A few years back, D Magazine came to me with a the question, "Is Small the New Big" and I think that this is a topic that is still extremely prevelant in today's day and age. Especially with many young professionals moving into apartments and many empty nesters downsizing to high-rise living spaces.
When designing for a small space, you really need to look with different eyes. First, it helps to establish your goal for the space. Do you want to make it feel more spacious and lofty, making the boundaries disappear? Or, do you want to emphasize the coziness of your small space?
Here are my top 5 insights into making small the new big:
Go Glam: Incorporate Lucite elements and glass tables to provide necessary surface area without the added bulk of wood or metal. The resulting sparkle of these pieces adds an element of visual interest and surprise.
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Ready, Set, Accessorize: There are two schools of thought here, and both can work. First, accessorize with a few exquisite objects with dramatic shape and dimension. Second, if you have collections of small objects, group them for display on a tray. Also, staggering their heights using acrylic risers can help create a visually appealing display.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Utilize mirrors and mirrored walls judiciously. In [one bedroom] project, we installed a custom, mirrored headboard. This really opened up the space. Mirrors can add a bit of surprise to a room.
Up Against the Wall: To achieve that open lofty feel, use a few fabrics generously, but limit patterns. Look for glowing textures, because too much heavy texture can feel like a bear hibernating in a cave. Keep the feeling gauzy and open with occasional glimpses of sparkle and transparency. If a cozy space is your goal, look for fabrics that have a matte finish, like cashmeres and soft wool. Avoid furry fabrics and focus on luxurious texture instead.
Onward and Upward: Use space vertically. Draw the eye up by hanging dramatic art and lighting. This results in a feeling of increased volume of space. In a loft space especially, it’s important to fully utilize the vertical real estate. Several years ago, we were able to harvest a bedroom and bath from the open space provided by a vaulted ceiling in a client’s cabana. We saved floor space by installing a spiral staircase to access the new rooms. We also used the tactic in a small bedroom that happened to have 13-feet-high ceilings. Because the footprint of the room was relatively small, we elevated the bed onto a piano-shaped platform cantilevered from the wall at a height of approximately 7 feet. This allowed the space below to be utilized for a budding art collection and mini library.
To read the full article by D Magazine, click here.