Being a designer naturally makes me hoard things... I just can't bare to part with things that I think might be useful one day! It is an affliction that I have learnt to accept about myself... But this makes living in a fairly small flat a bit of a challenge - especially as there are two of us to think about! Jake is very lovely about my "creative mess", but still we have had to find some solutions to keep the flat liveable.
So I thought I'd share some tips we've picked up along the way on how to make the most of a small living space...
Check out Cordelia's Hamster Palace!
// Divide the Space. This may sound like it would make the room seem smaller, but it really can work wonders. We recently bought a room dividing shelving unit (IKEA to the rescue), and it has completely changed the way we use our living space! Even though it has cut the room in half, it now feels like we have two spaces with their own purpose rather than wasted space. The living room now feels cosy and all of our bits and bobs that were just hanging around before are now on display where we can use and appreciate them.
// Keep Work Separate. This is so important! I got into a habit of working on the sofa in the day and leaving all of my materials around the living room... not good. After we divided the space, I have started to use the dining table as my work space in the day and trying to keep the area as tidy as possible. I can't express the difference in my focus! I know it's a really simple tip that many people have said before, but separating work and play space is the best advice I have ever taken.
// Use Working Storage. We are lucky to have quite a lot of storage in this flat. We have a big walk in cupboard that most of my crafting supplies live in. While this is great, it's sometimes quite annoying to have to get into the cupboard every time I need something. So I've started using a box that stays in my work area to keep everything that I am working on at the moment. It's great because I know everything in there is current, so it doesn't fill up with stuff I don't use very often. Every once in a while I will go through the box and move things I'm not using into the proper storage.
// Folding Furniture. Our flat is plenty big enough for just the two of us, but we love to have our friends over! We have collected a few folding chairs and lots of cushions that we keep in the cupboard and get out when we have people over. The room divider gets pushed against the wall to open up the space and we can comfortably fit lots more people in. It's great to have a space that can be sociable.
Do you have any tricks for living in small spaces?
If you want to see more of our little flat and advice posts about living in rented accommodation go here, here and here.
Also check out Graham Hill's apartment in NYC... he has taken multi-functionality to a whole new level!