Since the real estate bubble burst, people all over the country have started doing more with fewer houses. Here are a few simple tips for getting the most out of your humble abode.
Use walls and ceilings.
Optimize your floor space by getting as many things as possible off of it. Hang your bicycle from the wall or ceiling. Install shelves for books and other items over doorways and, if possible, in walls themselves. Use the space above your kitchen cabinets for unused appliances, empty boxes, and china sets. Take advantage of corners, which are underused and provide a lot of storage space if used properly.
Brighten things up.
The more light you let into a room, the more spacious it will appear. If you have access to natural light, take advantage of it with sheer window curtains. If not, be sure each room is well-lit with lamps, chandeliers, and sconces. When it comes to painting, darker shades tend to impose on space. Instead, opt for lighter, softer shades, using bright colors sparingly as accents.
Use multi-function furniture.
Instead of that big wooden coffee table and bold, angular couch, opt instead for chests, sleeper sofas, ottomans and benches with interior storage space, etc. Use collapsible or nested end tables that can be folded or tucked away when necessary. Stick with vertical bookcases and push larger furniture pieces against the wall to avoid breaking up open space.
Take advantage of the outdoors.
Keep your lawn trimmed and your flowerbeds neat to avoid feeling crowded out by overgrown landscaping. Expand patios and hardscapes and install a grill to extend your kitchen and dining areas. Relieve the congestion in your garage with a tool shed or sheltered area for recreation equipment.