Built-ins Ideal for Small Spaces

Today's new condominiums and townhomes are designed on a smaller footprint that has changed the way our homes are furnished.

At first, the options for decorating were decidedly modern. Small spaces were thought to be best suited to the sleek, clean lines of pale woods and steel-based sofas, transparent or translucent glass and plastic tables, white walls and bleached floors. The minimal approach allowed the space to breathe, but it was often cold, and for traditionalists, this simply wasn't home.

I have designed a series of homes this past year that combine the best of both worlds. High ceilings, crown mouldings and deep baseboards share all the traditions of older homes captured in today's modern vision. The living room in this elegant townhouse combines lofty design with the finest materials.

To achieve the right balance, every square foot is considered, every corner utilized. When you are looking for solutions to your small space furnishing challenge, here are some guidelines.

Begin with built-ins. Take a look at the wall space and any nooks and crannies that are produced by a chimney flue, heating ducts or supporting beams. They may leave an awkward corner or dead space that you can fill nicely with built-in cabinetry. Here, the fireplace is flanked by custom cabinets that fit the existing wall space and provide a stylish area for storage and display. The window seat is a natural extension and practical use.

Select furniture that fits. This isn't always easy to find but more and more designers are cognizant of the need for compact styles.

And you can find what you are looking for in modern and traditional designs. Look for sofas and chairs that have no skirts or added frills. Open space below and around furniture always makes a room feel more airy. Some chairs and ottomans are also designed with built-in storage.

Mirrors are a decorator's best friend. Properly placed, a mirror reflects light and pushes out the walls. In this living room, the mirror above the sofa sits opposite the high window and widens the room.

Choose colours that suit the mood you want to achieve. Select your most expensive items first, the sofa and chairs, the floor and carpet and then wall colour. Paint is the easiest to change. The dark floor grounds the room, along with the wood furniture trim and tables. Pastel hues of the area carpet, creamy upholstery, white lamp shades and silky blue cushions provide large blocks of light, so I chose a muted grey blue for the walls.

Please email your questions to house2home @debbietravis.com

wood furniture related articles
Why Are Window Air Conditioners so Loud?
Built-ins Ideal for Small Spaces
Why Are Window Air Conditioners so Loud?
7 Best Zero Gravity Massage Chair (Reviews & Buyer Guide)
In Search of the Perfect Bottom

KingBird Home Furniture