Even a Small Home Can Feel Spacious

Written by Posted On Sunday, 23 July 2006 17:00

Even if you live in a small home, you don't have to feel like you're living in a shoebox. There are wonderful spacing-saving tips that can make you feel as though you're not boxed in.

While many homes now being built are super-sized, just like our food, some folks are opting for smaller, quaint, and cozy living -- either because of an attractive price or lack of need for the extra room. More than 50 percent of American homes have a single head of household and that number is increasing. But even when you have fewer people in a home, things can become cluttered, especially in small quarters.

Need a guest bedroom and a den? These days with many people working from home, one challenge is finding space for both an office and a guest bedroom. Homeowners are utilizing Murphy beds and fold-up futons to save space and make the extra bedroom usable as a part-time guest bedroom/office. But the old style wall beds aren't the only way to save space. The Europeans have introduced the computer bed. This might be perfect for a dorm or a child's room. A bed folds out and beneath it is the computer center. Fold it back up and the bed is conveniently tucked away inside, leaving a computer desk exposed and accessible for study time. You can see other styles at flyingbeds.com .

If you don't have space for a laundry room you might try the laundry-in-a-box design. Transforming a closet into a laundry center works nicely when you elevate the washer and dryer for accessibility; the interior doors of the closet can be used for shelving to store laundry supplies. Close the doors and all your laundry needs are out of sight.

Built-in bookshelves are always a good way to have useful and enjoyable books at your fingertips. Many cottage-style homes utilize built-in bookshelves because space is so limited. Bookshelves can hold more than just good reading material. Canisters, decorative shoeboxes, and mesh baskets can also hold necessary items. The top of the bookcase can double as a table. In some bedrooms a built-in bookcase eliminates the need for a bulky chest of drawers.

It seems no matter how large your garage is, eventually it begins to feel as though it's tiny. Built-in shelving can help keep clutter out of sight and allow the area to feel more spacious. And a really good alternative is to have a loft/rafter storage built. You can have a makeshift attic in your garage by using 3/4 inch plywood suspended from the rafters in your garage. It keeps items such as recreational equipment, seasonal decorations, suitcases, and even patio furniture out of the way. And you can even conceal the stuff with short hanging rod curtains.

Saving space in the kitchen area is a top priority for many. Breakfast bars are a popular design that allows guests to sit close to those who are in the kitchen preparing food. But the traditional barstools can be cumbersome. Some homeowners are opting for barstools that hang from a steel support housed underneath the countertop. Suspended seating takes away the hassle of cleaning the legs of chairs, straightening them, and ensuring that children don't tip them over. Getting into the barstool is simplified by pivoting the entire assembly system. You can learn more about the suspended seating at seating-innovations.com .

One of the best ways to make a home feel spacious is to eliminate clutter. If you you've got too much stuff maybe it's time to unload some of it.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or phoebe@livefitmagazine.com. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.


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