Small Place Living Is Already Here
In 30 years 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. Providing affordable housing to all will be of the utmost importance.
The new apartments being built are smaller and smaller. But how small is too small? We must approach the question from a psychological, as well as an ethical point of view. Residents should not feel constrained, caged in, on the other hand, they need enough privacy.
Interaction with the community, so locale -using the common areas, the convenience amenities- is gaining more and more importance for people.
We hope that modern technology enhances residents’ experience, besides promising efficiency in the household, considering that more people will be working from home.
A variety of floor plans can cater to individual (will be key!) needs.
Innovative ways of incorporating nature in places -and not only of residence- can help with balancing energies, improve physical and mental health. Nature surrounding buildings will be more significant, too.
The new norm: spaces transforming with their dwellers as they are going through the different stages of life.
Foldable, multiple-duty furniture and 3D printed objects are taking over in small places.
Sustainability is not a novelty, but the standard now.
Credit: Adaptive Reuse Collection by Val Chew. Downloaded from Pinterest 10.22.2019
You Can Live Large, Even in A Small Space
No walls, no problem
There are less walls that separate in a small space, so you need to get super smart about using furniture, shelves, screens, curtains to divide the whole area and have privacy where and when needed. Apply different paint colors, wallpaper or fabric to define zones. It may take very little (some light, a mirror, an artwork, a small table) to bring your hallway to life. Remember to set up a nook for me-time. Meditation? Reading? Writing? Drawing? Daydreaming? A comfy chair, inviting personal items, wall décor (or the wall painted in a different color), a wall-mounted reading lamp, a pillow/throw in your favorite style (let that be romantic florals, abstract geos or exotic ethnics) will do the trick.
Our working styles and need for motivation are very different. Some can just be cramped on the sofa with a laptop and get things done. Still, I’m for creating at least a little nook for a workstation. Shelves, boxes in various colors and patterns come in handy when organizing files and supplies. Give yourself visual treats when you sit down to work. Inspire yourself with photos, artwork, your vision-board. Please, think of your back when you pick a chair for this area.
Feng Shui hint: Take into consideration the areas of the Bagua when creating zones in your home. You want to harness universal energies as much as possible to support you on your journey in life.
Credit: iStock Database
Play with color
Choose color creatively to modify how the room’s size is perceived: cool colors recede, warm colors advance; light colors recede, dark colors advance. In small spaces the choice of light, pastel colors (one or two, or the shades of one) is the best for the walls and the ceiling. You don’t need to avoid dark colors, but instead of using them on large surfaces (walls, floors, curtains), enjoy them on smaller pieces, like accent décor objects, pillows, throws.
Feng Shui hint: Using the colors of the Elements or the rainbow balances the energy flow in your space and in your life.
Credit: iStock Database
3 magical ways to expand the space
Pictures with views and perspective: fool the eye as if the walls opened views into a distant landscape.
Lights: are vital, especially if there aren’t enough windows to bring in natural light. For the impression of a higher ceiling, install upward lighting; sconces, track lighting can free up floor space.
Mirrors: create the illusion of a place being more open by drawing in light. Other shiny surfaces -metal, glass, silk- also reflect light in beautiful ways.
Feng Shui hint: Place mirrors strategically, examining what they reflect.
Declutter and thrive
In times when our files are more electronic than paper, when we are going wireless, decluttering remains a challenge for many. It is crucial to edit and recycle, especially in a small home, so things don’t get out of control. Some may joke about how a smaller space means less cleaning. Only if you are strategic and ruthless about keeping it decluttered and tidy.
Feng Shui hint: Making sure that energy flows freely in your home, will enhance energy flowing abundantly in your life.
Credit: iStock Database
Inventive storage ideas make all the difference
You can make the most of your space by utilizing built-in storage systems. Open shelving (even for your wardrobe) saves you from bumping into clashing cabinet doors and big drawers. Get rid of heavy doors, where appropriate. Storage should be extended as far upward as possible. The upper shelves can be for out-of-season items or luggage. Putting shelves above doorways are helpful, too. Conserve floor space by hanging things creatively on the walls or on the inside of closet doors (if you keep them). Vertical pull-out storage units utilize hollow walls. Furniture items (tables, ottomans, sofas) with storage space inside are useful. A raised platform with hidden storage sections is genius. A variety of containers, boxes, baskets, jars creatively brought into the home save the day when it comes to organizing smaller items and making things look not scattered, but uniform and visually pleasing. You can have so much fun with choosing the ones that are right for you and your abode!
Feng Shui hint: I don’t encourage you storing things under your bed or crowding the space at the foot of it, as tempting as it may be. You want to move forward in life with no obstructions.
Credit: © TIKKU Micro Apartment / Marco Casagrande. ArchDaily. Downloaded 10.22.2019.
Light and defined
Multipurpose furniture pieces are the solution when you have limited space. Go for smaller ones with defined legs (every little empty space counts). Pick your sofa(s), armchair(s) carefully; no bulky ones here. Ottomans can double as coffee tables and storage units.
Narrow and floating shelves (even instead of nightstands), fold-down tables can also save valuable space for you.
Stay away from large motifs when it comes to rugs. Small patterns/ patterns in smaller repeats, or solid colors are good choices for this size of place.
Feng Shui hint: For extra energy benefits, study the areas of the Bagua, and which Elements correspond with them. Pick patterns accordingly.
Credit: Jason Leung, Unsplash/ Architect Sou Fujimoto. The White Tree (L’Arbre Blanc)
Bringing in nature
It is vital to keep and nurture our connection with nature. For our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual well-being, we’d better incorporate it directly and indirectly into our surroundings. With limited horizontal space, why not have a piece of paradise, a vertical garden inside your home on a wall or a screen/frame?
Feng Shui hint: Make sure your plants are thriving. So you can thrive as well.
Credit for Featured Image: © TIKKU Micro Apartment / Marco Casagrande. ArchDaily. Downloaded 10.22.2019.
Julianna Kocsis is a Feng Shui Specialist, Organizational Expert, Intuitive Vibrational Catalyst, Textile Design Archivist. She is also the founder of Talila Consulting. Bringing Order and Harmony to your Home, Work and Life.