With rent rising and family sizes decreasing, millennials have started to opt for smaller alternatives when it comes to real estate. Maybe the trend came from IKEA showrooms, the micro-housing wave, or simply from growing accustomed to sharing apartments with one too many people. The fact remains: people may want to pay for smaller, but they still want to live as large as possible.
The goal is to avoid creating a highly congested space. Thankfully, experts like author and real estate professional Matt Parker have done the homework for us. Learn to make the most of your small space by following these tips from Parker:
- Rooms with high ceilings, 9 ft. or taller, help make small square-footage spaces feel large. In many cases, liking or disliking a home has to do with ceiling height.
- Add custom bookshelves high on one wall in a room. This creates a “spacer” for your eye, drawing your glance up and making the room appear larger.
- Use large paintings in small rooms, one wall only, and you will be amazed how much bigger they feel, says Parker.
- Follow this rule: If you haven’t used it in a year, sell or donate it. Parker recently did this, and removed about 25 percent of his family’s clutter.
- When it comes to clothes, consider quality over quantity. According to Parker, folks in Los Angeles often hire a wardrobe assistant who helps them pick four perfect outfits per quarter. “Buy really nice clothes, that are really trendy, in small batches, then immediately get rid of them,” he explains. “What a win/win from a fashion/lifestyle standpoint!”
- Use a stand-up desk instead of a sit-down desk. Sit-down desks occupy about 100 square feet, explains Parker.
- In small rooms, install a very large custom mantle. This lends a sense of grandeur to a small space.
- To make small rooms feel more spacious, decorate with light colors: gray, white, light blues, light yellow, light green, and stick to the same color palette throughout the room.
- Large floor rugs make rooms feel much bigger.
- Parker also advises against buying huge wholesale quantities of food. Instead, buy one week’s worth of healthy, fresh food each week. You will feel better, and look better, like your home!
“I am recommending people buy nicer things, enjoy them more, and live better lives. I am not indicating to stop consuming or become a hermit. Simply be decisive about what you love and eliminate the rest! You will not believe the sense of peace, and style,” adds Parker.
As you can see, the trick to living large in a small space is to not be afraid to let go. Freeing up space usually taken up by clutter allows you to enjoy things you actually like. That’s what makes the transition worth it. Well, that and all the extra cash you’ll be saving!
Matt Parker is the author of ‘Real Estate Smart: The New Home Buying Guide and Real Estate Agent Talks.’ Parker works entirely paperless and happily lives in a 560 square-foot home with his wife, where he prioritizes living, not clutter.