One of my favorite hobbies is home renovation and interior design. I am not a professional by any means but I have done it enough times to know what works and what does not. Obviously, every situation is different but at the end of the day there are some key guidelines that everyone can follow to help make things go a little smoother. Some of my more challenging projects have been when I am attempting to redesign and perform home renovations on smaller spaces while trying to make them more efficient and functional at the same time. Whether it is a small office nook, an in-law apartment, or a loft space, there is so much that can be done if you plan it right. Keep reading for a few great tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.
Start with a Plan
The best way to make sure that you do not waste any time or money is to start with a solid plan. To figure out the best way to renovate your space, start by determining the primary use for the space. I can tell you right now that what you think is the primary use might not actually be specific enough. For example, if you have a studio apartment above your garage, the obvious primary use will be a space to live in. That space probably includes a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and some sitting room. However, if you really want to make efficient use of your space you should define it a little more before beginning. Will the primary occupants be your kids who are away at college but return for the summer and holidays, or will this be somewhere that you are hoping to rent out at some point? All of this is very important, because it can change the entire design of the space.
Think About Storage and Organization First
As with any small space, you want to be able to maximize any way possible. This usually means using underneath the bed as storage, or building furniture that is convertible to be used for multiple purposes. All of these are great ideas, but you still need a way to keep these spaces organized. I tend to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond when I am looking for inspiration on how I can keep things contained. They usually have a whole section of plastic containers, drawers, or stackable fabric boxes that are great for keeping things organized in a small space.
Keep It Simple
This might be the most important piece of advice I can give you. Even though you are trying to maximize space, you still want things to appear clutter free and not congested. Clutter can usually make a space look messy and actually decreases efficiency and functionality. The biggest causes of clutter are usually décor pieces so keep this in mind when you are doing the interior design portion of the renovation. Little details maintaining a basic color scheme can also help keep things looking simple.