Making the most out of limited space

What a wonderful summer it has been! The weather has been amazing and we have seen many days above 25 degrees which is unusual for Central Alberta.

I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy time with your family and friends – I know I’ve spent more time camping this year than most of my adult life combined.

RV’s are a marvel of efficient usage of space, every square inch is efficiently used to maximize limited square footage. If you are living in a small apartment or home, take inspiration from the RV for clever storage and even furniture ideas. Our RV has a flip-up mattress with storage underneath for blankets and pillows and I recently saw a bed that had this same feature on a design site – I thought it was awesome!

It would be great in a small spare room where you don’t need a box spring. In a bed you sleep in everyday good support using a box spring is a must but in a spare room which is used infrequently, you would be able to use a quality mattress if the frame provided you with better storage.

Many functions in an RV are double duty, the table makes into a bed and TVs can flip around to be viewed from bedroom or living space. Is there a place in your home where you can double up? Can you give anything in your home a double function? If you have a seating area or bench, can it be also used as storage or can you use things such as ottomans or side tables as extra storage.

Do you have a place where you can hide a small fridge for beverages or coffee in a bedroom or guest suite? Imagine if your guests had their own coffee in their rooms (single brew Kuerigs are brilliant), how relaxed and at home they would feel in the mornings – and how less cluttered the kitchen would be!

The next time you are looking at RVs, take a look at the colour schemes. Observe how the cabinets/floors/furniture/countertops/curtains are all dark but all those colours don’t make the space look small. Trailer manufacturers utilize a design technique where the contrast between items is kept low. Even if the colours are dark the eye drifts from one item to another without the need to stop at a bright colour or light spot. It is a clever way to make a small space seem larger, it works in homes as well – just with better upholstery choices.

If you are placing a large bed in a small room, try to match the bed covers and linens to the walls, the colour blend will minimize the edge lines around the bed.

Just like an RV, a home with a small space can look cluttered and messy in a very short time. If you live in a small space, the inspiration of storage can be imitated in your home. Take a weekend and go look at new trailers, even if you aren’t in the market for one. It is a fun exercise to see how they have made small spaces mighty big on storage and may just give you a few new ideas when it comes to using your small space more efficiently.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at