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Hacks for Small Living Spaces

Here are some tips to help you reinvigorate your small living spaces and utilize them better from a Benjamin Moore design expert.
A small desk with a white chair and multi-coloured walls
Image courtesy of News Canada/Benjamin Moore. Wall (left) and desk: Golden Gate 033, wall (right): Pan of Gold 181, wall border and ceiling: Mountainscape 870.

Bigger isn’t always better. Small spaces have proven to be the preferred living option for many of us since they require less maintenance, cleaning and budget for furnishing and renovations. However, adding personality and making the most of a small living space can be a challenge. Sharon Grech, Benjamin Moore colour and design expert shares her tips on how to make the most of a small space.

Invest in Multi-Purpose Furniture & Paint

Instead of filling the room with separate pieces for different purposes, invest in furniture that serves more than one function. Consider a sofa that can easily transform into a bed, allowing your living room to double as a guest bedroom. Alternatively, opt for a coffee table that you can extend or adjust in height to serve as a dining table or workspace when needed.

Harness the power of paint and create as many unique spaces as you desire. Create multi-purpose rooms by using various paint colours to create division. Whether a reading corner within your living room defined by lilac, a sewing space within the office painted blue or an exercise corner within the bedroom painted green – you can have it all in a smaller space.

Create Division with Paint

Colour creates distinction between spaces without the need for a physical room-divider. While it can be tempting to go for one light hue to make a space feel bigger, using different colours on a wall can create separation and make it multifunctional. A bold colour, for example, can signal to the mind that this area is for work.

Grech explains, “Colour affects humans psychologically. Offices painted in blues or greens tend to be less distracting and even improve concentration, where warm reds, yellows and oranges bring higher energy to the space. It truly depends on what mindset each person is trying to get into when they work.”

For calmer spaces like the bedroom or office area she recommends a soothing light purple such as New Age 1444, or a calming, crisp light blue like Polar Sky CC-790.

For harmony and flow within your space, use a consistent, neutral paint colour like white for transition spaces. Grech recommends Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior paint. “It’s a premium-quality, 100 per cent acrylic paint and primer that provides scuff- and stain-resistance in a durable and washable finish – great for any space.”

Shelves with various shells on them with two chairs next to it
Image courtesy of News Canada/Benjamin Moore. Wall: Moonlight White OC-125, top shelf: Marry Me 1289, middle shelf: Pink Canopy 010, bottom shelf: Coral Gables.

Don’t Be Afraid of Heights

When dealing with a small living space, it’s essential to think beyond the floor area and make use of vertical space. Your walls can be used for additional storage or to create the illusion of a larger space. Don’t be afraid to use height to your advantage, whether that’s through paint or furniture to draw the eye upward.

Wall shelves are a small space’s best friend. Declutter surfaces by displaying decorations on mounted shelves or directly on the wall. “Not only can they serve as a meaningful showcase of sentimental items, but wall shelves also add unique depth and create the illusion of a larger space,” says Grech. Feeling creative? Add a fresh coat of paint to your shelves for a pop of colour and an attention-grabbing accent.


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