Downsizing Your Home? How Can You Make A Smaller Place More Efficient?

Posted on: 25 July 2016

Housing trends have moved away from the McMansions of the early- to mid-2000s, and smaller spaces are in again -- from the "tiny home" trend in more rural areas to urban apartments in the heart of a bustling city. However, downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one can require you to reevaluate everything you've kept over the years, and you may be forced to sell or give away larger furniture and appliances that just won't fit in your new home or apartment. What furniture designs can best help you make the most of a smaller living area? Read on to learn more about howmodern furniture can be tasked with several functions at once to help make your smaller home ultra-efficient and maximize your available space. 

The sky is the limit

Many urban apartments have a small square footprint but expansive ceilings, making loft-friendly furniture ideal. It can be surprisingly simple to find tall furniture that serves multiple functions and allows you to leave your floorplan as open as possible. For example, installing a sturdy wooden entertainment center with a ladder to a loft bed on top can be a great way to unobtrusively incorporate extra sleeping space into your living room. Literature lovers may also want to look into ultra-tall bookcases with library-style ladders that help you reach the top shelves so that you can take up minimal horizontal wall space without having to downsize your book collection.

Some enterprising apartment-dwellers have even developed pulley systems designed to maximize ceiling space while providing easy-to-access storage for a wide variety of items. The items you place in these baskets or hang from the pulleys can even add to the decorative appeal of your home (for example, hanging shiny copper pots and pans from kitchen pulleys or placing assorted glass perfume or lotion bottles in bathroom baskets). This system can also be ideal for tiny, tall closets, as you can easily swap out winter clothes for summer ones or rotate linens without wasting precious shelving or hanging space at eye level and below.

Look for storage everywhere

The best space-saving furniture finds a way to incorporate expansive and easy-to-access storage without impeding the structural integrity of the furniture itself. For example, trundle beds or Murphy beds that can convert from single to double or fold away in the wall when not being used can be a great way to free up space for entertainment or daily living while still enjoying the amenities of a larger home (including a larger bed). Another good alternative for a child's room is a bed with drawers underneath. This can eliminate the need for much dresser or closet space, and your child will have quick access to his or her clothing to make it easier to get dressed.

Kitchen tables are also a key space-saving item, as a table large enough to serve a family of four or five needs to fulfill multiple functions. Having a table that folds into the wall can free up space, while one with multiple self-folding leaves can allow you to convert an accent table into a full-sized dinner table and back again. You may also want to opt for benches (or storage benches) instead of individual chairs or stools, as these benches should be able to accommodate a more flexible number of people.

If your home is in a townhouse style, with multiple levels of fairly small size, you may want to investigate converting your existing staircases into cabinet stairs. This can significantly expand your home's closet or pantry space without necessarily changing the look or feel of your stairs.