Downsizing? Interior Design & Furniture Tips for Creating and Maximizing Space

Small furnishing ideas

Small scale furnishings, mirror and silver accents

It seems counter-intuitive that one of the most on-trend things you can do today, in terms of home ownership and interior design, is live in a smaller home. Downsizing is becoming more and more popular, as people increasingly realize they occupy a home larger than they need, perhaps an unused spare bedroom or home office, a basement or attic that’s going to waste, or a third bathroom that nobody ever enters, let alone actually uses.
With well-designed interiors and clever use of space, you can live with less, enjoying all the advantages of a smaller home and lower your carbon footprint with none of the disadvantages. The idea of downsizing can seem a bit daunting, even if you have space in your home you’re not using—it may conjure up images of cramped rooms, narrow hallways, and dark spaces. A small home definitely does not have to be that way. There’s so much you can do with smaller spaces, and in some ways, working with less square footage forces you be more creative with design ideas, and explore possibilities you may not think to consider.

residential space plan, www. goldeninteriors.com

Hand drawn Floor plan layout

The key is careful planning, of your home’s layout, and of the way you decorate it. Floor planning is the best way to figure out how to use your space, and while there are now apps that assist you do this, it’s still just as effective to use pen and paper and an experienced design professional will create options beyond the cookie cutter method of drop in place furnishings.

Multi-Functional Fixtures and Furnishings Help You Do More with Less

Storage Ideas under stairs

Under stair storage cubbies add extra space

Planning aside, the most important aspects of furnishing a small home (or room) is with creative space planning and highly selective furnishing choices. In terms of using space effectively, there are typically nooks and crannies, even in a smaller home, where extra storage can easily be added.  Above or over doors, under beds, cupboard door interiors, and beneath stairs, are spaces that go unused in larger homes, but in a smaller one, can be modified with shelves, drawers, or storage modules turning them into useful spaces.

When it comes to the furnishings you choose, furniture with more than one function is particularly useful. If your home doesn’t have an office or spare bedroom, the simplest and most practical solution for providing accommodation for guests is a comfortable fold-out sleep sofa. Whatever furniture choices you decide scale is most important to not overwhelm the space with excessively large furnishings designed for today’s larger homes. Suitably scaled smaller furnishings will make the small spaces feel larger.

Contemporary small scale sofa

Contemporary small scale sofa

Transitional small scale settee, slightly curved makes an interesting piece

Transitional small scale settee, slightly curved makes an interesting piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storage Bench seat

Storage Bench seat

 

Storage Ottoman

Storage Ottoman

 

 

Highly useful is the humble ottoman—part footrest, part stool, and part storage unit—a smaller one can serve as a chair, a larger one as a coffee table, and an ottoman of any size can double as extra storage.

 

 

 

A Small Room doesn’t have to Feel Small

Small scale furnishings home decor

Small scale furnishings, glass, mirror finish ideas

Designing small spaces isn’t just about using space effectively, it’s also about making spaces look bigger than they are. Small spaces that are badly designed feel claustrophobic and are unpleasant to be in, but it’s not difficult to employ a few design tricks to open up even the smallest rooms. Mirrors, shiny silver surfaces and crystal bounce light in many directions add a glint of light airy feel.
Downsizing Ideas contributed by reader, Jenni Cooper, edited and photos by Peggy Golden, ASID

The many Shades of Modern Light Fixtures

Modern wall sconce with shade

Wall sconce in French Gold finish with linen shade

Adding a beautiful light fixture is a favorite way to quickly change any space.  We love the new modern selections with shades that soften the glare of the fixture’s  lamps.  Here are few design selections that are classic and timeless.  Although the metal finish of choice for several years now has been silver or satin nickel look for a move to warmer finishes like Champagne Silver and French Gold.

modern wall sconce with shade

Elegant wall sconce with a crystal column in a warm silver finish

Modern wall sconce with shade

Wall sconce in French Gold finish with linen shade

Modern Glass shade chandelier

Single tier chandelier in Champagne Silver Finish with cutout metalwork design over etched cream glass

Modern chandelier, metal and linen shade

Single tier chandelier in Silver Finish with detailed metalwork design over linen shade

Modern wall sconce, glass shade

Modern Wall Sconce in Satin Nickel finish with Matte Opal glass shade

Metallic Finishes Fabric Collection

Beautiful new fabric collection from Fabricut showcasing subtle metallic and neutral tones.  Classic pattern designs beautiful for drapery and upholstery, timeless and elegant fabrics.

Fresh, clean and crisp patterns, metallic yet neutral for long lasting charm

Fresh, clean and crisp patterns, metallic yet neutral for long lasting charm

New Accent Color Emerging – Fuchsia

New Accent Color Emerging - Fuchsia

Small amounts of accent colors add drama and excitement, look at how lively this white sofa is with the stunning fuchsia accent pillows and leather cocktail table. Introduction from M|T Company furniture manufacturer for the October 2013 High Point Fall Market

Bathroom Remodeling, Elegant Powder Room Transformed; Fairfax, VA

Transformed in just under 1 month’s time – Blue and White Powder Room with custom marble vanity, floor tiles, beadboard wainscoting, crown molding, glass tile backsplash, new wall sconces and mirror.  Elegant Blue Glass Vessel Sink started the design scheme.  Marble floor tile pattern is detailed with satin nickel 2″ x 2″ accent tiles adding more character for this small room – the flooring pattern helps make the space feel bigger.

Custom Marble Vanity  Detail

Custom Marble Vanity and floor with nickel finish accent tiles

White Marble Vanity, Blue Glass vessel sink and backsplash

White Marble Vanity, Blue Glass vessel sink and backsplash

Blue Glass Sink, Glass Tiles Backsplash

Blue Glass Sink, Glass Tiles Backsplash

Before Powder room Vanity and sink

Before Powder room Vanity and sink

Powder Room Before hallway view

Powder Room Before hallway view

Summer Fabrics – Crisp, Clean, Refreshing Design Ideas

kravet oceania_pic

new from Kravet – coastal colors: blues, white and creams

New fabric fashions for inspiring window treatments and upholstery selections, blue colors still prevail as homeowner’s favorite providing a calm livable quality to any space. Think bedrooms, family rooms or any space you wish for a relaxing retreat from the non stop world we live in.

New exotic collection from Kravet
New fabric fashions for inspiring window treatments and upholstery projects. Blues still very much in demand for home furnishings.
kravet exotictravels

New design patterns from Fabricut
Handsome new collection with coordinating floral, stripes and Ikat patterns.
fabricut stroheim-sol-022013

New sheer fabric designs from Kravet
kravet sheers window3

Fabrics to Inspire – Fresh Design Patterns and Styles for Spring

Built in Bench Seats add charm and character to a room setting

Built in Bench Seats add charm and character to a room setting


Clean colorways add freshness to older furniture - think reupholstery

Clean colorways add freshness to older furniture – think reupholstery

Fresh clean design styles, classic patterns you will never tire of, coastal elements are still trending. We love the crisp color combos, IKAT designs and the clean whites being used with one accent color.

Robert Allen – New fabrics from Larry Laslo

 

Beautiful new collections, great colors, harmony and pizzazz to

spice up a dull sofa with comfy throw pillows.

Robert Allen

     Neutral collection has historic pattern elements adding timeless classic patterns to work with for your next

project.  Any one of these fabrics would make an incredible bed spread,

quilt or comfy throw for the Family Room.

 

Robert Allen

Cheerful, colorful patterns to inspire your room redecorating projects.

Let the fabric begin your journey to a new, fresh, clean sophisticated look.

 

Robert Allen

 

Elegant Home Interior Design where to begin? Coordinating Area Carpets for Wood Floors

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Homeowners today choose the richness and warmth of the natural wood floors throughout the main living areas defining a classic, handsome continuous character for the home.  Realtors know homes with wood floors sell faster and if a property is not selling recommend upgrading with hardwood flooring.  Once living with all wood floors you will quickly determine the need to cover the floors for protection, acoustically soften the rooms and provide warmth and comfort underfoot.  Matching area rugs or carpets used throughout the home or townhome’s open floor plan tie the spaces together beautifully allowing the eye to flow comfortably from area to area, and when selected to complement existing furnishings they enhance the overall ambiance of the home.

Where to begin your design scheme or color palette for your new home?  Upon walking into a room your eyes are 1st drawn to the windows and 2nd to the floors.  Windows for their light filtering character and the floors keep the space flowing and the eyes wandering.  The more floor you see the larger the room or home will feel.  When beginning a home design we look at the floor coverings as one of our first inspirations.  Start your color concept and palette with the product that has the least amount of style and design selections to choose from.  Drapery and upholstery fabrics are endless, carpet selections are limited.  As a significant amount of money will be invested in your floor covering decisions it is wisest to select classic, timeless designs and patterns.

The simplest solution is ready-made matching area carpets if you can find a pattern and design style you love and work with standard sizes.  Custom area carpets designed to fit each room, space and hallway coordinate the main living areas of larger residences and provide definition for the Living, Dining and Foyer Areas of townhomes.  Starting with a beautiful patterned field carpet which will hide dirt and set the premise for a transitional, traditional or modern design concept we either work with a coordinating patterned border or pair two solid color accent borders around the field carpet for a professional finished look.

We will explore both  options: A) ready-mades and B) custom carpet options in later posts.  Like what you see – send us a picture(s) and room dimensions and we will provide samples and solutions that enhance your existing furnishings.  Call 703-425-9050 or email directly to pgolden@goldeninteriors.com.

Townhome Elegance with Custom Area Carpets

Townhome Elegance with Custom Area Carpets

Area Carpets define the Living Areas of Townhomes and large residences with continuous wood flooring.