Live large in a smaller space

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Looking at large, spacious mansions that boast about ridiculous rooms (do you really need a pyjama lounge??) makes a lot of people envious—dare I say most of us?

Sure, owning a big expensive house says a lot about a person – it says, for example “Look at me, I have a fat bank account”. The truth, however, is that people buy larger homes for a number of reasons. It can be because they’ve “outgrown” their smaller home, or because of that fancy promotion at work. It can be because a realtor has convinced them they can afford it, or because they hope to impress others. 

While the size of one’s residence is a matter of preference, living in a giant house may not be practical for many homeowners. Globalisation and the digital age have resulted in many people changing jobs and moving more frequently, and let’s not start discussing the effects of the recession!  

Today, we dare to show you the advantages of occupying a small space, and how a small house can definitely be the home of your dreams. 

It’s cosier

modern Living room by Bhavin Taylor Design
Bhavin Taylor Design

South London Apartment

Bhavin Taylor Design

Unlike those enormous rooms of the mansions you see on Pinterest, small homes have small rooms. This gives each space, as well as the entire house, a feeling of intimacy and cosiness – something that a big house severely lacks. 

While your home lifestyle varies from your friends’ and neighbours’, a lot of homeowners agree on one thing: smaller homes enable more family bonding, as opposed to large and spread out rooms hidden in a giant house. The smaller house creates a homey environment that allows family members and/or roommates to get organised and compromise over living arrangements, for example, sharing a bathroom. Less space to get lost in results in more social interaction with your family and/or roommates, and can make a smaller home feel cosy instead of cramped.

So, instead of looking at a smaller home as a downgrade, rather see it as a way to a more relaxed and happier living space.

Your budget is cut

Big homes equal big mortgages, fact! With energy bills and living costs going through the roof, you might need a smaller roof to cut down on your expenses. For this reason alone, a smaller home is a most appealing factor for many. 

Small is definitely more cost-effective. Remind yourself of the following:  

• Smaller and fewer furniture cost less – a lot less.  

• With smaller homes, you use fewer natural resources. For example, you won’t need a humongous (and expensive) sprinkler system for your cosy little garden. And your heating and cooling bills certainly won’t be as high. With a smaller house, you’ll save both money and the environment.  

• While those spacious and glamorous mansions you see on TV seem like a dream, the overall maintenance costs can be a nightmare. Smaller spaces allow you to do most of the maintenance work yourself, thereby saving you the cost of labour.

Less space, more experiences

Large and expansive rooms require more cleaning and maintenance. Fewer rooms means less time spent cleaning, which will give you more time (and money) for leisure activities, whether in front of the TV with a good DVD, or outdoors with friends and family.  

When there isn’t much space indoors, you’ll more likely feel the need to go out more and experience new surroundings and get some movement—whether at the park, at the movies with friends, or joining a club that takes place outdoors. So, get a smaller space, and get some fresh air! 

homify hint: Maximise your small space by adding mirrors and mounted wall-shelves. Mirrors add the effect of additional space, plus reflect the natural lighting from the window. Wall shelves provide great storage and displaying options, plus leaves room below it for decor/furniture (as opposed to a full-length closet, which fills up an entire block of space).

No room for rubbish

You are more likely to get rid of clutter when you can’t hide it away. No more hiding those vases and candleholders you haven’t used in three years, because there isn’t any space to hide it! The same way you’ll be less tempted to buy and accumulate more junk if you know there’s no room for it.

As is the case with most of our possessions, the more we own, the more they own us. And the more we buy, the more we feel we need to buy. Few things are as mentally freeing as getting rid of unwanted clutter, so focus on your smaller space, buy small, and free your mind. 

homify hint: Nothing fills up a small space as quickly as clutter, so to avoid turning into a hoarder, make a rule for your new smaller house/apartment. For every new item you buy, an older item of similar size must go! 

See some expert tips on Furnishing A Small Living Room.

​Focus on the decor

Think that just because you downsize to a smaller space you can’t make your house look fabulous? Think again. A small art (or decor) collection makes a big impact. And less space to fill up means you have fewer decor items to buy. 

A smaller home allows you to splurge on a few key furniture pieces, such as a stylish couch or a vibrant rug, which draws attention to your decor, not the size of your room. One thing that interior designers and decorators will tell us is that design is all about how to functionally use a space and make it work with the colour, decor, and furnishings you add to be able to enjoy the room, regardless of its size! 

homify hint: A light or bright colour palette is the answer to make a small space feel more open and full of energy. Add more possibility to your smaller room by turning to turquoise, red, green, off-white, or whatever colour takes your fancy. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour to find a tone that feels open and welcoming. Besides, a smaller room means less paintwork!

Packing and moving is easier

These days, it’s a fact that a lot less people move into a house once and then remain there the rest of their lives. Statistics show that the average person is expected to move 11.4 times in a lifetime. This, of course, will differ from person to person, but the reasons that entice us to move are very similar: work relocation, a change of surroundings, to be closer to a loved one, etc. 

However, a lot of people who pack up and move tend to move right back a little while later, either because of failure to adapt, sense of homesickness, or a host of other reasons. If you’re expected to move quite a few times in your life, wouldn’t it make more sense to have less to pack each time? The benefit of not owning a lot of stuff is how easily you can move around and go where the opportunities are. 

homify hint: A smaller home means you have a wider market to sell to. By its very definition, smaller and more cost-effective homes are more affordable to a wider range of the population, so the chances of you obtaining a buyer are much better than if you owned a 6-bedroom residence.

And there you have it – some helpful hints on how to make a smaller space work for you. What other ideas can you think of? 
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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