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Lateral tanking and furnishing

Lateral tanking and furnishing

The 21 st – century home has become a refuge from the stressful and frenetic world outside and it should, the magazines tell us, be calm, comfortable and clutter – free. The image of the perfect modern interior with its sweeps of empty space is an easy one to aspire to, but it can be hard to create it for ourselves, particularly – of course – in a small home.

Finding furniture to fit a small home can seem a big problem. Although it is fairly easy to cut down on the incidental pieces (who needs a china cabinet anyway?), we all need some essentials, and even accommodating these can seem an impossible task in a tiny space.

So, what can be done?

The best advice is to think very carefully about what you need and to consider all the alternatives.

You could find a piece that would solve a space issue for you (a folding bed or a stool that turns into a table). You could do away with armchairs and sit on the floor.

By thinking laterally a different approach to furnishing your home, you should be able to create an interior that`s functional and comfortable without being stuffed with furniture.

KEEP IT LOW Using low, horizontal furniture will instantly make an interior seem bigger, a phenomenon that the Japanese - experts at managing small spaces – have exploited very successfully with their shallow tables, futon beds and tatami mats. By taking furniture down to floor level, you not only clear eye – level space (which in itself makes a room seem larger) but also extend the distance between yourself and the ceiling. Also, by opting for floor cushions, bean bags and low benches rather than dining or armchairs which have legs, backs and bulky bases, you will free up space and, at the same time, be at the cutting edge of contemporary living.

MULYI – PURPOSE PIECES If you are investing in free – standing furniture, try to choose adaptable pieces that perform two or more functions. Pick a dining table that can double as a desk, a stool that has storage space inside or bookcase that can divide two different areas of room.

STORAGE FURNITURE There`s furniture specifically for storage, of course – wardrobes, linen chest, bookcase and so on – but other pieces, too, can be customized to house your possessions. The hollow arms of a sofa could be make to hold CDs or DVDs; the underside of tabletop fitted with narrow drawers for cutlery; the bottom of a bed fitted with a storage area for blankets and sheets.

With just a little lateral thinking, you can make use of the invisible dead space inside all your furniture and help keep your interior clutter – free.

SEE – THROUGH FURNITURE In small space you need your free – standing furniture to be as unobtrusive as possible. Choose a design that won`t block the light or create too much shadow. Choose mirrored furniture for your interior. Not only will it increase the light but will make your space seem bigger, too.

TINY THINGS A display of small things can a big impact in a tiny space and if you choose your object carefully, it needn`t be twee. Line up a collection of keys on a wall, for example, or a series of tiny pictures, and you should make a graphic and eye – catching display, which (because there are multiple elements) will help to extend the dimensions of a room.

MINI – MAX Filling your tiny home with diminutive pieces of furniture will, obviously, give you more space, but don`t be afraid of using the odd overscaled pieces, too. A large item of furniture added to the mix – such as a vast railway clock, for example – can give a quirky touch to a room and also make the atmosphere bigger, conning the eye into thinking there is more space than really is.

WHERE TO DO IT The main problem about arranging things in a small space is deciding where to do it, particularly if you have little free – standing furniture. Think laterally, however, and you should come up with a few potential display spots. You could prop pictures on the floor if you lack wall space, for example; use the edges of the stairs; or even hang things from ceiling (a graphic mobile, perhaps). Wherever you decide to show off your possessions, don`t overdo it. Less in a small house is very definitely more.


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