Storage has always been a common problem people from all walks of life and backgrounds share, even interior designers in Singapore find it challenging as well. We live our life one day at a time, as the time goes by we inevitably increase our possessions. You see, there’s 365 days a year, and some of those days we’re going to come home with items that will not just disappear or dissolve itself. Unfortunately, the one thing that does not grow with the numbers of our possessions is our home space. I can get all the new shoes, new clothes, new stuffed animals that I want over the year, my apartment would still the exact same tiny one bedroom that I’ve been living in. They say life is full of uncertainties, but if there’s one thing I know for sure, it is that my apartment is certainly not growing bigger. (But hey, technology, I’m not giving up on you yet! One day someone is going to invent something amazing that will solve all the storage problems… right? )
Since our home space does not grow big over time (yet), we, as a society has made peace with that and come up with our very own solutions. Almost all of the solutions share one similar philosophy: Vertical space is key.
Let’s Get Vertical.
Take Hong Kong for example, the tiny island has attracted more people than it could take, so what happened next? The buildings got higher and higher, making Hong Kong one of Asia’s most famous concrete jungle.
And hey, if Hong Kong can do it, we can do it, too! We are probably not going to make a concrete jungle out of a home, but a little fun with vertical space never hurts anybody.
The forgotten in-between space.
Say, you’ve got way too many shoes and not enough cabinets in the house? This bad ass shoe storage solution is here to the rescue. It fully utilizes the tiny in between space that you didn’t think could be good for anything, and proudly displays your majestic collection of footwear the way they deserve to be displayed.
Image source: deringhall.com
Now that you have a taste of the greatness of vertical space utilization, let’s see what else can you vertical with your in-between space.
One place that’s got some sneaky in-between space is the bathroom. And, if I may, let’s make 2015 the time to ask yourself not what you can do for your bathroom, but what your bathroom can do for you. No more stacking up toilet papers in the garage, know that in-between space right next to the toilet that you didn’t even think it could help with storage? How about we put a skinny floor cabinet in there for toilet papers and other bathroom things?
Image source: amazon.com, Proman Products
And now, for the ultimate vertical and in-between space utilization, this amazing floor canned food organizer can frees up some serious cabinets in the kitchen using space that you barely notice it’s there.
Image source: classyclutter.net
The vertical DIY – Build your kitchen shelves as high as it needs to be.
This simple trick allows you to build your storage space way up, go ahead and buy more mason jars for your dream summer get-together at the house, you now have the perfect storage plan for them.
Image source: containerstore.com
Got a small bathroom with little to none cabinet? Tired of moving all your beauty/skin care/hair care products in and out of the bathroom? Let’s get vertical in the bathroom, too! Grab a few spice racks and put them on the wall – something I’m sure every bathroom is rich in, and give yourself all the table space in the bathroom with clean cut storage space on your wall.
Image source: apartmenttherapy.com
Now that we’ve seen all these amazing vertical space utilization that allow you to build your way up, let’s not forget that you can also go down a little. The chance is, your existing shelves haven’t even reach its full potential yet. With a little bit of help from undershelves, you might just be able to get yourself a spare cabinet in the kitchen.
Image source: containerstore.com
Of course, the power of under-shelves basket does not stop there, it is also a great tool to organize your cleaning tools and agents in the kitchen, while you’re at it, you might just be able to storage those old magazine that for whatever reason you’re keeping in there as well.
Image source: organizingmadefun.blogspot.com
With all the space saved from vertical space utilization, the apartment/home space might actually feel larger. Which is something everybody enjoys. Let’s take a look at your place and identify the vertical space with storage potential now! You can ask a talented interior designer in Singapore to help you out!
Regardless your lifestyle, home is the place you seek rest and comfort in after a long day of work, or a weekend trip away. The modern day city living makes us spend less and less time at home, but, undeniably, there is nothing like knowing “I’m home!” the moment you walk right into your own door, successfully escaped from all the chaos in the world.
But… I have a HDB flat.
Another thing about city living is that the majority of us have no choice but to settle with the most economic option for housing, and in Singapore, that is HDB. But just because you have a HDB flat, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. We have all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it.” Naturally, when life gives you HDB flats, you ought to make an edgy home out of it. And the good news is, you can with the trendy HDB interior designs available today.
Why should you spend time, effort and money turning your home into something that can actually sweep you off your own feet? When you wholeheartedly enjoy your own home, not only does it do wonderful things to your mood, it might also save you some money by keeping you home more! At some point in life, we all know that one person who choose to rent the cheapest housing option and spend all his time out and about, only using his “home” for sleeping. This ends up making the city living a lot more expensive, and the mentality of “Can’t relax at home because I don’t like it at all.” can get a little stressful with time.
This is really an investment for your own happiness and future savings in disguise!
Can my tiny HDB flat really be turned into something edgy?
The limited living space is something people all around the world (in big cities) have been struggling with, and when there’s a problem, there’s a solution. The most common solution for this particular situation is Minimalist Design.
What is Minimalist Design?
Lwdwig Mies van de Rohe, who is widely acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s greatest architects, famously said that “Less is more” as a precept for minimalist design and architecture. The key characteristics include the frequent use of steel and plate glass, reduction of structural frameworks, and lots of open space. Contrary to what people might think, minimal designs are more common in high fashion and the luxurious homes, the open space implies that the own can and does afford space, and the message of “I don’t need to show off everything I have, because I have everything.” , an example is high fashion stores, there are usually very few racks in the store, and a lot more open space when you compare it to the supermarket clothing section.
Wait, but how is minimalist design going to work on my tiny HDB?
The minimalist design works both way, sure, it would be a whole lot easier to work with a spacious home, but worry not, with a few tricks here and there, the minimalist design is going to make your home looks a lot bigger than it actually is.
Knock down those walls and let the lights in.
Minimize the walls in your apartment, and when there has to be wall, make sure you make a storage space out of it, too! The bright lights on the wooden floor also plays an important role of making your apartment visually bigger. Using curtain to separate your bedroom and living space without taking out all the extra space for another wall.
Image Source: lamidge.net
Move your way up… literally.
A living space and a solid bedroom is every studio living guy and gal’s deepest desire, provided you got a little space between your head and your ceiling, why not move your bed way up and give yourself the one bedroom your hardworking self deserves?
Image source: messynessychic.com
Image source: messynessychic.com
Time to DIY a one-bedroom apartment out of your studio!
Sometimes having a studio apartment has its perks, for one, it is already an open space suitable for minimalist design! With the principle of never missing a storage opportunity, you, too can DIY a one bedroom apartment out of your studio using cabinets or shelves.
Image source: messynessychic.com
No, don’t get too bummed out if you already have a real one bedroom apartment. Remember, less is more.
Image source: freshome.com
In every space, lightings play an essential part in our daily lives and it’s something that no home can do without. Not only does it illuminate our homes in times of night and darkness, lightings also help to accentuate or highlight key design features in our home, giving depth and dimension to the look. Here are the different types of lighting and their usages.
These are general lightings which help to brighten up the home during nightfall and when it is dark and cloudy. Some examples of these kind of lights would be your common ceiling mounted lights, cove lights at false ceilings and embedded PLC lights. They are meant to cover as large an area as possible and to throw light across to all corners of the space. They can be in 3 different colours, basically warm (yellow), cool-white (white & yellow mix) or white.
Ambience Lightings refer to lights that help to highlight certain key features and part of the space. They are normally more spread apart compared to general illumination and are grouped in small numbers. Once switched on without the general lightings, they are able to create a warm, cosy atmosphere which relaxes the human mind psychologically. Cove lights at carpentry items, spotlights & track-lights are some examples of these. These lights are normally warm (yellow) in colour.
Study Task Lightings
These lights are very focused to a certain specific task and they can be in any of the 3 colours depending on the preference of the home owner. For example, study lights placed at the underside of the top cabinet overlooking the study table helps the person to see and work better. Study lamps, reading lights and hanging lights are other types of task lighting.
This article is written by Montie Mahtani, Creative Director of M3 Studio Pte Ltd.
Space is a truly scarce commodity in Singapore with many units, HDB or condo, being small. Many home owners are delighted upon obtaining a home however when they get the keys and first visit, many are disappointed on how small their new place is compared to the floor plan.
However a small space doesn’t mean an impossible space. You can maximize the most of any space with proper planning and knowing your limitations. Speaking to a professional Interior Designer would help you to understand what you want and need and how to go about to achieving that.
Here are some tips on how to design your small space.
1) Firstly, know what you want and need. You need to understand the smaller things that may have a bearing on your layout and design as well. For example would be the number of people staying there, any young children or old folks.
2) Although floor space may be limited, wall space is pretty abundant so design more on the walls to enhance to feel and look of the place. Wall features and wall décor such as paintings, photo frames etc etc are a great way to enable the design to reflect the personality and character of the home owner.
3) Mirrors and glass help to reflect direct and indirect light so use that where possible to provide an illusion of space. However do take care where you place your mirrors because although you want to reflect more light in, you don’t want the glare from the sun so knowing where the sun rises and sets in relation to your home is important.
4) Integrated design. Custom build items that help to provide more than one function to maximise the usage. For example, using a bay window and converting to a book shelf or study table.
Just another helpful article from M3 Studio. 🙂