High-rise uptown condos and strands of suburban apartment communities are coloring Charlottes landscape, proof that bigger is not better for everyone.
And home furnishing companies are catering to this expanding market. As a result, consumers can fit lots of new comforts in a modest footprint.
With a smart approach to design, smaller spaces can be efficient, elegant and welcoming, experts say.
Here are some of their tips for making even the tiniest small space something special:
Sleek, clean lines and simple designs do better in small spaces, says home design and staging expert Wendy Field, owner of Field Consulting in Charlotte. This improved futon Beddinge sofa bed from Ikea (starting at $279) has that uncluttered look that keeps a room feeling spacious. Smaller appliances might also be the best choice. Refrigerator drawers can be built alongside the lower cabinets. A small washer, this one by Haier (about $230), can be stored in a closet.
Make everything multitask
Use tables and chairs in different shapes and sizes. Those pieces can transition from dinnertime buffet to office or homework space. Choose a small chest of drawers for a bedroom night stand for extra storage. A coffee table should also have storage.
Choose moveable pieces
Ottomans and chairs or a guest bed can be in the middle of the room one minute, then pushed against the wall the next to make room for more people or games. This one-bedroom Eastover condo has a small galley kitchen that opens to the living room. The stools can be used for seating or as side tables, says designer Cathy Diel of Diel Design & Interiors. Many ottomans also have storage areas.
Use vertical space
Preventing clutter is a challenge in a small space, says Jennifer Foresman, senior manager of trend and design for Home Depot. Here, shelves and cabinets conceal personal items, as well as the bed when not being used. The same approach to keeping things tidy can be used in an office.
It makes sense to spend a little more to dress up a powder room or tiny kitchen because pricy materials will be used in small quantities. Use high-end flooring, wallpaper or marble that you could not afford in a large space, says Foresman. Las Vegas designer Taylor Borsari decorated this powder room with silver-leaf pattern on limestone tile from Walker Zanger, which has a Charlotte location. The sink is concrete.
Color is the least expensive way to dramatically change a room. Vibrant tones are fine for a small space, Foresman says. Contrasting colors can have a huge impact, giving a room dimension or drawing the eye to architectural details. Diel recommends limiting the palette to two or three colors. In this room, a wide stripe behind the bed is used to make the ceiling feel taller.
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