Make sure your furniture is correctly scaled for your space.Most upholstered furniture is too big. A sofa as shallow as 28 inches (32 to 36 is standard) can be very comfortable. Don't be afraid to spend a little extra money on custom pieces when standard-size stuff just doesn't fit. The scale of our homes should derive from the real needs of our daily lives. Home should be the setting for life, not the measure of it.
The first rule: Stop thinking of your space as small! It's intimate, and that can bring a host of positives. We think of oversize (rooms, furniture, meal portions) as the standard, when in fact that's a terribly contemporary idea—today's small would have been sizable for most of human history. To make the most of your space, use the classical ideas of the vertical and horizontal. Create visual niches that lead the eye around: wall cutouts into other rooms, furnishings with reflectivity (mirrors, lacquers, gleaming metallics), course-textured fabrics for contrast, and open storage to suggest depth. Think of your furniture in terms of lines rather than planes.
An essential idea—both physical and psychological—for small spaces is to avoid the urge to do everything. Instead, focus on one really big idea: How, essentially, do you live? What do you care about?If you love cooking, then go for a great kitchen and dining table, and maybe forgo a sofa altogether. If you never cook, don't build a gourmet kitchen! Maybe all you need is a coffeemaker, a microwave, and bins for disposing of take-out containers. A tiny kitchen could allow for a larger, nicer bathroom. If that's how you best enjoy the space, it's not really a compromise.
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