Even if your home is technically a shoebox apartment on paper, it should most certainly not feel like one. Floor space is a prized luxury in our urban jungle and most apartment owners have to grapple with constraints that can sometimes hamper design desires. That said, just because you don’t have a sprawling property does not mean you can’t have the perfect pad to go home to. With some ingenious tips and tricks, it’s very possible to have a designer home that looks and feels larger than it really is. Yes, your pint-sized HDB home can also be major Instagram #inspo fodder for interior design buffs. Here’s how:
Declutter with hidden storage solutions
Maximising storage is key to keeping clutter off open areas and surfaces. With smaller apartments, you really want to make sure things are organised. Disarray is an eyesore and the space will feel more cramped. Hidden storage is an elegant solution. Make use of the space under your bed, which could be designed to flip open like a box to access the interior. Drawers are more practical since you wouldn’t have to lift the entire bed to take something out, but they are more restricted in terms of size. A platform that runs around the bed can also work as floor space while doubling as storage when you install panels that lift open.
Other clever hidden storage ideas include laundry closets in which you can stash the washing machine, dryer and a multitude of cleaning tools and products, all in one space. Also consider dining tables with built-in cabinets underneath, or box benches that serve as storage boxes or shoe cabinets.
Make full use of walls
In small spaces, going vertical is key. Go the extra mile with shelving by running them from floor to ceiling, and make use of empty spaces atop cabinets and built-in wardrobes by storing things there.
In addition, think in terms of recesses and mounts. Besides shelves, recesses built into the wall are a great way to carve out space. This works great in the bathroom or even in the kitchen, for instance, so you can do away with additional racks and caddies. Work recesses into living room feature walls or beside the bed and you’ll have a spot for books, curios and knick knacks.
Mounting your flat-screen TV and speakers on the wall means you could do away with a console if you wish. Instead of one harsh overhead lamp, scatter lighting by mounting them on walls and ceilings. Not only is ambient lighting more flexible in terms of creating moods, they are much less space-consuming than table lamps and standing floor lamps. Take wall mounting further with casual dining tables in the kitchen, which flip out and serve also as a working counter when cooking, or even for a guest bed that folds out from the wall when needed.
Opt for mobile tables and countertops
Tray tables that slide out from cabinets can make a very effective work desk, makeup desk or coffee table. Simply tuck them away when you don’t need them, and you’ll have saved the space needed for an extra table in the house. Plan your kitchen unit such that kitchen counters with or without drawers and on wheels can slide neatly under a fixed countertop.
For homeowners who like to entertain, height adjustable tables and chairs present a clever way to maximise space for guests. For instance, a coffee table that can be raised to function as a dining table doesn’t just provide extra serving places, it is also perfect for nights when you want to eat while watching Netflix.
Pick furniture of the right size
Choose furniture that are designed for small homes. A monstrous couch can anchor a room with its sheer size and can work as a statement piece for those who prefer it that way. That said, you’ll be less likely to knock into a diminutive loveseat.