From the way we commute to the way we eat, millennials and their characteristic resourcefulness have now changed the way we live at home. More and more people are drifting towards living in drastically smaller spaces, going from houses covering 10 marlas to tiny homes that are barely over a marla. With the real estate market getting increasingly expensive, first-time homeowners are considering small-space living as a realistic housing solution. Architects in Pakistan are also borrowing from the “living small” principles to design cozier, more economical homes for their clients.

Environmentally-responsible individuals are taking drastic steps to reduce the possible damage their lifestyles are having on the planet.  They want to live in smaller spaces to prevent natural resources like trees from being wasted on the construction of large-scale houses. Cooling or heating a tiny house takes less energy, so owners of tiny homes are guaranteed to see a significant decrease in utility bills. The average family size is getting smaller with most families consisting of three members. This change from multi-generational families residing under one roof to nuclear families has also resulted in a high demand for smaller living spaces.

While you might not be ready to scale-down just yet, the basic principles of ‘living small’ can easily be translated into a more comfortable and smartly- designed residence.

Swap Tight Compartments for Multi-purpose Spaces

Dedicating one large space for multiple purposes instead of constructing numerous small rooms will make your house appear more spacious. Opt for a large hall at the front of the house that can serve as a drawing room, entertainment room as well as a guest room – once you pull out the sofa-cum-bed.

Install Oversized Windows

Incorporating a lot of large windows into your home design will give the occupants some much-needed visual space. When oversized windows provide sweeping views of the outside world, the room automatically appears much larger.  Bigger windows and strategically-placed skylights also allow for natural lighting to brighten up cozy living spaces.

Large Window

Dare to Declutter!

Commit to ridding your home of all unnecessary items. During a decluttering spree everything, from outdated clothes to creaky pieces of furniture, can all be donated to a local charity or be thrown into the trash bin.

Opt for Micro-Appliances

Larger appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, cooking ranges. can take up a lot of space in a kitchen. Save precious space by buying only micro-sized versions of all such appliances. You’ll actually end up saving money since micro-appliances tend to consume less electricity and are cheaper than full-sized appliances. Saving space AND money all the while making the room appear bigger than it already is a win-win for all!

Choose Homes with Balconies

When you design a tiny house or are looking to buy one, ensure that the property has a terrace- no matter how small. Even a modest balcony can improve the airflow while making the entire house appear roomier.

Game of Neutral Tones

The use of, neutral tones like beiges or grays in paint, fabric and decor items can make tiny homes appear more spacious. Earth-toned curtains will give a more pulled together and spacious look instead of, say, black ones. Interior decoration is the key to making rooms appear bigger than they already are!

Color Palette

Play Around with Scale

Bringing plants indoors and using oversized wall mirrors are simple techniques with which you can expand your space visually.  Instead of decorating with grand vases or overstuffed couches, try accenting the house with miniature decor items to tie the rooms together without wasting much space.

Whether or not you choose to join the ‘tiny house’ movement, you can still choose aspects from the design philosophy that will simplify your life.