I am constantly dreaming of home renovations. Remember in Sex and the City 2, when Carrie tells the store assistant that she has been cheating on fashion with furniture? That’s been me recently, and I am kind of loving it. We live in a super small second floor flat, which is less than practical for our family’s lifestyle, but have come to terms with the fact that we are going to be living here for a while longer. While we’re here, we’re making the best of it! And that means not only are we decorating, but suddenly I find phrases like engineered wood flooring and space saving technology slipping off my tongue as if I’ve been saying them for years. Here are some of my current favourite ways to make the most of your living space.
Our two biggest concerns in our flat are the fact that my kids (age 12 and 5, opposite genders) are sharing a very small bedroom, and that we don’t have a garden. Sure, we can go for walks and such, but nothing beats being able to just sit in your living room and watch nature – especially when your home is on a top floor flat with no lifts, and your window overlooks a busy roundabout. The first thing we did was to decorate what we could on our outside space. We have a Juliet balcony so can’t go outside on it at all, so instead we have decorated the bars with miniature windmills, bright flower pots, solar lights and any cute bits and bobs we find to stick in a flower pot. It brightens up the room so much and makes you feel a lot less enclosed. The second thing we’re planning on doing is looking at what space we already have and thinking about how we can make it work for us. Our plan at the moment is to put a wall up in the living room so that my 12 year old will have her own bedroom. Its worth it to us to have a smaller living room if it means both the kids get some privacy and independence.
You can keep everything else the same in your home, but change the floors and your aesthetic is transformed entirely. Engineered wood is something I’ve been looking in to recently because I live in an area that is really prone to damp, and engineered wood boasts a high moisture tolerance level. I love the idea of having some really dark wood flooring – it can make your space look smaller, but I feel like it would look really elegant and mysterious. Then again, maybe I’m just letting my inner goth take over.
Believe it or not, but we’ve actually spent considerable amounts of time researching boat technology. Not the actual engine and such of course, but how the boat is constructed to provide maximum living space yet still be functional. We’re obsessed with space saving ideas like a TV unit that folds down into a double bed for when you have guests, desks that can be pushed upwards to make room for a bed or a couch underneath, and basically anything we can do to make sure we have as much room to spin around and be weird as possible. Priorities.
Rather than putting up a wall (which is surprisingly easy, by the way), if you are looking for definitive changes of area but aren’t necessarily concerned with privacy, you can look in to changing colours within the room. For example, our living room colour scheme is black, and our kitchen colour scheme is red. For the little space between the kitchen and living room, where my son keeps his toys, we have chosen wall hangings that are black and white with hints of red – this way, both rooms are tied in to eachother and there is a nice transition, but the toy area is almost a room within itself.
As with everything, life is not complete without the right accessories. For example, changing curtains to blinds immediately makes your room feel bigger and brighter, which is ideal when you’re living in a tiny flat. Curtains or room dividers are, of course, fantastic for inside rooms when you would like to section off areas for privacy. We also try and buy drop leaf or corner furniture wherever possible so that we are left with as much floor space as possible once we have accessorised our rooms.
What would you change about your home? Have you already done a big makeover like I’m planning to do? I would love to hear your tips!