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Trying to accommodate a growing family in a compact townhouse, flat or apartment can be a paramount challenge. Here are some tips to create space.

Lighting is everything Flat overhead lighting makes your space seem smaller. Accessorise with separate light sources and lamps. Not only will this ‘stretch’ the corners of your room, it will give you control over your atmosphere, allowing you to conceal cluttered areas and highlight others to get the best and most flexible use out of your space.

Strategically place mirrors in your apartment to capitalise on natural light. This also creates the impression of extra space by tricking the eye into believing there is a twin room.

Light furniture will open up the room Look for furniture that serves more than one purpose and will free up space. Find a coffee table with built-in drawers, tables with enclosed cabinets, a couch with drawers underneath. Note that cabinets with sliding doors will save space because they do not encroach on the room when opened.

Position your couch facing the living room entrance to increase the sense of space and give a welcoming feel. Choose lightweight, versatile furniture that can be moved around easily.

Floor lamps and tables can be moved between studying and socialising areas as needed. And double up on space by using a futon instead of a couch in your living room. This will come in handy for extra guests.

Climb the walls Even a small apartment or flat will have quite a bit of empty wall space that can be put to good use. Freestanding bookcases or shelf units will provide plenty of storage for items otherwise cluttering up the space and for decorative accessories.

Keep it simple Less is best when creating a room that appears more spacious than it actually is, so be careful not to over use accessories. Minimise on the use of larger patterns and keep these limited to the odd cushion or artwork. Work within the 60-30-10 colour formula when decorating a small space.

60-30-10 Colour Formula 60% Select your main colour for the room. This is normally the walls, or other large area of dominant colour. 30% Secondary, or complimentary, colour. In most cases this will be upholstered furniture, or bedding. 10% Accent colour to be used in the setting. For example: an accent piece, floral arrangement, accessories, or even a feature wall.

Via Home-Dzine, source: Steve McCutchen – janice anderssen

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