The irony of downsizing your living space is that even though the physical space you'll be occupying will be much smaller, the stress and anxiety of figuring out what to put in that space seems to be larger.
Whether you’re trying to live a life of minimalism, trying to save money or are just plain curious about the options that a smaller space might provide, figuring how to make a tiny space both functional and aesthetically appealing can be quite a challenge.
So how do you hack making a smaller living space work for you?
Ford Motor Company recently held the first-ever Life Hack Academy Live in order to answer that question exactly.
The event was put on in support of Ford's new Ecosport (a car full of features that make your life easier, which will be in dealerships in February) and featured experts across all fields (fitness, travel, cooking — you name it) who gave seminars and their best tips on making all areas of your life just plain simpler.
We stopped by to chat with Audrey Margarite, Creative Director at Bunny Williams Home, to chat about the current trend of downsizing:
“I think people are just examining their lives and really thinking about what’s important to them and how much excess there is. I think that with the trend of ‘fast-fashion’, you can also see that in interior design as well, with ‘fast-furniture’ … examining what you don’t need in your life is a really crucial part to that. But also, really thinking about quality over quantity is a great way to minimize as well.”
She shared her top tips for making the most of small living spaces — everything from must-have buys to how to make any room look bigger.
Here were Audrey's five best hacks:
5 hacks for living in a tiny space
5 hacks for living in a tiny space
Don't be afraid to use bigger furniture
"I think a lot of people are afraid of larger furniture, but even in a small space, use larger furniture! If you put tiny furniture in a tiny space, it’s going to feel tiny!
I lived in a studio for 11 years and I had a sectional — it wasn’t a big space and I was definitley using all of the space, but having the sectional sofa enabled me to have people over — they could come over to my studio and there was a place to sit. I definitley say not to be afraid of putting larger furniture in smaller spaces."
Decorate with mirrors
"Using mirrors is really important. Mirrors add light to a space — Bunny Williams, who I work for, always says ‘Put a mirror where you would want a window’ … Use mirrors and don’t be afraid to use big mirrors."
Prioritize comfortable seating
"I think there has to be a very comfortable place for you to sit every night. Whether it’s a sofa, or a chair or a chaise, when you come home from a day of work, I think you need to be able to sit down, put your feet up and relax."
Take advantage of vertical storage
"The most important thing is storage! I think that a lot of people think about putting furniture around a room but don’t think about going up and using the wall — so definitley think in three-dimensions, think of the vertical space.
What’s so great about storage is that it adds interest, it brings your eye up and it actually makes a space not only more functional, but makes it feel larger."
Invest in top-quality upholstery
"I think that buying good upholstery is really important. It can be pricier, but if you have good bones it will last. And if you get tired of the fabric, you can always recover it, and if you move and have a new design scheme, again, you can recover it — if you have the good bones there in that piece of upholstery, it’s really worth it."