Ive always loved the idea of having a smaller house, and making the most of the space I have. When I lived in my tiny English cottage (the house prior to when I lived in my giant house) it was like a game for me to find clever places for things.
How can you make the most of your small house?
1. Make finding space in a small house a game.
My small house was like a puzzle, everything had one place that it could fit. My husband’s closet was actually a linen cabinet in the hall. My canned goods fit in a neat and tidy corner of our basement on plastic shelving. We had baking dishes on wire shelving on an enclosed back porch. We put beds on risers to give us more space for things under the beds.
Oh how I wish I had been blogging 10 years ago (was anyone blogging back then, or was that before the internet was invented?)! That would have been a fun house to talk about. We did so much to that adorably small house to make work for our family.
I love coziness so for the most part, having a small house was fun for me, not a drudgery. I enjoyed figuring out how clever I could be with our storage and furniture placement. I was determined I had enough space for what I needed and it really was like a challenging game to find the solution.
2. Find more than one purpose for your rooms.
I’ve always wanted a library/dining room. Not only do I think it looks charming, it is practical too. You can use the room to dine in, but it can also hold library shelves for books or a home office. One room, multiple purposes. Love that.
I’m not sure how I feel about bookshelves in the bedroom (top photo). I wonder if it would feel kind of dusty? I do like how it looks but I think I’d rather have books in the dining room. But if the bedroom was all I had for my books, it would work!
3. Less furniture, more built ins.
Free standing furniture takes up a lot of space. If you own a small home, there are often ways you can tuck in a built in piece (or a free standing piece that fits in just like a built in) to give you more room for the buck.
For instance, I adore banquettes (built in benches with a table)! Tables and chairs take up a lot of room, so if you can build a banquette into a small niche, you can have an eat in kitchen even if the room is quite small.
Think about other ways you could eliminate pieces of furniture by having built ins. Or even if you can’t build something in, perhaps consider other ways to eliminate excess pieces and go for more streamlined furniture!
4. Get creative with the space you have!
A couple of years ago I saw this photo, above, and it had a pretty cool outside the box idea! It is a custom made dining table that opens up to reveal a pool table! You can have a family meal, then take the lid off the table and the space becomes a game room. While the table probably costs a pretty penny, imagine the cost of a whole separate pool table room! Not only is this an example of a dual purpose room, it is thinking creatively in a small space.
In our small house, for the first two years of my son’s life, our dining room was his playroom. We had to get creative with the space we had, and having a playroom for his toys at that stage was more important than having a dining room. By being willing to let go of something we used less frequently and setting the house up for what we really needed, we made the house work for us.
If you are trying to make the most out of a small house, consider ways to double a room’s usefulness! We don’t always need MORE room, we just need to be more clever with the space we have!
Do you have what you consider a small, medium or large house?