Maximising Space in Small Homes: Design, Storage & Decorating Tips

29 April 2024

The current house and land market is thriving, with more and more people looking at building or buying a home with a much smaller footprint. But just because your home has less space, doesn’t mean you can’t live large! While maximising space is a key driver of modern residential architecture, thoughtful design choices and clever storage solutions can help maximise space and allow your family to live large in a smaller home. You may be asking yourself, ‘Why downsize?’ There are many positives associated with living in a home with a smaller footprint. A smaller home means smaller bills – lower rates, power and maintenance costs. Plus, you’ll enjoy more time to yourself – with less garden to look after and not so much housework. No wonder there’s a trend towards homes with a smaller floorplan!

Discover the joy of compact living, where less is more!

People are swapping bigger homes for smaller, practical homes that are big on smart design and a clever use of space. In fact, more home buyers are choosing 3-bedroom homes on narrow lots than ever before. This trend towards smaller homes on smaller blocks is due to several factors, including:

  • Smaller blocks are more readily available in the market
  • A large number of boomers and empty nesters downsizing
  • Smaller homes are more affordable for first-home buyers
  • Clever, modern design can maximise space in a smaller home, enabling homeowners to still live largely.

The following tips and tricks are designed to help you live large in a smaller footprint home.

Clever home design and small floor plan ideas

Experienced home builders have adapted their skills to maximise small home floorplans, ensuring an enhanced lifestyle without compromise. Here are some home design and floorplan ideas that can make a smaller home feel more spacious:

  • Create multifunctional spaces where you can use the same area for various purposes
  • Ensure each room has an efficient and functional layout
  • Install large windows to open up the space and make the most of natural light
  • Where possible, install sliding doors (which take up less space), instead of swinging doors. This applies to wardrobe doors too!
  • Select a floor plan that prioritises open spaces
  • Have one type of flooring flowing throughout
  • Choose wider boards for timber floors, and a large-format design with fewer grout lines for tiled floors.

Smart home storage solutions

Rule number one when you’re living in a smaller home – don’t hoard belongings and avoid clutter! Once you’ve cleared the clutter and kept only what you need, think about how to incorporate some of these small home storage ideas into your design:

  • Turn unused nooks in your home into organised storage spaces
  • Use floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with a combination of closed and open shelving, so the area doesn’t feel cluttered
  • If you have an empty wall, consider building floor-to-ceiling shelves for extra storage. This will also give a sense of scale and height to the room, by drawing your eyeline upwards
  • Use pegboard racks in your garage to store belongings, such as tools
  • Consider multipurpose furniture that doubles as storage such as an ottoman, a sofa with shelving under the arm, using a dresser as a bedside table, storage benches and under-bed storage
  • Add floating shelves and hooks on walls and doors creatively to provide more storage options.

Decorating tricks to create the illusion of space

There are lots of simple things you can do to make small spaces appear larger, including:

  • Avoid overcrowding your home with too much furniture. Choose designs with simple lines, and avoid oversized pieces
  • Leave some empty space around each piece, rather than cluttering your rooms
  • Keep decorative elements simple
  • Choose light and neutral colour schemes for walls and cabinetry. Light-coloured walls are reflective, maximising the effect of natural light
  • Floor-length curtains will give the illusion of height
  • Use mirrors to bounce light around the room. Ideally, they should be placed to reflect a window or view to add more light
  • Choose sofas with legs so they ‘float’ above the floor – this will make the space feel more open
  • Go for a round dining table with a light, reflective surface (such as glass or marble). Round tables take up less space and don’t interrupt the flow of traffic
  • Place artwork above your eyeline to create a sense of height and space.

As you can see, a small home can still feel spacious. If you follow the tips and tricks we’ve mentioned, there’s no reason you can’t live large and happily in a small space. The key to success is making all these elements work together, as well as keeping your home clear, simple and clutter-free.

With Hallmark Homes, good things come in small packages

If you’re looking to build a home with a smaller footprint that still meets your lifestyle goals, it’s important to choose the right builder. With over 40 years’ experience, Hallmark has a fabulous selection of designs for smaller homes including our 3-bedroom Luma home designs and narrow lot homes.

At Hallmark, we’re committed to building homes that offer excellent quality at a great value price that customers love to live in. So, if you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, contact Hallmark Homes to speak with an experienced consultant. Come and visit one of our display centres for inspiration or check out our virtual tours and house plans from the comfort of your own home. If you have any questions about our single storeydouble storey, acreagehome designs, or house and land packages, please contact us today.

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