September 26, 2018

Small Decor That’s All Yours: Tips for Making Do with Less

Categories: Blog, By Julian Lane, Decorating Small Spaces, Storage Solutions, Vertical Shelving

A reinvigorated environmental movement and the concept of simple, affordable living have made small homes very popular options for homeowners looking to make a change. Although they’re very much in vogue, small homes come with their own unique challenges. Yet, making do with less room and minimal storage space is an acceptable trade-off for many people. If you’re able to make do with less, you might not even notice much of a difference between “living smart and small” and the larger space you’ve turned away from.

If you need some help getting started but are a little unsure of where to begin, check out these helpful tips for using your new space efficiently.

Showy Shelving

When you’ve got stuff and not much space, every square foot matters. If you’re in your living room, look up — you probably see the ceiling and maybe some crown molding. You’re also looking at underutilized space that’s perfect for shelving that can be used for books, mementos, photos, and knick-knacks. Vertical shelving hangs down from your ceiling and makes an attractive, eye-catching decorative element. It also means you’ve found a creative way to save valuable space that’s needed in other areas — and you can do it in any part of the house.

External Storage

If you have a deck, patio, and/or pool out back, you’ll need somewhere to store deck chairs, chaise lounges, cushions, pool toys, and other outdoor objects. Assuming you’re without a garage or storage shed large enough to do the trick, you can make effective use of deck boxes and storage benches (which can double as seating) and integrate them into an efficient outdoor conversation space. It’s functional and hospitable, the essence of creative small-house living.

Make the Table Fit the Space

You moved into a smaller home and suddenly realized that Thanksgiving dinner isn’t happening because there’s no room for your big dining room table. Looks like it’ll be Thanksgiving at your in-laws again this year… but it doesn’t mean you can’t entertain (on a smaller scale) or serve dinner on something other than snack tables. As with other features, you just need to make your table fit the space. What about using a console table or finding some other narrow, rectangular surface that can fit just about anywhere and accommodate a few chairs? Or, you could really make the most of the space by setting it up directly behind the living room couch so you can check out the big game and eat dinner at the same time. It’s also a good place for guests to congregate and converse during a party, or at least to set a drink down.

Wall Space

This is one idea that gives new meaning to wall space. If you or someone you know is handy with tools, consider creating a unique storage space that’s efficient and makes a great conversation piece. There’s enough space between the studs in your walls to create a small storage closet or cabinet for brooms, mops, etc., and even add a shelf or two for cleaning fluids, dusters, and a dustpan. Or, turn it into a very narrow closet for guest coats and hats. Do this and you’ll hear the phrase “Why didn’t I think of this?” at least once at your next dinner party.

Downsizing is about more than affordable and environmentally responsible living. It’s an art form, a way to challenge yourself creatively and create a decor that’s distinctively your own.