The following is a guest post by Carmen Dragomir, an interior design guru at esQape design inc. Carmen maintains an off-shoot of our site called Carmen’s Corner, that is full of helpful and inspiring design tips for any kind of home.
As early as the first week of January, all I could hear people talking about was their new year’s resolutions. Some more realistic than others, some are the same as the past 5 years (uummm, that’s already a sign that you should change how you go about that particular resolution J) and some lovely couples I met recently have actually made design resolutions!
I’m sure many of you living in spaces less than 700sq.ft. have already considered this as a top priority design resolution. Here are 3 simple ways to tackle this issue:
- Make a list of all the items you NEED to keep. You know what that means, don’t you I’m talking about de-cluttering first. Too many spaces are filled with items we don’t know for sure if we will ever need again- the easiest way is to move everything that is not of daily or weekly use in a storage space.
- Try to ascertain an approximate size of the storage space you need and where ideally would it be located.
- The best part- look for clues– what do I mean by that? Every condo space has many corners, niches, jogs (especially with curved or angled condo floor plans) — these are great opportunities for adding a built in or purchase a storage unit. Built ins are the best though because you can fill in the entire width, depth and height of the space and if you make the unit out of MDF you can paint it in the same color as your adjacent walls and voila- your built in almost disappeared! Here are few examples for you: Here are 3 good examples:
1 bedroom- 653 sq. ft from San Diego– very nice layout, pretty clean and looks like more recessed areas have been properly designed to fully utilize the space- but I can always find more storage space- see the markup with magenta- think of full height built ins with a combination of closed and open spaces- a tone of extra storage space!
2. How can we create a furniture layout that serves dual function so we have less clutter? If you read my blog post “No dining table? No problem!” you will see just a few examples of how multifunctional furniture makes its way fast into small condos. Here are few more ideas:
Dining area- if you don’t sit down and have dinner at the dining table every day, think of not having a dining table and create a larger living space where you can entertain friends, have maybe a small desk incorporated into a built in etc.
2nd bedroom- if you will not have guests too often, create a layout similar to a den- either home office or just a family room that could be easily converted into a guest room.
Den area- this is one of my favorites rooms as it is usually the smallest space yet it comes with so many design possibilities, read again the condo den blog.
3. I am moving into my brand new condo and don’t know how to furnish my bedroom, nothing seems to fit!
4.What are the best way to select wall colors, furniture upholstery colors and art? I actually wrote before about the exact steps I follow many times when designing condos, you can read the post again here .
5. How can I add color to my space without being stuck with it for years to come and without spending a fortune to change that color every year?
This answer comes easily now after you read the post about the formula for selecting colors, to make it easier think of colors as being just sprinkled in your space.
You walk in and see the overall colors scheme somewhat neutral, either light or dark, then select key spots where your eyes should go first to look for color, for e.g. white built ins can have color coordinated books, dark den spaces could have art with a touch of color, light or dark bedrooms may have the bedding color coordinated for every season or your living space seating area may have different throw pillows for different season or special events, anniversaries, holiday décor etc.
I cannot wait to receive your questions with your design challenges and hope to make it easy for you to solve them.