These days, “less is more” has taken on a life of its own when it comes to living spaces. Minimalist homes that have a smaller impact on the environment and personal finances have become popular among singles, newlyweds, young professionals, and people looking to simply reduce their footprint on the world.
Whether you live in a cozy apartment in the city, a small house in the suburbs or even a tiny home in the woods, saving resources doesn’t have to mean skimping on style. Simple adjustments to basic decorating techniques can boost your style while also making your space feel bigger. Here are a few ideas to spruce up your lighting, window shades and flooring in your minimalist space.
The best part about lighting a small living space is the sun typically does most of the heavy lifting for you during the day. Smaller space means the sunlight can hit every nook and cranny to brighten and warm your home. However, on those rainy days and at night, it’s important to make sure your accent lights are dim enough to not overwhelm the room, but bright enough to do their job. Anything over 60 watts is probably too bright.
Something else to consider in a small living space: Use lighting to create the feel of separate spaces in one small area. A combination of bright “task” lighting in the kitchen area and ambient, low lighting elsewhere will give the space visual separation, depth and texture.
Some traditional window shades and treatments pose the risk of taking up too much space in a small home. Even a few inches of fabric or curtains and rods jutting out into a minimalist space can impose on furniture organization and arrangements, and make a room feel smaller than it actually is.
To avoid this potential style faux pas, think about roller shades and blinds that fit inside the window frame. Faux wood blinds, mini blinds, and a number of patterned and solid-color roller shades bracketed on the inner frame of your windows will allow you to regulate temperature while giving your small space that finished feeling.
Still want to go the curtain route? One trick is to hang curtains higher and wider than the windows (place rods closer to the ceiling than the window frame). This gives the illusion that the room is taller and wider than it is.
Much like lighting, choosing various types of flooring for the areas in your smaller space help give the illusion of separate spaces. At the same time, using too many different flooring materials – wood for the living space, carpet for the bed area, tile for the kitchen – can make the small home look too busy. Aim for two types of flooring: wood for the common area and carpet under the bed. That will help add style while giving your small space great character.
Accessorizing an economical living space comes down to one thing: your personal style. Balancing a variety of looks and colors can be tricky, but if you don’t overdo it you can turn your small home or cozy apartment into a big, stylish success.
Katie Laird is the Director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com and a frequent public speaker on Social Media Marketing, Social Customer Care and profitable company culture. An active blogger and early social technology adopter, you can find her online as ‘happykatie’ sharing home décor, yoga, parenting and vegetarian cooking tips. Blinds.com carries a wide selection of window shades to help you spruce up your small space on their website.