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Maximising Small Spaces: Transformative Furniture for Tiny Homes

When we decorate our homes, it’s easy to think of the space we have available as a problem. At Bay Furniture, we disagree. Being the eternal optimists that we are, we believe that while size is an important challenge, it is also an opportunity. After all, limitations inspire creativity.

Having a cosy and intimate living space is surely what we all crave. Luckily, those of us with smaller homes are already halfway there – and with clever use of the space, the cramped and cluttered feel can easily be avoided.

Obviously, with smaller areas, choosing the right furniture is extremely important. What’s more, with shapes of rooms varying so much from home to home, what works in one may not be ideal in another.

We say: embrace the difference! There’s no doubt that the perfect piece is out there – you just need to know what you’re looking for. Here’s our go-to guide for making the right choice for your space…

Folding Furniture

A handy way of keeping a space functional is to have furniture that folds away when not in use. For those who work from home, a folding desk would mean the space wouldn’t need to be permanently given over to a work area. A fold-out or extendable dining table can be a great solution for those with a larger family unit or those inclined towards hosting dinner parties or other social events. Seats with adjustable footrests are another way to keep your options open as to a room’s main use.

Multi-Functional Furniture

When space is limited, multi-functional items are always a good choice. In confined areas, each piece of furniture matters and it’s important that they not only look great but also contribute towards the functionality of the room. A perennially popular choice in this regard is to choose a sofa which folds out as a bed, allowing a living room to become a guest bedroom in no time. Coffee tables can double-up as storage if the item has shelving underneath the main unit.

Furniture with Built-in Storage

While this is an aspect of an item being multi-functional, storage space is so important to the design of smaller rooms that it’s worth a separate entry. Almost any piece of furniture can provide storage if chosen with this in mind – and they usually offer the added bonus of keeping things out of sight when not in use, a vital part of keeping a home cosy and relaxing.

Stackable Items

Stackable furniture is a design hack that everyone worrying about space should consider. Floor space is the important factor here, as stacked furniture obviously only takes up the area of one item when put away, freeing up vital space for other uses at other times. Dining seats are commonly stackable for this reason and provide a flexibility of function that is extremely useful in tight spaces. Other commonly stackable pieces include shelving, side tables and footstools.

Show Some Leg

If floor space is at a premium, covering the ground area with furniture can quickly make the room feel stuffy and congested. A simple solution to this problem is to choose items with exposed legs. Being able to see clearly underneath the furnishings creates a perception of a more light and airy environment – and is handy when it comes to cleaning as a bonus. A common feature of chairs, tables and desks but can also be found in sofas and most other types of furniture too.

Slim-line Designs

When looking for items of furniture to fill a space with, focus on pieces with minimal, slim designs. Anything too cumbersome or ornate will risk making the space feel congested and busy. Comfort and function are obviously as important as they always are, but in a limited space, make sure these aspects don’t overwhelm the room’s character.

Vertical Space

In a home where floor space is tight, it’s easy to overlook the space-saving potential of your walls. Making use of vertical space not only provides storage but it draws the eye upwards, which in turn helps make a room feel more spacious. Shelving is a great way to utilise this potential, giving vital storage and creating an area of visual interest. Mirrors and artworks are commonly used for this purpose and can open up a room if positioned carefully.

Banquette Seating

One of the big design hacks for small spaces is to make use of the perimeters. Lining furniture against the outer edges focuses the busyness of a room to the walls which in turn opens out the centre and makes it feel more light and airy. Banquette seating builds on this idea and further minimises space wastage by being fixed to the wall. Any loss in flexibility compared to a conventional seating unit is more than made up for by their sleek profiles and minimalist designs. Pared with a fold-out or tilt-top table, a banquette seating set-up can be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and practical.

In Practice: Design Tips to Remember

Once you have narrowed down your furniture choices, now is the time to put them to work. Here are a few pointers worth bearing in mind to make the most of those carefully-selected pieces…

Keep the Floor Clear

Being able to see the floor goes a long way in making a room feel more spacious. Any furniture that allows light to pass underneath it will lift and lighten the whole place.

Let Furniture Breathe

Although the aim of the game is to make the most of the limited space available, cramming as much into the room as possible is actually counter-productive. Give items room and you will perceive the place as being more spacious and less cluttered.

Play With Scale

In interior design, size isn’t everything. What’s more important is scale. Once you start thinking about an item’s measurements relative to the room it will be placed in, finding the right balance becomes a much easier task.

Don’t Cramp Your Style!

Small spaces needn’t feel small. In fact, as we’ve seem, a few well-chosen and placed items can actually create the illusion of spaciousness and can turn your intimate living space into a functional and personal haven.

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