Getting More, From Less
At Pindan, we’re seeing more and more homebuyers attracted to the idea of ‘Downsizing’. This might be professionals wanting to enjoy a buzzing apartment lifestyle at Indigo China Green in Subiaco, families reaping the benefits of life beyond the backyard at Botanica Canning Vale, or retirees taking advantage of a lock and leave lifestyle at The Heights Kardinya. The lure of a liberating lifestyle free from the burden of large traditional homes just keeps gaining in popularity.
So how do you go about styling your new pad, given moving to an apartment or more compact home means less space to work with? To help you get in the zone, we asked Heather from Blaq Staging to share her secrets to styling smaller homes. The Blaq team recently staged one of our display homes at The Heights. They are experts when it comes to creating head-turning spaces that are stylish, emotive and effortlessly functional.
In part one we explore 7 space saving tips for doing more with less when styling your downsizer.
1. Adopt a ‘minimalist’ mindset
The minimalist movement is all about living with less, a mindset that pairs especially well with styling smaller spaces. This simplistic approach doesn’t mean you have to miss out on anything – you just have to be smarter with the choices you make. Think about what you really use, what brings you happiness, and what you could easily do without.
2. Be organised
The popular Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has played an influential role in de-cluttering our lives. This is especially helpful when downsizing, says Heather.
An organised space will make all the difference. There are some great storage gadgets for wardrobes and cupboards that help utilise storage spaces and keep everything organised. Hanging shoe racks and draw dividers are a great way to keep everything in its place.Heather, Blaq Staging
3. Get space savvy
Sometimes we find that even after de-cluttering, we’re still left with a lot of ‘stuff’. A great way to fully utilise your spaces is through clever storage that takes up less room than bulky furniture. “In your bedroom, a floating shelf could be used for books, jewellery or trinkets without compromising space. A floating entertainment cabinet looks stylish, and creates more living space. Or you can get rid of that cumbersome coat stand by installing stylish wooden hooks behind doors to hang hats or handbags.”
4. Choose multipurpose items
Bookshelf or study desk? Toy box or sofa? If you’re finding it hard to choose between items, there’s a way you can have both. According to Heather, furniture with more than one purpose is worth its weight in gold in small spaces. “Look for things like ottomans that double as storage, coffee tables with fold out desks, and bedside tables with drawers.”
5. Create optical illusions
There are lots of styling tricks to make smaller spaces feel voluminous, lighter and brighter. To help extend the eye’s line of sight, Heather chooses items like glass coffee tables, open-back dining chairs and sofas with legs that raise them off the ground. Larger pieces of art can make a wall look bigger than a cluster of small canvases or photo frames. And a well-placed mirror (reflecting a stylish space or outside garden) will add an extra dimension to your space.
6. Avoid ‘over-styling’
Once you have handpicked and placed the perfect pieces, you can begin personalising them with things like scented candles, plants and trinkets. But it’s important to show restraint. “Keep decorative objects and items to a minimum of three – this is more pleasing to the eye and will stop you over-styling areas in your home, which inevitably leads to visual clutter.”
7. Change your habits
Remember – you’ll undo all your good space-optimising styling work if you don’t keep everything neat and in order. Heather’s advice is to start creating good habits, and make it easy to maintain them. “Making the bed will keep your room tidy and set you up for a productive day, so do it before your morning coffee. Use a laundry basket in the bathroom to deter you from hanging clothes on the occasional chair or leaving them on the floor. And use jars, baskets and labels to store items from the outset to ensure you always have a well-organised pantry.”
In part two of our Downsizing in Style series, we’ll take a closer look at how to make the right furniture choices to make your new Pindan apartment or home come alive. In the meantime, check out some of our popular downsizer designs here.