Kathmandu is becoming denser by the minute. It seems buildings are being constructed in every possible space. Open space and land are rare which is why we often find ourselves setting up home in tiny apartments and semi-detached houses.
While tiny living spaces can be a great disappointment to the owner, they can also be a blessing in disguise if you know how to design them well. Interior designing is an art of creating a comfortable living environment after understanding the requirements of people living in that space. We at The Week spoke to Sandipa Tamang, interior designer at RJ International, Selections Showroom, in Kalikasthan, Dillibazar, Kathmandu to help you come up with clever designs or ideas for your living roon, bedroom, and kitchen. We guarantee these witty and smart tricks will make your house have a personality of its own despite the space constraints.
A luxurious living space
The living room is often a place where you find yourself dropping your bags and relaxing after a hectic day. Not only that, an attractive living room is also a matter of prestige for many. “While decorating a living room you must ensure that you maximize your living space,” says Tamang. Be careful of the lightings and the colors you use for your living room. Tamang advises people to make big windows so that there is ample light in the room. “Darker colors will make your room look smaller. Hence use lighter colors for your curtains, cushions and wall paint,” explains Tamang.
Try to give a simple yet classy look to your living room. A luxurious room does not mean creating extravagant designs that does not suit your space. If you are planning to put a false ceiling, chose a simple design. “Make sure your furniture occupies less space and are light weight ones,” says Tamang. That can make a great difference to your room. Light furniture and less decoration can make your room look luxurious and classy.
Decorate with mirrors
“Trick your eyes and make your drawing room look bigger with the help of mirrors,” says Tamang. This is an extremely small trick but it can transform your living space and make it seem less claustrophobic. It will also make it look open and alluring at the same time. If possible place a big mirror just across your window so that it can reflect the light and make the room look bigger. This can also give an illusion of another window. Otherwise, just chose a space for the mirror so that it can reflect light and improve the overall ambience of your room.
Remove your television unit
A TV unit can occupy a lot of space in your living room. If your room is extremely small, you can eliminate a TV unit and hang your TV on the wall instead. “The wall behind your TV can be decorated with fancy paint, wall art, or stencils,” says Tamang. “This will not only make your room look interesting but will also add an element of uniqueness to it,” she adds.
Play with dimensions
Remember to draw your eyes upwards towards the ceiling. Utilizing the height of your room by decorating one side of the room from floor to ceiling is a good way of making your space seem bigger. Fill your vertical space in a creative and decorative manner with the plants you like, books you read, and the paintings you prefer. This is a great way to make your room look better and bigger. “It adds a personal touch and lends your home a lived in feel while making it look big at the same time,” says Tamang.
If you have good flooring, your living room will automatically look attractive. A wooden floor will make your small living room seem luxurious. In case you would like to go for a cheaper option, then plastic wooden floors are also available in the market. “Try not to opt for heavy carpets especially if you are trying to keep the look of your living room light and modern,” suggests Tamang.
The blissful bedroom
You might be disappointed after having seen photos of some luxurious bedrooms with creative seating areas and a big television unit knowing full well that you can’t replicate it in a small space. “But don’t worry,” says Tamang, “The main purpose of a bedroom is to relax and recharge your batteries. And you do not need a large space to create a beautiful Zen area.”
Eliminate the nonessential elements
Remember, if you have a small bedroom, accumulating unnecessary things is only going to make it look more congested. “Do not keep your shoes inside your bedroom,” advises Tamang. Storing even unused shoes in your bedroom is going to make it look more messy and cluttered. You may also eliminate a television unit to make your small bedroom look more spacious.
Use light and bright colors
The colors you use in your bedroom can make your space look brighter and bigger. “Chose bright colors for your wall and bedsheets as that will surely brighten up your space,” says Tamang. Dark colors will make your room look smaller and lighter colors will give a more spacious look to your room.
Utilize your bed
The first thing to do if you have a small room is to push your bed towards a corner. Keeping your bed at the centre of your room will make your room look small and cramped. You should also make sure your bed doubles as storage space. Consider a bed that has drawers underneath for storage. You can also use decorative baskets under your bed to utilize that space for storage.
Maximize every inch of your closet
“Closets in Nepal are usually half way through the ceiling. Try utilizing the space above your closets as well,” says Tamanag. Create a storage space above the closet so that you can place your non-seasonal clothes and blanket there. If you have drawers in your closet, create separate compartment for makeup and accessories with the help of wooden planks. This will help you get more organized and free up more space. Ask your carpenter to make adjustable planks in your cupboard. That will help you utilize the space according to your needs.
A kempt kitchen
Kitchens can often be a mess if it is not organized well. Trying to finish your cooking in a rush may be annoying in a small and badly structured kitchen. Tamang has some great tips that will help you maximize every possible space in a small kitchen.
Pull out drawers
Creating pull out drawers in your kitchen will help you maximize the space. Also try keeping storage bags, aluminum foils and paper napkins inside the drawers as it will help you give a clean and tidy look to your kitchen.
The best way to maximize the storage in your cabinet is by utilizing the upper and lower cabinets. Make pull out shelves for large pans, bowls and other small appliances. “This way you will not have to dig inside the shelves every time you need to find something,” says Tamang. Long vertical pullouts are perfect for keeping spices or other small bottles of sauces and pickles.
Deep tray just above your sink
Placing just washed wet utensils directly inside the shelves may be inappropriate as they damage the wood used to make the shelves. Keep a deep tray just above your sink. This utilizes the space above your sink and helps dry out your utensils as well.
Lightings play an important role in enhancing the beauty of your kitchen. “You can opt for fancy lights and false ceiling to make your kitchen look attractive,” says Tamang. Here too, just like in the living room and bedroom, make sure you use choose light colors for your cupboard and the kitchen slab. “This will make your kitchen look bigger and brighter, and you’ll enjoy cooking in such a space,” adds Tamang.
Get fancy stainless steel baskets and plastic baskets for storage. It will add an oomph factor to your kitchen and you can also use them to store things that you don’t know where to keep otherwise like potholders, scissors, and other things that you don’t use on a regular basis.