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*Teensy Tiny* Spaces - Decorating Tips?

squirrely

TRIBE Member
for the first time ever i'm moving into a home that i actually want to pour some real love and maybe even a bit of money into. no more mish-mashed student-type living. i want a clean, cohesive living space that will encourage my family members see me as something other than the perpetual baby of the family who lives in a stinky li'l shoebox.


it's a small one-bedroom condo (under 600 square feet) and storage space is seriously limited.



any tips for for maximizing a cramped floor plan?
ways to open it up?
storage tips?
 
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Poot

TRIBE Member
Storage! Storage! Storage!

If your coffee tables, end tables etc don't have storage built in, make sure you can fit large boxes, bins etc under them. We put large stained wicket baskets under ours, and manage to keep a lot of CDs, books, blankets and so on successfully tucked away & out of sight in these.

If you have high ceilings, think about a large wardrobe that will allow you to put boxes on top to store seasonal stuff you don't need regular access to.

Also, making your rooms "flow" and maintaining a consistent colour scheme will keep things from being "chopped up" and will make it feel roomier.

Shelving units that have drawers, or pull out boxes, are a huge help, too.

If your bed is high enough, under-bed storage is a life-saver (our new bed isn't. boo.)

Also, a lot of custom seating can be made with built-in storage, but that's $$.
 

squirrely

TRIBE Member
junglegirl said:
squirrely i started a thread a while back :)
congrats on the new place!!!

link! link!

sorry, haven't had my morning coffee and i honestly didn't even think to search. :(
 
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Poot

TRIBE Member
I don't know if you can really see from these photos, but - when we decided our cheap and storage-less ikea coffee & end tables didn't cut it for storage, but we didn't have the $$ to buy new stuff, we picked up these inexpensive wicker bins (which also helped us to tie in some of the darker brown tones we were using - read: beech veneer was wearing on us, but we couldn't afford to replace everything) to beef up the storage.

We found similar bins that fit inside the cubes of our bookshelf, too, which helped.

lviingdining1.jpg


livingdining2.jpg


I also bought stacking short stools, which are great for when we are entertaining more than 8 or 10 people -- they stack and store out of sight behind our couch, but are great for when we need a few extra spots of toosh-parking.

Lastly - that cubed ikea shelf unit is a life-saver -- I have NO idea where we would stuff all our glass wear otherwise. And it was a real bargain.
 
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Poot

TRIBE Member
Thank you! It is just little, but we love it.

And congrats on your new place! I wish I could say we owned ours, but that is not the case.
 

Poot

TRIBE Member
I guess I'll add that our dining room table (which you can see peeking out there) is really only a four-seater, but we pull can pull out the stools and seat up to six relatively comfortably at it. Day-to-day we don't need more than a small table, however, so we kept it at that, and that saves room.

(also I bought it used almost 7 years ago for only $40 -- I have sure got my $$ worth!!)

The dining room chairs are very comfy - and double as extra living room area seating when we have company. We went with a colour & shape that would complement the rest of the living room stuff to make them multi-purpose and get more mileage out of them.

The sofa is quite petite, too - but more than comfortable for the two of us, and seats four or more comfortably when we have guests.

It's all about compact & multi-purpose furniture!
 
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squirrely

TRIBE Member
i used to think that small apartments demanded small furniture, but i'm starting to crave a big ol' L-shaped couch.

i think i'll save room with a super small dining table, if any table at all. i have a breakfast bar type thingy that i could throw two stools under and be done.
 

squirrely

TRIBE Member
here's my floorplan, on a one-foot grid, in case anyone has loads of free-time on their hands and maybe wants to get all detailed and shit. :D

a085bde7.jpg
 
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Poot

TRIBE Member
squirrely said:
i used to think that small apartments demanded small furniture, but i'm starting to crave a big ol' L-shaped couch.

i think i'll save room with a super small dining table, if any table at all. i have a breakfast bar type thingy that i could throw two stools under and be done.

To be honest, our dining room table gets more use as a desk than for dining. It certainly does come in handy for when we are having a formal dinner, but most of the entertaining we've been doing lately has been much more casual. Lately we have been having more "nibblie" type casual around-the-coffee table type dinners with friends, than seated formally. With that said, it is nice to have the option to do formal dinners, but if you have the breakfast bar, and are wise about how you set up the living room area, that may suit your dining/entertaining needs just fine - particulary if space is tight.

As for couches, I too am a big fan of the L couch (as you can see! :) ) Ours is perfectly suited to a small space, and was very reasonable (we bought it online through Sears for only $799!) We weren't ready to sink big money into a real leather sofa when we don't know what our living arrangements & decor will be over the upcoming years, so we decided to go with the smaller faux-suade piece to tie us over. (It's actually been surprisingly durable - it's held up much better than a several thousand dollar sofa bed a friend of ours recently invested in....)

Love seats are okay, but I find the seating set-up of the L couch is much more conducive to entertaining & conversing. It's much cozier, and allows you to seat angled to face with your guest(s)/sofa-mate, rather than being limited to side-by-side, forward-facing seating.
 
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squirrely

TRIBE Member
thankfully i have my little "den" (alcove space when you first walk in) to put a desk and all that junk, cuz i know what you mean - currently my "kitchen table" is acting as a computer desk/clutter holder. i think i've used it maybe a handful of times for actual dining.

i think one of the biggest challenges to living in a small space is finding ways to separate the different aspects of your life. i find that the place i pay my bills is the same place i eat my dinner is the same place i relax at night and so on. sometimes i find myself longing for the suburban lifestyle of my younger years, at least in terms of spaciousness.
 

squirrely

TRIBE Member
i've heard that a suede finish is the most durable. i have two very messy little dogs and i kinda need to shop for items that accomodate their, um, lifestyle. my current couch, which i completely love, has been taking quite the beating.
 

Poot

TRIBE Member
If you knew us, you would know that there has been quite a lot spilled on our couch :eek: -- I've found the faux-suede much easier to keep clean than our cotton upholstery. The colour helps hide whatever doesn't blot out, too.

Also, I will never buy white furniture again unless it comes with removable & washable slipcovers. Our dining chairs' covers are removed & washed every few months. It's amazing how much colour transfers from jeans etc...
 
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