remarked @pureplumbinglv and @sweetloretta stated, “Functional pull out cabinetry is the way to go.” While cabinetry and shelves keep the area organized, they can also provide a facelift from a dated to new look.

Innovative tech choices are popular must haves within the kitchen and bath and can also have energy and water saving features built-in that are shared on a recent blog by @rahomes.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Upcycling and Recycling for a DIY Lifestyle

As we roll into February, it is might be a good time to renew your home with new décor and furnishings. Our recent #decortrends chat participants shared ideas of how to effectively upcycle, recycle, and retrofit your home.

Upcycling and recycling can be functional, cost effective, and as simple or complex as you desire. “I think adding a fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference to most anything,” remarked @jorgensonlocker who also added, “…if you’re going to upcycle or repurpose an older piece, it needs to be functional & fit in easily with your décor.”

While the inside of your home is often the focal point of a remodel or refresh, your home’s exterior can also create a prominent ambiance change. @adventureglass shared “Our Landscaping genius is hooking us up with planting boxes that are OUTRAGEOUS.”

Outdoor inspiration abounds on website’s such as @houzz. When turning to ideas on home improvement and repair, find the right mix of inspiration and retrofitting ideas. Small fixes and paying attention to details can make all the difference. “Little things can be BIG in visual size, like rearranging furniture, adding a bold rug, changing light bulbs…” remarked @MyFixitUpLife.

More creative ideas can be found online and offline. Pinterest and Instagram are naturals for easy-to-find upcycle and recycle inspiration. Bringing those ideas to life, DIYers can peruse thrift stores, garage sales, and consignment stores for just the right piece to be transformed.

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Make a Splash with Big and Small Room Makeovers

Do home makeovers need to be large, sweeping changes to be effective? Or can smaller details lead to just the right décor refresh for your home? From our recent #decortrends chat, our participants offered cost effective, quick tips that will help enliven your home.

Image: @DreamWallsGlass

Whether a home needs a seasonal change or the desire is to create a new modern, sophisticated vibe, room make-overs are only limited by the individual’s imagination. From installing new lighting or highlighting a new paint color, the style edit can be subtle and small and yet produce an effective and long lasting décor shift. “Change the wall color. Can be paint or wood or wallpaper…gives a powerful backdrop + infuses new mojo for a makeover,” said @MyFixItUpLife.

As @JorgensonLocker pointed out, “Adding a new furniture piece or some fresh décor can make a space feel ‘new.’ Even rearranging the layout can help.”

On the other end of the spectrum, kitchen and bathroom remodels are always popular choices for a home makeover where changes in the materials used can produce big results. “Faux tin & copper backsplashes seem to be really popular right now,” mentioned @AlansFactory. Beyond obvious choices for a design or style change, sometimes a seemingly problematic area can offer new décor options. As shared by @DreamWallsGlass, “The stairwell is always a challenge. Precision/safety of hanging items is hardest…”

When beginning the next makeover, an important element is to plan accordingly and allow for flexibility. “Having a basic idea or theme for the room is important to make sure that everything flows together,” stated @DodbyBrownWood.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Simple Organization and Storage Solutions for Every Home

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Image: @JorgensonLocker

Organization is the name of the game and a myriad of storage solutions can create a personal, functional, and organized work and living space. Here are some recent tips from our #decortrends chat participants.

“Lighter colors open spaces up and make them look and feel larger than they are.” @WLCabinetry

“…Having storage that gets the job done AND looks great is so important!” @JorgensonLocker

“Storage is integral to the overall design – it is always a challenge of where to put things/be more organized.” @AECDaily

“It’s ideas like this that inspire us to store smarter!” @NContours

Although odd sized or larger items are often difficult to store, smaller items can get lost in the shuffle, too. @WLCabinetry’s handy Base Filler Organizer keeps smaller kitchen and bathroom items organized and easily accessible. Kids’ storage lockers by jorgensonlockers.com are not only novel, but provide ample storage space for bedrooms, dens, foyers and garages.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.