Monday, 17 September 2012

PROPERTY ARTICLE: How to make the best use of an ultra-small space. Copyright SvD.

How to make the best use of an ultra-small space.

Savvy landlords always invest in either studios or one bedroom apartments in those areas popular with city workers and professionals. There is always demand for smaller flats in the most popular areas in London. Even the smallest studio can generate a return. Here are some ideas for maximising space in the tiniest of flats!

1.         Make every square inch work. The bed can take up one corner but why not hoist the bed onto a deck and make use of the space underneath? You could place a desk and chair underneath for a study area or use that space for storage. Alternately, install a bunk bed so that friends or family will have a bed too when they visit! Better yet, consider a retractable bed that disappears during the day.

2.         Storage. In the kitchen area, ensure there is storage for pots and pans, glasses and cutlery. Overhead cupboards should be reachable by short people too. If there is only room for one cupboard in the flat, ensure that inside the space is divided for hanging coats and drawers for socks, underwear, pullovers etc plus a shoe rack as well.

3.         Bathroom- if space is limited in the kitchen area, you may have to consider sacrificing the bathtub for a shower cubicle instead and using the saved space to install the washing machine/dryer combination. Install a bigger sink which can double up for washing laundry by hand if need be.

4.         Think minimalist- every single item in the studio should have a practical value and should double up if required. In other words, shelving contains hidden storage. Dining chairs can be folded away or are comfortable enough to be used as sitting room chairs as well. Do not overcrowd the walls or shelves with too many paintings or trinkets- these crowd the small space and make it seem even smaller. 

5.         Define areas.  Create pathways from one defined area to the next. In other words, the living area should appear separate to the sleeping area or dining area. This method of separating and defining opens up the space and makes it functional. For example, place a two-seater sofa with a small tables on either side in the ‘living’ area. This will take up less space than two separate armchairs, for example. Similarly, the dining ‘area’ can be a small table and two chairs but with a cleared pathway between the living and eating space.

6.         Colour. Paler shades of paint make a space seem bigger and brighter than it actually is. Do not use darker matte shades which can be overwhelming and claustrophobic in tiny rooms. Do not even think about black, red or purple (believe me, I’ve seen it all). The same applies for bathroom and kitchen areas- choose appliances and fittings in white every time, and which has the added benefit of being cheaper as well.

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