Downsizing? Small Works !

I have heard myself saying  to several different new clients within the past 6 months-“Small can be great!”  As one example, you can probably afford the very expensive back splash tile if you are using it in a smaller sized kitchen or bath remodel; and you need less furniture to furnish a smaller great room.

That said, there are tried and true tips that can give you a larger feeling space—mirrors, lighting, clutter control to name 3 top ones.  A guest post about how to make small spaces feel larger is shown below.   The author is from the U.K where overall spaces tend to be smaller than in the United States where the mantra seems to be-bigger is better.

How To Make A Small Living Space Feel Bigger

Whatever your current living situation, if your house, apartment or shared accommodation isn’t quite as palatial as you’d like it to be there are lots of different ways to adapt your space to make it feel bigger.

It is possible to transform the rooms you occupy at home with a few simple tricks of the eye, making them appear lighter, airier and much more spacious. Here are some ways to decorate and organise your home to give the impression of much more space than you might have.

Use Of Mirrors

Whether you place them above the mantelpiece, incorporate them into your wardrobe door or even prop them up against the wall, mirrors can dramatically alter your perception of a room and also help to reflect light, giving a greater sense of space. Entire mirrored walls are often used in bars and restaurants to make them seem twice the size they actually are, so why not emulate this at home?

Image 1
(Image credit: Sam Agnew)

For maximum effect:

  • opt for large mirrors
  • position them opposite windows or doorways where light enters
  • don’t be afraid to have more than one in the room- in fact, the more mirrors the brighter the room!

Pick A Light, Bright Colour Scheme

Dark colours, if on every wall, can have the undesired effect of making small rooms appear even smaller. To maximise every inch of available space, choose from a light colour palette of neutrals and pastels.

Image 2
(Image credit: Mazzali)

There is no need to forgo the dark, bold colours that you love, as these can still look great and add character if used in small doses. Perhaps have a feature wall painted in your accent colour and pick soft furnishings to match.

Choose A Light Floor Colour

Choosing anything other than a light floor colour is certain to highlight the small size of a room by drawing the eye downwards to the exact dimensions of the floor space. Opting for a neutral colour which flows uninterrupted up to walls of a similar colour will open up the space and draw the eye up and out to the rest of the room.

Size Does Matter

Unlike mirrors, which can be as big as you like (in fact the bigger the better!), overly large paintings, ornaments, rugs and pieces of furniture dominate small spaces and serve to highlight the size of a small room. Opt for chairs and tables which aren’t too chunky, those with a lighter ‘footprint’ will take up less floor space.

The size of furniture and decorative items should be in keeping with the size of the room, so buy for the space you have rather than the space you’d like to have!

Hide The Clutter With Clever Storage

Cramming lots of paintings, pictures and ornaments into a small room will only serve to highlight how cramped everything looks. To maintain a calm, unfussy environment keep surfaces as clear as possible by storing all non-decorative items away.

Image 3
(Image credit: PoshSurfside.com)

Built in storage will aid in de-cluttering and saving space. Think about incorporating:

  • cabinets built in to alcoves
  • wardrobes built along walls
  • bench seating which contains drawers and storage space

Let There Be Light

Clever lighting can create the illusion of more space by making the most of every square foot available. If you don’t have large or south facing windows then create light with strategically placed lamps and mirrors. One large central light creates a clinical look which leaves corners and other nooks and crannies in shadow. Light such areas with up-lights, spotlights or lamps.

Image 4
(Image credit: Doug)

Make use of other reflective materials, such as glass and metals, to increase light. Why not place lamps upon mirrored trays for maximum light reflection, for example?

Knock through to create an open plan living space

If the structure of your house is such that you occupy a series of small box rooms, the simplest way to transform it into a living space which feels much larger is to knock through adjoining walls.

Image 5
(Image credit: Jeremy Levine)

An open plan living space increases space, adds light and unites the social spaces in your home. Being able to see how large your floor plan actually is and move around it with ease is one of the best ways to make a small space feel larger.

Adopting a less is more approach when it comes to decoration and aiming to maximise available light with neutral colours and reflective surfaces are the best ways to make small rooms appear larger.

About The Author

Hi there, my name is Loren, I love being creative with living spaces. I live in a small but very cosy apartment, I love my creature comforts and I don’t like clutter! I work at Sofasofa.co.uk, who sell comfy sofas, sofa beds and other bits and bobs.

Advertisements

LED Lighting– Good to Know

An article from HOUZZ describing the benefits of LED lights and showing some of the most common applications.  As  designer, I am specifying LED lighting for all of my remodel projects.

Small Space Solutions

 

Bigger is not always better!  Read the guest post below for some inspired ideas on how to live big in small spaces.

5 Inspired Small Space Solutions

If home is a tiny urban studio in London or a bijou apartment overlooking the rooftops of Paris, then space might be an issue for you. Just because you compromise on the size of your home, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style – there are a myriad of inspired, multi-tasking solutions perfect for small spaces, that add a little
je ne sais quoi to any apartment, no matter how tiny! Read on for our 5 inspired small space solutions that you can tailor to suit your needs…

#1 Mezzanines

Mezzanines have been around in Parisian studios for the last century, but lately they’re taking off as a top interior design tip in London apartments too. You’re effectively adding another level into your studio – it’s almost like building a shelf for your bed. You don’t have to use your mezzanine as a sleeping space; it could be for dining or as a home study, if you’re a freelancer. Get creative and add glass or Perspex mezzanines with lighting for a cool, contemporary feel, and choose from a traditional ladder or a more permanent inbuilt staircase. This not only adds space to your apartment, but lifts clutter and furniture away from the floor area for a lighter, roomier feel.

Mezzanines - home-designing.com

#2 Multi-tasking furniture

You’ll remember them from the bedroom of your youth, when they were a single bunk bed with a desk or sofa underneath, but things have moved on since then. Designer, contemporary furniture which serves a variety of purposes can be custom made to suit your studio – imagine a mezzanine bed with inbuilt wardrobe and desk underneath – the perfect work and relaxation combination. Make your furniture work harder by choosing pieces with a dual purpose – a wooden coffee table with storage drawers, a bed with divan storage or a table that doubles as a handy chest for linen. These little space saving ideas mean even the tiniest flat will be free of clutter and look fresh and appealing.

#3 Crate Storage

Take a tip from the commercial interior design experts and use reclaimed crates as storage – this adds a rustic and industrial feel to any apartment, and you can paint or stain crates to match your existing décor. There are even companies who sell crates already refurbished in a range of delectable pastel hues that will look as at home in a Paris apartment as they will in London or New York. Use smaller crates to stash toiletries and knick knacks, while larger crates are ideal for books, DVDs or bedding. Make an interesting feature in your living space by stacking a few different coloured crates.

#4 Drawer Stairs

You might be thinking, ‘What?’ when you hear the next truly inspired design idea – stairs which double up as handy drawers! When you consider the space beneath stairs is usually empty, why not utilise that space to store clothes and other belongings? In a tiny studio apartment, you need to make the most of any available space and this unique idea will certainly be a conversation starter.

Drawer Stairs - spicepr.co.uk

# 5 Circular Kitchens

Compact Concepts’ Circular Kitchen is a unique and eye catching kitchen that is, you guessed it, circular! Fitting as much as possible into a tiny space, this bijou yet fully functional little kitchen features electric hobs, a fridge, microwave, sink and dishwasher as well as the usual cabinets and worktops. Available in a range of finishes, the funky red gloss choice peps up any bland and boring studio.

Circular Kitchen - thehouseplanner.co.uk

 

Author Bio

 

David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, art and culture. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter

 

Small Kitchen Design

Do you live in an apartment?  An older home?  A condominium?  If so, you may have a small sized kitchen.  Not to worry, small does not mean that your kitchen cannot look great and function well.  What it does mean is that a little extra planning and creativity needs to go into your overall design planning process.  Professional designers are trained to make the most of a space regardless of the size.  Below is a guest post from our neighbors in Canada describing how they optimized the design of their small kitchen.

small kitchen

small kitchen 2

Bring out charm and efficiency to your small kitchen

Earlier on, I used to reside in Las Vegas with my parents. I used to be extremely proud of my house. We had a three-storied house with large rooms and huge courtyard in the front. It was extremely well-decorated with art and architecture from olden days. However, as the fate would have it, I fell for a professional home re-modeler from Orillia who was considerably less well-off than my family. I started residing in Orillia. The apartment was small, especially with a very small kitchen. The work area was much less than what I was used to working in. Initially, of course, I faced a lot of difficulties in cooking, serving, and cutting vegetables. However, the professional expertise of my husband finally came to the rescue. He suggested me a few handy tips to remodel the kitchen and give a new charm to it.

Here in this article I would like to discuss some of those tips with my readers, so that they can also make their kitchen more warm and cozy.

Add storage unit: Jack (my husband, in case you wonder) suggested me to make the kitchen efficient and functional. To do so, he asked me to incorporate a lot of cabinets while planning kitchen design, he actually suggested me to check rock wood kitchen design, in Orillia. To choose some innovative designs, we went through magazines and visited many showrooms of kitchen cabinets in Orillia.

While the floor space in the kitchen was small, he suggested me to create cabinets on the walls and under the sink. These helped me a lot in storing jars, containers, utensils, cleaning product and many others. He also advised me to install open shelves on the walls to stack plates and mount hooks behind the door to hang frying pans and cups. Being a professional home re-modeler, of course, my husband has amazing taste of colors. While the tiles and other accessories in my apartment were Grey, he suggested me to choose ivory color for the cabinets that added a special charm to my kitchen.

Create efficiency: Earlier my kitchen was quite inconvenient to work in. There was hardly any space to perform the task. Every time I had to go out to the dining area for cutting vegetables and serving food. However, now after incorporating counter tops, my kitchen has become a little more functional and efficient. I incorporated a rectangular shaped counter top as suggested by my husband. The counter top I chose (rather us, my husband and me) was made out from stainless steel, because we thought that stainless steel would really complement our small kitchen and give a modern look to it.

Mirror the kitchen: My husband told me that mirrors work magic in a small kitchen. I listened to him and installed a big framed mirror on a wall. Trust me, the illusion of the mirror made my kitchen look more spacious and large. Besides that, it added a new charm to my kitchen and made it look more appealing.

Bring in more light: It is always necessary to have a free passage of fresh light and air in a kitchen, especially when it is small. So, we decided to give a new treatment to windows. Are you thinking of broadening your windows? No, certainly not! We did not do any such thing. We simply added a new drape and curtain in the window made of lighter material. If you think that this sounds little inane, then try this and see the effect. Our kitchen now looks more bright and fresh than ever before!

Kitchen walls: Special care needs to be taken for kitchen walls, specially the area near the gas burners and oven. These parts are exposed to heat and water, and requires easy cleaning surface. Glazed Tiles are used as covering along with stainless steel wall panels to reinforce it and make it reliable option.

These are some of the handy ways we adopted to make our small kitchen efficient and make it look charming and appealing than before.

 

 

Kitchen Remodeling – Basic Starting Thoughts

Kitchen design seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now.  Perhaps it was this last holiday season’s cooking and entertaining experience that has put some folks at that point of –that’s it, I need to update and upgrade my kitchen NOW!

Below is a guest post  that addresses some basic kitchen remodeling topics that should be thought through before the project begins in earnest.

British Modern Kitchen

Thoughts on remodeling designer kitchens

Why do homeowners remodel their kitchen? It’s usually after they get frustrated with the designs of the previous owners.  ‘Why is that there?’ and ‘I don’t see any reason for this’ are thoughts that usually set them on the path of new kitchen design.   Since it’s this frustration that drives the change, it is very important to know what you want to change right from the start.

Before you even think about getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning designer kitchens – with CAD, blueprints, and designers – there are some basics to get through first. Considering these will save you a huge amount of time and money later.

Functionality…

Arguably, the kitchen is the most important room in the home. These days, it’s not only a room for cooking but doubles up as a family meeting point and an area for social gatherings.   It is important to design everything around your preparation, cooking, refrigeration, and dishwashing zones.

Don’t tamper with…

There are some appliances in kitchens that are extremely difficult and costly to move. These include vented range cooker hoods, sinks and dishwashers.

You can move…

Fridges can be moved fairly easily, as can cabinetry, so take these into consideration.

Sensibly placed cabinets…

Remember that putting cabinets in places that are difficult to reach will result in crockery never getting used.  You should, therefore, mostly aim to put your kitchen cabinets at eye-level and above your worktops.

Kitchen Island…

Do I need a kitchen island? – I hear your ask. Well, they certainly do add value to a property, and are an absolute must for some homeowners. They are great for the ‘social kitchen’. Many designer kitchens have this feature.   But it comes down to space really. After all, it’s just a trend, and you can do without one if necessary.

Don’t scrimp on worktops…

High quality designer kitchens need worktops to last for a long time and must be durable and ensure daily usage. It really is worth paying that bit extra to get a granite or quartz surface.  Spend some time thinking about what you want and make absolutely sure you get it right.

Space is key…

This is the real reason you need to hire a designer – since they are experts at proper spacing.    Any space problems will be worked around in a way that computer software just can’t manage.

5 Ways to Increase the Efficiency of the Kitchen

S Interior Design gets contacted often to host  guest articles on our blog.  Our requirements are that the article be informative versus sales oriented and include supporting pictures.  We received this article today and deemed it worthy of sharing.  What strikes us is the down home, practical recommendations offered  to make the kitchen a more efficient place to cook and clean up in.  Nothing fancy, just some ideas for you to think about incorporating into your kitchen layout and routine.

Guest Article

kitchen design

The kitchen in my house is extremely small, because of which I used to face a lot of trouble in performing tasks and it took a lot of time between preparing meals and cleanup. I wanted to modify my kitchen and make some changes which would help me increase the efficiency and functionality of the kitchen. I consulted a home improvement contractor regarding this, who was apparently more interested in making money rather than helping me out. He suggested me to go for whole-sale kitchen renovation, which would burn out a huge amount from my savings. Fortunately, during this time my grandmother visited my house from Australia, who takes a mighty pride of being an efficient homemaker. She told me that all I need to do is to make the best use of the available space by following a few simple tips, instead of renovating the entire kitchen. She suggested some of the very basic tips with me that I still follow in my daily routine task, and believe it or not, this has increased my productivity in the kitchen. If you want to know about the tips, continue reading the article.

Buy some essential equipment: Kathie (my granny, in case you wonder) suggested me to buy a few reliable quality kitchen appliances that are easy to handle and maintain and help you increase the efficiency level. This might cost you a little, but will eventually pay for its own. This is the reason why I love my Blendtec. It has auto turn off feature, enabling me to start on another task while it is on. I am really thankful to Shelly (Yes! I am) because she also suggested me to invest in good mixture and blender. This has simplified my work and allows me to take less time in preparing food.

Get organized:  It is extremely important to be organized and pro-active in kitchen in order to complete the task efficiently. I gather all the supplies and ingredients together prior to begin a recipe. This helps me make sure that I have everything handy required for preparing a dish. This also helps me speed up the process by having all the items within arm reach. I gather the items that are mostly used on a regular basis, such as spices, tea, coffee and many more.

Include storage solution: Having an organized and de-cluttered kitchen is extremely important to make the best use of the available space (as suggested by my granny). I wanted to incorporate considerable storage space in my kitchen, but did not want to spend a lot either. So, my niece suggested me to install open shelves on the walls to store jars and stack plate. However, if budget is not a concern for you, then you can build cabinets on the walls or build-in drawers. If you reside in Muskoka, you can look for some other ideas of kitchen cabinets in Muskoka.

Keep the layout simple: Keep the kitchen layout as simple as possible, ensuring minimum movement and maximum productivity. I prefer to store vegetables and market items close to the entrance. This allows me to place the belongings, without entrenching the cooking area. I also place big utensils next to the sink to facilitate minimum movement for washing.

Kitchen Remodel Time

At this time of the year we are spending more than the usual amount of time in our kitchens preparing holiday feasts and yummy treats.  This can be the trigger point—TIME TO REMODEL THE KITCHEN!  Is your kitchen failing you functionally?  Are the cabinets dated or in disrepair?  Are you just in need of an overall update including new appliances, cabinets, lighting and flooring

As many of you know, kitchen remodels are one of the best investments you can make in your home in terms of payback when you choose to sell the home.  More importantly, it is almost always the space your family and friends spend time in and it needs to look and work great.  S Interior Design has a detailed process we follow when working with clients on kitchen remodels that examines all the aspects functional and decorative, so when the work begins, the design plan is fully developed.  Modern classic design, contemporary and modern, cozy and country …whatever the style we can help you make the dream into a reality

Below is a guest post from ‘Across the Pond’ on the subject of kitchen remodeling.

Choosing a kitchen design that really suits you

Whether you need to make the best of a small or an oddly shaped space, or you have plenty of room but want to make the most of your investment, designing your own kitchen gives you the freedom to match your space precisely to your own needs. Taking a personalized approach lets you factor in a mini office, for example, if you work from home – or install a safe play area for when you need to keep an eye on your toddler while you make meals. But it’s easy to feel rather bamboozled by the array of design “solutions”.

Great Jubilee Wharf 2

Rather than giving up and compromising with a) a premade kitchen or b) whatever the kitchen showroom sales schedule pushes you towards, take control of the situation with a balance of logic, planning and personal style.

What don’t you need?

In order to achieve ideal bespoke kitchens without spending more than you need to, you’ll need to figure out what you really do need and keep on top of what you don’t. Be honest with yourself here; are you a chef or a socializer? What would you really like to be doing in your kitchen?

 

gjwharf-30

This isn’t always cooking, although a well thought out kitchen layout can often make cooking much easier.  For example, if you currently have to prepare meals on top of the washing machine, you’re probably less inclined to spend time on complicated recipes. A simple kitchen redesign can transform an awkward space into one where cooking becomes a relaxing pleasure.

And then there’s the eating part of it. Do you have a dining room, or do you need to make space in your kitchen for sit down meals, and possibly homework? You may not eat at the table now, but a kitchen redesign can effect a lifestyle change as well as add value to your house.

How tidy are you really?

The other area where honesty is essential is your own tidiness. Untidiness can be the result of having too much stuff, or at least not having enough storage space to assign homes for everything – but it can also be because you’re too busy or you simply can’t be bothered to put things away. If opening and closing cupboard doors sounds like your (or your family’s) idea of hard work, perhaps you’re better off having shelves instead, where items can be easily found with eyes instead of memory and exploration – and where you can easily stash stuff to keep it off the work surface.

Using online kitchen planners

If you want to play around before you hire a kitchen designer or commit to any particular company, there are plenty of kitchen planners available online. They range from what are essentially interactive photos that let you explore different finishes and effects, to complete tools that let you drag units around the virtual floors pace to see how things fit.

The latter needs more input from you, mostly in the form of measurements.  The measurements need to be accurate!  If you don’t have time to do this yourself, it’s best to hire a kitchen designer to do it for you, but at least make time to think about your needs first – the best designers will know which questions to ask you in order to find out, but they’re not mind-readers