A few recent projects have been for families downsizing to smaller homes. And while moving to a home you are excited about can be a blessing, it can sometimes be difficult to lose square footage.
It’s amazing all of the stuff we accumulate over the years. I feel like I am constantly cleaning out my house and I try to watch what comes in.
How to make the most of small spaces can sometimes be overwhelming , so I thought I would give six helpful tips to #LivingWell in a smaller home.
1. Clean Out and Keep Only What You Love Or Will Use. Simple enough- Do you love it or use it? If not, get rid of it. No more storing things you “might” need in the future or because you feel guilty getting rid of them.
2. Are There Pieces That Can Be Repurposed? If there is a piece you LOVE but don’t have a place for it, can it be reworked for extra storage?
3. Look Above And Below. Look for ways to hide storage, such as using ottomans that open up, raising a bed a few inches to create more space underneath, or adding built-in seating with drawers underneath. I also love adding ottomans under an open console or coffee table- not only to work as a layering piece but as an extra seat that can be pulled out if needed.
An ottoman slides under a coffee table in a client’s Family Room- Dana Wolter Interiors
Drawers pull out for extra storage in this window seat, Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography
4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Stuff, Give Away The Extras Of The Same Items. After all, you might need a few extra sets of sheets, but do you need five sets for the same bed? No- so give away to someone who can use them.
5. Think Long And Hard How Your Home Needs To Work For You and Delegate A Function For Every Room Or Unused Corner. There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings. But with smaller homes, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you. If you see an extra corner, could you add a chair and floor lamp for an extra place to sit?
Or a custom banquette to create more seating around a breakfast table?
Photography by Jean Allsopp, Dana Wolter Interiors
If working on a new build or renovation, hire a designer before the plans are drawn. An extra set of eyes for how your family will live in the house is invaluable. Every square inch needs to work hard so you can have the pretty with a purpose.
6. Let Go Of The Guilt. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is hard to get your money out of furniture and rugs (and even some antiques) when selling. Just know this is the case and let go of the pieces…. Do not hold onto stuff for any reason other than you love it.
#LivingWell isn’t necessarily about having the best of everything- It’s about surrounding yourself with a home that brings you joy. A place you love to make memories with family and friends.
Downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it, as it is a way to lighten your connection to material “stuff” and create spaces that are customized and truly special to you.
Hope you find these six tips helpful to #LivingWell in a smaller home. Let me know what you think-
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