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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Living Large in a Small Space Part 3

As architect and author, Katie Hutchison indicates in her book The New Small House, micro-based living is a trend that is continuing to build momentum. Those looking to downsize are living large in a small space by combining smart, economical, and environmentally friendly living in elegantly designed homes.

Baby Boomers continue to age and they have increased the demand for downsizing and a migration to micro-based living.

Downsizing

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Baby Boomers are a burgeoning market. Many home builders have an increased interest in designing products that appeal to customers age 55 or older and the NAHB forecasts that the share of these households will grow every year through 2019 when the 55+ category is projected to account for nearly 45% of all U.S. households.

Home accessibility for an aging population and efficient and flexible use of space are primary design home considerations according to the American Institute of Architects.

Urban Living

Cities have sprawled further away from city centers causing commuters to spend an exorbitant amount of time in commute traffic. Surbanites are rethinking their living situation and trading in cars for subways. Moving back into the city, however, often means living in smaller spaces. Empty-nesters, however, need less space and moving back into the cities provides closer cultural and employment opportunities. Other new city dwellers are attracted to the social aspects of a thriving, pedestrian-friendly and diverse community.

Although Baby Boomer demands are currently a substantial reason for the increase in micro-based trending, millennial buyers will represent the largest group of homebuyers by year end and they also gravitate toward smaller units closer to the urban core.  Micro living seems to be midway between dorm life at one end of the spectrum and retirement home life at the other.

MSi520_300dpi

MultiScanner® i520 Stud Finder

Scale It

Wherever you are in your home space life cycle, making the most use of tight spaces is a paramount goal. Popular space saving projects include ones that focus on enhanced organization, such as building new shelving units.

Placing a flat screen television on the wall also optimizes the square footage within a smaller dwelling. To safely affix your shelving or a flat screen television to the wall, ensure you’re anchoring the heavy object to a wall stud. Use the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 to quickly and easily find studs and joists. For more information, visit www.zircon.com, follow our Pro Expert and Zircon in the Real world blogs, like us on Facebook, or follow us @zircontools.

Hint! Make sure to use a brand new battery with an extended expiration date for the best results with your Zircon MultiScanner®. Get more tips here.

References:

The New Small House book
Design Innovations for Modern Urban Dwellings
55+ Households are Nearly Everywhere
Turnaround in Home Sizes, In-Home Amenities, and Property Enhancements
What Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2015