Got the keys to a new Build-to-Order (BTO) flat with your better half? Congratulations on your first big ticket purchase! There's nothing quite like moving into your own cosy nest, and the excitement is real when it comes to making decisions for renovation and furnishings to transform a plain canvas into a personal sanctuary.
For many new homeowners, however, a common concern that comes up in the process is space constraints and making the best out of a layout that's probably not more than 100 square metres. After all, with recent BTO offerings proving to be significantly smaller than their predecessors, it's important to make every bit of precious real estate count.
Well, the good news is that it's easier than you think, even if you're on a limited home renovation budget. Here, we share some easy ways to create the illusion of a bigger space — no hacking involved, just a little creativity and smart design!
1. Light is everything
Natural light is your best friend when it comes to making a room feel brighter and bigger — the best way to maximise it is with light or neutral-toned walls and furnishings, as they will make your living area appear more open and airy.
And stay away from heavy fabrics for curtains and huge rugs if you can — both tend to make a space feel more cramped than it should. The same goes for darker shades; if you do favour moodier tones, try using them in your bedroom instead for a restful atmosphere.
2. Choose loose pieces instead of built-in
Whilst feature walls and built-in cabinets may look aesthetic, they can be quite bulky and make your place look a lot smaller as a whole. If you do love the look of statement walls, try having a single one instead as a focal point. And instead of investing fully in custom-built carpentry, try purchasing loose pieces of furniture to match.
Bonus: It's a fun reason to go shopping, and when you get tired of a specific layout, you'll get to move around things easily and have a refreshed living space whenever you desire.
3. Legs are what you need
Go for the leggy beauties whilst shopping for your sofas, tables and TV consoles. Bigger pieces of furniture like sofas and TV consoles will definitely take up a significant amount of space, and choosing one on legs will help to create a sense of openness with light streaming through over and under them.
Plus, the elevation helps them look less clunky with its 'floating' effect, and it'll definitely be easier for your robot vacuum to get to the dust too.
4. Creative furniture
To maximise the space you've got, opt for multi-purpose furniture that can be tucked away easily when unused — perfect for a neat and uncluttered environment.
Want a larger coffee table without the bulkiness? Get a set that stacks into a smaller one. Need space for a HIIT session for two at home? Stow away a foldable dining table and chairs in your bomb shelter. No guest room for an impromptu stayover? Convert a sofa into a comfy bed in a matter of minutes.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the largest of them all? You probably already know that not only do mirrors reflect light, they also reflect the view, creating a greater sense of openness and reducing claustrophobia.
And you don't even have to spend a bomb on fixing up a custom-made floor-to-ceiling mirror — try mixing and matching various shapes and sizes for a one-of-a-kind feature wall instead — it'd make the perfect #OOTD spot as you show off your 'fits in your new home.
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.