8 Simple Rules for Making Small Spaces Work
Thursday, May 13, 2004; Page H01
1 Take stock of your spaces: How often do you use each room? "The biggest mistake people make is to not use the space they already have."
2 Rethink rarely used rooms: Can the living room work as an office? Would the formal dining room get more use with casual furniture?
3 Customize spaces. Built-in shelving, cabinets and window seats save space, corral clutter and allow for display of personal collections.
4 Don't remodel for resale. Before building extra bedrooms and bathrooms, think about how often they will be used. "If you're going to use a bathroom less than 12 times a year," says Susanka, "make do with an existing bathroom. Then you'll have more money to spend on the things you really want."
5 Create private space. Turn an extra bedroom or garage into an adults-only sanctuary and a space for hobbies.
6Brighten circulation spaces. Skylights, windows and lighted paintings in foyers and hallways can "change your feeling about the whole house," says Susanka.
7Relocate the TV. Televisions can take over a room; she recommends a dedicated space other than the living room.
8Establish a focus in a room. Grab attention with a painting over the fireplace, tile work above a cooktop or banks of windows. "These features give a room character."
Deborah K. Dietsch
© 2004 The Washington Post Company