If you’re doing the project yourself make sure you’re aware of permits and building codes and look over these 10 things not to do when tackling a home improvement project. And before getting started, consult our 15 point checklist that will walk you through everything from taking proper measurements and creating a renovation timeline to what part of the job to start with. If you elect not to go the DIY route, look over our seven essential tips for hiring a contractor.
Fixtures and Finishes. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, bathroom fixtures take up 20% of the renovation budget on average so when choosing fixtures and finishes consider who is using the space and how heavily it will be used. Is it a kid’s bathroom? Then plastic laminate flooring and countertops are a good option because they’re both durable and inexpensive (and high-end material is of less importance to children). You’ll thank yourself later for using finishes that are low maintenance and easy to keep clean. In that regard, choose quartz instead of marble and make sure glass shower doors are treated with anti-spotting agents. In terms of fixtures, you’ll want high-quality construction like all-brass parts and a PVD finish that will resist scratches. Basic chrome is cheaper than materials like nickel or bronze. Low budget, high impact swaps include replacing specific features; here’s our guide on how to pick out the best bathroom vanity. When making any changes consider where you can creatively hide storage in the room and for energy efficiency be sure to look for low-flow toilet models.
Select Small-Scale Furniture. A list of small living room ideas would not be complete without the recommendation to select furniture that won’t overpower the room or appear to dominate the space. A sofa with thin arms and a tightly upholstered back is preferable to one with substantial arms and a multi-cushion back. If space is tight, you could do without a couch completely, either choosing a loveseat or opting to position four chairs around a coffee table. When picking out chairs, consider armless ones because they will take up less space than a model with arms.
We also have some ideas for color accents to make your space your own. Before you add any furniture to your small apartment, take a weekend to organize and clear your place. Go through your closets and cabinets, and donate or discard anything you don’t need or haven’t used for some time.
To keep it simple, modern architecture focuses more on industrial metals such as steel, concrete and glass (innovative industrial developments of the time). While contemporary design may use these same elements, its designs are considered new, re-thought, or forward-thinking. Clear as mud? With all that being said, the two designs will always mix and mingle with one another—even in the images in this article.
Hidden Storage. A small apartment can easily look cluttered. Storage is often limited, and items without a home end up in piles on the floor and every other surface. Visible storage solutions like boxes, jars and baskets often add to the clutter problem. The solution is hidden storage. Hiding life’s necessities behind doors or other clever cover-ups gives your apartment a clean, minimalist feel. It also lets your favorite design elements — a sofa, a piece of art, a great view — be the star of the show.
Add Storage Under the Bed. If you’re in the market for a new bed, consider a bed with drawers underneath for extra storage. If space is so limited that drawers may not open easily, use decorative bins under your bed for additional storage. We love milk crates and other woven baskets that hold up well and look great doing it.
Even though there is no specific formula when it comes to designing a small home or room, there are a few keys to success. Painting your walls in bright colors, utilizing unconventional hidden storage (such as this underbed box from The Container Store), embedding multi-purpose furniture — these are just some of the tricks we’ve come across on Freshome.
Create Texture. For a more interesting look, customize any of these paint ideas with textured paint treatments. Traditional techniques include rag rolling, stippling, and marbling to create a look with more than one color. Though faux painting techniques can take practice to master, curious DIYers can purchase specialized brushes and rollers to achieve the look in less time. Adding texture to the walls or ceiling can make your living room feel instantly more luxurious, especially if you limit the technique to an accent wall and use a neutral palette with only a fine degree of contrast between shades to keep the treatment subtle.
Thick Slab Kitchen Countertops. The latest trend in contemporary kitchens is the thick slab countertop effect. While most countertops are normally 2” thick, choosing a 3 – 5” thick countertop creates an anchored, stately look. Remember to adjust cabinet heights accordingly to make up for the height increase from the thicker countertops.
Here are the four categories of space-saving furniture we cover: Hidden Storage, Multifunctional Small-Apartment Furniture, Apartment-Size Sofas and Seating, Bookcases
Find home improvement inspiration to create bathrooms, kitchens, garages, home offices, decks, patios, and entryways you'll love. Whether you want to customize a basic builder design, renovate an old home, or learn how to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, you can create your dream home with smart planning and the right home improvement contractors. Browse our home remodeling ideas for projects that fit your time frame, budget, and style. Poke the picture and try new interior and exterior paint colors for free with our virtual Color Finder tool, and take our countertop and floor finder quizzes to discover your perfect material matches. We also have weekend home improvement project ideas, home plans, kitchen and bath planning guides, and storage solutions.
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