Available space is probably your home’s most important asset. Having too many belongings, a big family or a poor organisation/decluttering system can all play a role. Unfortunately, it’s often something lacking in a Singaporean HDB flats but with smart home space planning that focuses on space-creating strategies, this can be overcome.
If you don’t know how to approach such a project, here are a couple of ideas that are bound to have a profoundly positive effect on a flat’s spaciousness.
This is the number one strategy professional interior designers employ when faced with the task of upgrading a small flat.
Most of our belongings and furniture pieces take up horizontal space. When this happens, you start feeling overwhelmed by all of the clutter. In order to free space up, start thinking vertical instead of horizontal.
There are many creative ideas to help you make the most of vertical space.
A pegboard is a cool example of a vertical organiser that is also highly customisable. Wall-mounted bars give you a similar option and they’re a great pick for just about every room (the kitchen and the bathroom included).
To fully utilise vertical space, you can also mount several levels of shelving, use modular units for storage and organisation or even plant a vertical garden. By doing so, you’ll be making excellent use of space that will otherwise be neglected.
Make the Most of Glass and Reflective Materials
Having enough natural light entering your rooms will instantly bring on a more cheerful, brighter ambiance. To achieve the goal, employ the power of glass and reflective materials.
Mirrors and metallic tiles, for example, reflect light and they can also be created strategically to amplify a visual illusion.
Partial glass walls or glass elements on the doors can also work really well.
In that case, the glass partitions create some separation without being solid and making the respective room feel confined. If you need a bit of privacy, you can count on frosted glass and still achieve the space enlargement effect.
Through the use of glass, you can connect adjacent spaces and visually expand their size. Adding reflective surfaces to the mix increases the effect of the approach even further. Just make sure these elements are placed in a way that employs their properties to your advantage. Having a mirror placed across a window and angled towards a room, for example, is the best way to have light directed towards a space where its missing.
Conceal the Things That Create Visual Chaos
Do you have cables running through your living room? Can you see exposed pipes, HVAC elements and other essential pieces that contribute to the clutter?
Making your space more organised involves eliminating those visible pieces. They add nothing to the interior design while increasing the overall chaotic sensation you get with a small, cluttered apartment.
There are many clever ways to hide utilities without interfering with their function.
Internet cables, television cords and others can all be hidden behind cord covers. Something as simple as hooking cords to the back of furniture will also work.
Other excellent approaches involve running wires inside a wall (whenever you intend to do a more extensive home renovation), investing in cable management boxes and even having a custom box designed for small kitchen appliances that clutter countertops and have their cords hanging everywhere.
Be Careful with Colour Palette Selection
A home décor can be overwhelming, even when a space is sufficiently big. Using the wrong colour palette will easily contribute to the sense of a room being crowded and missing air.
Too many colours or tones fighting for attention can easily start looking chaotic in a smaller flat.
As a general rule of thumb, stick to a neutral colour palette and have one brighter colour that stands out and makes a statement. The accent colour could contrast the main tones or it can be in the same family (just a bolder and more noticeable version of its subdued counterparts).
If your space appears tiny, you may want to re-evaluate your furniture selection.
Good interior design is all about scale.
In other words, an overstuffed and bulky sofa isn’t going to look right in a tiny living room.
Picking more streamlined and ergonomic furniture pieces will easily free up a lot of space.
Choose a smaller dining table, sofa and entertainment centre – furniture pieces that are usually quite big.
If possible, opt for foldable, wall-mounted or multi-purpose furniture pieces. By choosing such items for your home, you get to enjoy a lot of comfort and convenience without needing lots of space for the placement of all essentials.
A large gallery wall may be your dream but if you lack the space, you’ll need to get somewhat creative with the addition of artistic flare to your home.
Every bit of the flat can be used as canvas. Be unconventional and bold when choosing such pieces and picking places for those.
You can have a print or a photograph applied to your fridge or even the kitchen counters. We’re not kidding when we say that any surface can become a canvas when your home is tiny.
There are so many other fun ideas to explore when it comes to the placement of art. A small patch of wall above a furniture piece (like the shoe cabinet) can host a piece of art, as long as the size and the scale are right. Even the open shelving in the kitchen can host some colourful pieces that lighten up the mood.
A small home doesn’t have to limit your creativity or lifestyle choices. Contact Home Guide if you’re struggling with organising and designing your flat. Our home interior design experts have extensive experience in renovating small HDB properties to fully unlock their potential.