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Due to the high cost of living, soaring property rates and growing number of nuclear families, the demand for compact homes is on the rise. However, the main challenge, vis-à-vis compact homes, is to ensure that the small space is designed aesthetically. The trick lies in optimising the available space, for a comfortable home.
“The interiors should be designed in such a way that the house doesn’t look overdone or cramped with various elements. A minimalistic design approach, will not only give a subtler look to the house, but also make it appear spacious,” says architect Ricky Doshi of ARD Studio, Mumbai.
Why minimalist design is good
The various spaces in the house, should be well-defined and serve the intended purpose. “Simplicity doesn’t mean that one must adopt only contemporary design concepts. Even classical designs can be achieved with simplicity,” maintains Doshi, adding that home owners should avoid filling their homes with a lot of furniture and only use pieces that are unobtrusive and leave ample floor space.
Multipurpose furniture for small spaces
Furniture that can be folded away and multi-functional units, such as a wardrobe-cum-study unit, are ideal for small homes, points out Gita Ramanan, founder and chief designer, Design Café, Bengaluru. “One can also choose sofa-cum-beds or Murphy beds that fold into the walls or a trundle bed below a single bed, in place of traditional beds,” Ramanan advises.
Compact storage solutions
“Every home needs adequate storage space but it should not be an eyesore. One can try innovative ways to add storage – for example, the four inches of space below wardrobes, which is left as a skirting, can be converted into drawers to add 15% more space,” suggests Ramanan.
How to use mirrors and glass in small homes
“Glass is one material, which not only adds a sleek look to the décor but is also ideal for a minimalistic design. One can use glass on wardrobe shutters and bathroom doors. Smaller spaces can also be made to look larger, by simply positioning a mirror in the right place,” adds Doshi.
Light and colours for an illusion of space
Light shades and soft textures give depth to a small space. In a small home, the entire interior will be visible in a single sweep of the eye. Hence, home owners should be careful, to select the right colour scheme for their home’s interiors and also plan the home’s lighting, accordingly.
This can be achieved through a combination of direct and indirect lighting, mood lighting, backlit wall panels and lamp, to create an interesting effect.
Tips, to make a small home appear large
- Choose one colour that is repetitive in the room (for example, in artifacts and furnishings) and introduce a contrast colour in one striking piece.
- Opt for bunk beds that include a study table, wardrobe or storage space for books. You can also choose models where the lower bed can be folded away, to create space for the children to play.
- While selecting important furniture pieces like dining tables or sofa sets, choose models that have built-in storage options. If there is no space for side tables, opt for beds that have storage in headboards.
- Make maximum use of the vertical space in the house, with shelves that stretch from the floor to the ceiling.
- Foyer partitions can work as concealed shoe storage spaces.
- Keep one or two walls free and add quirky items that reveal your personality, such as posters, quotes from personalities, etc. This will create a unique focal point and take one’s attention away from the lack of space.
- Integrate electrical points into drawers, so that appliances can be plugged in and stored easily.
- Full-length mirrors can be concealed in a wardrobe.
- Storage units can be made above WC units for towels, cosmetics, etc.
What is a minimalistic design approach?
A minimalistic design approach involves ensuring that the interiors of the house does not look cramped. The furniture pieces should be unobtrusive and there should be ample floor space.
How can a home owners make a small home appear large?
One can make a small home appear large, by using glass (For example, on wardrobe and bathroom doors and by using light shades and soft textures for the walls and furniture.