Home is home, even if it’s a tiny condo or apartment. As long as you have a place to call your own, where you belong, where you can be yourself, where you feel safe and comfortable, where you can rest and replenish your energy for another day ahead, you are blessed. Read about these simple steps to maximize your tiny condo and make your spot under the sun shine even brighter.
A condo that has an area of 15 sqm to 30 sqm usually has no partitions. The challenge is to make it look bigger while taking care that you create zones for the different functions in the space, i.e., kitchen, dining area, living room, and bedroom. You can use lighting, floor coverings, or furniture and a smart arrangement to anchor each zone.
1. Use a Light Neutral Paint Color
The paint finish impacts the functionality of the paint, and the light pick-up of the surface as well. Usually, modern condos have a good source for natural light. However, if there is a part in your tiny condo that feels a little bit dark, use a satin or semi-gloss finish because this can help bounce off the available light on the walls. An additional advantage is that the glossier the finish, the easier it is to clean which is why it is suggested for high traffic areas.
Watch this video about Boysen’s guide to paint finishes.
2. Choose a Harmonious Color Scheme
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In color theory, there are many kinds of color schemes that are harmonious. Read more about the different color schemes by clicking on this link.
As suggested above, you start with the canvas of light-colored surfaces. Then you can proceed with a color scheme of your choice. To keep it peaceful and serene, choose an analogous color scheme (colors that are beside each other in the color wheel), which would be a simple and elegant option.
3. Curate Your Belongings
Ruthlessly cut down on the number of things that you have in your space. Minimalist and author Francine Jay said, “Your home is living space, not storage space.”
Do you want your home to be so full of knick-knacks that gather dust or make it impossible for you to move around your shoebox condo without hitting something? How many clothes and shoes and bags do you need anyway? Do you really need to hoard all those plastic containers that you get for your takeout food? And why are you storing all of your eight luggages, even those with missing wheels, for that glorious time when the world of travel is open to the world again in the unforeseeable future?
I saw this episode on Netflix’s Tiny House Nation where a couple and their two kids were moving into a home (container) which was just a quarter in size of their previous home. And he wanted to bring in his baby grand piano and many more musical instruments. If you plan to downsize, get real.
4. Store Everything in Its Place
It helps to be neat in a small space. Everything should have a place and when you’re done using something, return it to its designated drawer, storage bin, or cabinet. When there’s order around you, life is easier.
Storage space is hard to come by in a tiny condo. If you know a carpenter, it may be good to invest in his services so he could make cabinets that are custom-fitted to your place, and make even those odd corners work for you.
5. Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
Let your furniture wear several hats, like an ottoman which can be the coffee table, additional seating, or storage. Do you want to demarcate space subtly? Then use an open shelf to serve as a room partition. If you need an additional prep space in the kitchen, you can use a kitchen island with wheels or a cart and use it as storage space too or as a sideboard. Move it to the side against a wall if you don’t use it as a prep table. As for your bed, you can have a daybed or a sofa bed.
This may seem counterintuitive but do go bigger with furniture but have fewer. Just make sure you have negative space around each piece. Also, avoid bulky pieces. It’s best to have furniture with exposed legs so that they seem light. It also gives the illusion of a bigger space. Another advantage: it’s easier to clean the floor.
6. Make Use of Vertical Space
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The loft. In the real estate world, this is priced at a premium.
If your space has the vertical height for a mezzanine, then by all means add another area. In the Philippines, this is usually allotted for the bedroom. This is a good solution because you can keep that area private when you have guests at home…post-pandemic, of course.
Using vertical space could also means using the space to have hanging cabinets for additional storage. Or you can have something sleek like a floor-to-ceiling cabinet that hides all your kalat, like in this Japandi-styled home of a graphic artist.
7. Choose Your Partition Well
Natural light is a luxury so allow it to flood your home to give it a joyful and fresh feeling.
There are other ways to help light bounce in the space aside from (semi-) glossy paint. There is the tried-and-tested interior design trick of using mirrors. There is also the use of glass furniture to give the space an airy feel.
If you are thinking of putting up a partition, then use glass or something transparent or translucent, like what you see in the feature image above.
You can also use wooden slats, calado cutouts, or a rope screen to allow for ventilation.
The size of your home does not dictate the happiness you feel for being in it. You have the power to make your place into an oasis where you would love to spend your time in.
Even if you are renting it, that shouldn’t stop you from giving your space the energy you want it to exude. You may not want to invest in custom-made furniture but if painting will bring it closer to your idea of a dream home, then go for it.
Read more about tiny living in Home Interior Design Inspirations for Micro Living.