Making the Most of Small Spaces

Small-Living-SpaceYou’re crowded, cramped, always tripping over your things or other people, and feel like you have to navigate a maze to get from the living room to the bathroom. Sometimes it can feel like a cave. Whether you are living in a small house, tiny apartment or dorm room, or are just stuck with too many people for the home you have, living without enough space can be challenging and frustrating.

You have two options here: complain about it, or tackle the problem head on and fix it. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your small space.

Cut the Clutter
The first step you should take is to get rid of clutter. Having too many things trying to fit in a small space will make it feel even smaller. Ask yourself what you can live without. Are all those thingamabobs and doohickeys essential to your happiness? Do you really need those sweaters you haven’t worn since middle school, or the cappuccino-maker that hasn’t been turned on in 3 years?

This is not the time to be softhearted or sentimental. If an item actually does have sentiment to it, by all means keep it. However, if you are creating sentiment where there is none, then be ruthless and toss it. If you can’t bear to throw it away, then give it to charity, recycle it, or have a yard sale and earn a few bucks.

Getting rid of clutter will make the room feel more open and less cramped. After doing that, it is much easier to follow the remaining steps.

Double-duty Furniture
Make your space multitask. You have more than one thing to do a day don’t you? So why not make your furniture do more than one thing, too!

Grab an ottoman with storage inside that you can also use for extra seating. Use an open bookshelf as a room divider, or invest in a futon to use as a couch during the day and a bed during the night. Instead of just putting a table under the window, use a trunk or chest that can double for storage and a window seat.

Another way to use furniture to its full potential is to have a way for it to disappear when not in use. Beds that fold into the wall, chairs that store inside each other or small tables with drop leaves for that dinner party you are having, but that can then be dropped once again to create more room.

Creative Storage
There are places for storage everywhere; you just have to look harder for some than others. There are of course the more obvious closets and under-the-bed areas that work great for storage. But simple additions, like a spice rack to the inside of the cupboard door, a shoe racks on your closet doors or a turn table to awkward spaces can bring so much more space to your home.

Instead of having the awkward space between the cupboards and ceiling just gathering dust, add more cupboards or more shelving. Add shelving above the toilet that goes up to the celling to make use of wall space, and put double rods in closets for twice the hanging space.

Check for dark nooks and crannies that you can use. You may have to be inventive with the spaces available, but you can make them work. If you have an unused wall—and it’s allowed in your lease if you’re renting—take off the sheetrock, refinish the wall, and create in-wall shelving. These are especially handy behind open doors and other places that would otherwise be unusable.

Downsize Furniture
Huge furniture in a tiny room will only dwarf the room and make you feel even more cramped than you already are. Choose furniture that fits the scale of the room. Instead of one large coffee table, choose two smaller end tables. Instead of one big sofa, try a loveseat and a chair or two. Pick a flat screen TV if you can to save space. If you hang it on the wall instead of placing it in an entertainment center, it will open up even more floor space.

Pick a bed with a small headboard, as that can make the bedroom seem smaller, or have a headboard that doubles as shelving. If you go for the shelving option, you can even consider getting rid of your dresser to open up space. In your kitchen, pick small scale appliances—there are some fridges that take up no more floor space than the cupboards—and compact countertop appliances. If you can find appliances that serve more than one function, that’s even better.

Fool the Eye
There are ways to trick your eyes into thinking a space is bigger than it is. Glass is your friend with small spaces; a table with a glass top will blend into its surroundings and keep the eye moving. Mirrors and light-colored paint on the walls will reflect more light and create a bigger-looking space. Neutral and monochromatic furniture, floors, drapes, and walls also make space look larger, and you can include a pop of color with small accents to create focal points.

This might sound bland and boring, but will not only make the room seem larger, but will also camouflage odd angles or other oddities in the room. It will also make it easier to create seasonal changes, like dark orange throw pillows in the fall to red and green for Christmas. Just have fun with accents, textures, and wall art to let your personality shine through.

Follow these tips and watch as your space transforms from a cramped, crowded, cave to an open oasis for all who visit.

Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors and sharing her experiences with others through writing, which includes anything from Vancouver plumbers to local photographers.


Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Summer is a colorful season. From rainbows appearing after mid-afternoon showers to gardens in bloom, we’ve been noticing summer’s true colors, and they’ve inspired us to collect a bouquet of bright ideas for adding more color to your everyday life. Make your kitchen cheerier and your bedroom cozier with a touch of color, or get creative with the hues you wear. All of our items this week feature bright, cheerful tones in surprising places. We think they’ll brighten your day as much as they have ours!
Stainless steel bowls are wonderfully practical for the kitchen, but they don’t usually contribute much in the way of color. This colorful stainless steel bowl set brings fresh color into your kitchen with five handy sizes. Each bowl has its own color, but we love them all, from the robin’s-egg blue on the smallest bowl to the vibrant cherry red on the largest in the set. The soft satin-finish plastic exteriors are dishwasher-safe and provide extra grip when mixing by hand, making these bowls practical and pretty. We love the avocado-green bowl for salads and the big one for popcorn on movie night.

Every bedroom needs a touch of color, and this irresistibly soft lighted pillow gives you all the color you could want at once! Cool LED lighting inside the pillow’s soft, white acrylic filling create a light show of pastel hues that look like tie-dyed fabric but change constantly. It’s like a kaleidoscope you can squeeze! The pillow makes a beautiful and unusual accent and also acts as a nightlight for kids who find soft lighting reassuring as they drift to sleep. You can also get the matching throw to turn on the colorful charm in any room of your home. It’s just the thing for snuggling up with a good book on a rainy day.

Who says you have to stick to a single hair color? The makers of these colorful Hair Chox temporary hair color sticks certainly don’t think you have to stick with the color that nature gave you. With bright red, purple, pink, blue and green, you can add streaks of color to any shade and wash it out when you want a change. Dampen the chalk-like sticks with water, rub them on a strand of hair, and enjoy the head-turning colors you wear. Unlike permanent dyes, these tones cover the surface of the hair instead of penetrating, so they wash away cleanly. Add color in streaks, frost the tips of your current style or frame your face with a few hits of pink or purple. The easy-to-hold handles make painting on color easy. Even Dame Helen Mirren thinks pink hair is hot, and she’s a style icon; don’t be afraid to go bold.

This week, celebrate color with us with these bright ideas or with some of your own. Maybe it’s time to plant a garden, repaint a room or hang a few colorful paintings on your walls. Scientists say color even affects moods, so chase the blues with some pink, purple or red and embrace some new hues today!

5 Ways to Update Your Bedroom on a Budget

Decorate-bedroomOne of the quickest ways to change the look of your room completely is to paint it. You can spend hundreds of dollars to get a professional painter to do the work, but with careful draping and taping before you start, you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price. Unlike your living room or den, your bedroom isn’t a place that’s on public display, so choose shades you like even if they’re bright or unusual. Serene blues and greens suit some people while others go for brilliant red or royal purple. It’s your room, so go as wild or as mild as you like with paint colors.

Send a Message with Wall Text

One of the most exciting decorating trends for the last few years has been the use of text as a design element. Getting an artist to hand-paint or stencil text on your bedroom walls is one option, but it’s a costly one. If you have steady hands, you can do the work yourself. Another option is a wall quote decal that effortlessly adds a decorator touch to a wall. Another advantage of peel-and-stick text: When you’re ready to change your message, you don’t have to repaint.

Pick a Motif

When you have a theme to your decor, the finished product looks more cohesive. Choose something you love, such as a favorite era or place, and let it inspire your bedroom’s design. Do the brilliant hues of a Moroccan market inspire you, or is an airy Parisian atelier more your style? Do you dream of taking long walks in a lush forest, or is your perfect vacation spot on the beach? Your bedroom should reflect something about who you are.

Upgrade Your Linens

Luxurious linens instantly elevate your bedroom’s style and make it look more inviting. There’s a reason top hotels offer turn-down service to showcase their fine bed linens; nothing looks more inviting than a freshly made bed with elegant sheets. Follow fine hoteliers’ decor example with embroidered discount bedding collections it’s a good way to tie the main bedroom and master bath together.You don’t need to spend much to create the bedroom of your dreams. Whether you turn your room into a calm oasis or a colorful fantasy, you’ll never want to leave when it reflects your personal sense of style so perfectly.

Add a Sumptuous Rug

Bedrooms are about function as well as form. Stepping onto a soft rug instead of a cold floor on winter mornings is a delight, and bringing in area rugs lets you change the look of your room while making it cozy. Area rugs are also a wonderful fix for neutral carpets that don’t have much of a style impact on their own or that have become discolored in high-traffic areas. Choose pale hues to open up a dark room or vibrant colors to anchor light neutral tones. To link your bedroom decor to the rest of your home’s style, try themed rug collections it’s a good way to tie the main bedroom and master bath together.

You don’t need to spend much to create the bedroom of your dreams. Whether you turn your room into a calm oasis or a colorful fantasy, you’ll never want to leave when it reflects your personal sense of style so perfectly.

Image Credit: Sindterior

Decorating Small Bedrooms

Decorating a small bedroom is always a bit of a challenge, but by using a peaceful palette, smart storage-solutions, and functional pieces of furniture, it can be done with ease and style.

Before you start arranging and decorating your bedroom, it is a good idea to inspect the room closely (bare if possible). Take note of where the door and bedroom is placed. Also take note of the room’s dimensions. Once you have surveyed the room enough, determine what your decorative options and preferences are. This will help you set the decorative flavor later on. As decorating smaller bedrooms often demand for more creativity, here are some ideas that you might find handy –


Image Credit: HGTV



Decorate with Mirrors
Consider decorating your bedroom walls with mirrors. Not only is it an interesting decorative detail, but mirrors are known to provide additional depth and dimension to a small room. This is because mirrors have the unique ability to act as additional windows. It is best to hang several pieces of small mirrors in a group to create visual interest. A good finish would be to add one larger mirror. This creates the illusion of more square footage.




Image Credit: HGTV

Under Bed Storage

Storage space is among the most difficult issues to deal with when decorating a small bedroom. When decorating, it is best that you make use of every inch of wasted space. Use the underside of your bed as additional storage for your things. Consider using dough bowls, baskets, plastic bins, and plastic drawers to keep your things organized. If you want, you can take it up a notch by sealing your vaguely used items into vacuum space bags.




Image Source: Home Interior Design



Decorate with Functional Furniture
Because of its limited square footage, it is best if you decorate a small bedroom with pieces of furniture that serve more than one function. For example, you can use a short chest drawer as both a night stand and a dresser. You can place a small desk and a chair next to your bed and you have an oversized nightstand and a work desk as well.  A bench with a lift-top can free your room of unnecessary linens and provide bedroom seating.



Image Credit:



Limit the Color Palate

Limiting the color palate creates the illusion of more space. It is best for a small bedroom to use similar hues on walls, furnishings, and beddings to make room appear larger. This way the line between the different elements are blurred thus allowing the eye to move across the bedroom more effortlessly. Going easy on the color palate creates a more appealing visual rhythm that draws the eye around the room. Injecting a few details of contrasting colors can add flavor.




Image Credit: Home Inspire



Make Use of the Vertical Space
Again, make every inch count. Making use of the vertical space is a great way to increasing your storage footage in a small bedroom. Install floating shelves to keep your books, magazines, and other reading materials neat and organized. Consider hanging small buckets and baskets on mountable rods as added storage space for miscellaneous items.




Jessica Josh is an Australian freelance writer and blogger.  Since 2007 she has been writing about buying, selling, renting real estate and articles for companies like

Holiday Decorating Huge Sale!

Amazing Holiday Decor Sale to get your house looking beautiful for the holidays now through 11-11!  Need help with the outside?   Try the Snowflake Lighting String of 100 Lights for only $4.77, that’s 52% off the original price.  Covered in glitter and white lights, this Snowflake String of Lights shines brightly!  The string of 100 lights features 95 small white bulbs in an icicle design and 5 large glowing snowflake accent bulbs.  A Set of 4 Giant Candle Stake Lights was $12.95, is now only $5.97 per set.  Place these colorful Giant Candle Stake Lights along a walkway or driveway to instantly add bright holiday cheer to your yard.  Designed with the old-fashioned charm of days gone by, each candle (7-3/4″ x 3-1/4″ dia.) and decorative base (2″ x 5-3/4″ dia) is attached to an 11″ stake for easy placement.  The Holiday Gazing Ball now 40% off for only $5.37.  This Holiday Gazing Ball is designed in colors that are just right for the season.  The snowman, in top hat and scarf, holds an icy silver ball.  Perfect for use outdoors in the garden, yet it also looks good on a porch, the front steps or backyard patio!

Sale ends 11-11, enter promo code LIGHTING at checkout to receive discount, online only.  Get into the Holiday Spirit!

Spooky Halloween Decorations

Make your house the talk of the block with The 63″ Standing Ghoul for only $19.95.  Pose the arms straight out from the body to make it look like it’s grabbing for someone!  The Ghoul stands by itself—no need for hanging or propping.  Can be displayed with the hood up on his head or pulled back to reveal his skull.  Imagine the effect on trick-or-treaters when they see this in front of your house!

Lay the Animated Body Bag out on your front lawn and watch the reaction on Halloween night!  The bag is printed with “Body Bag” in white for a realistic touch.  A rubber face that looks battered and bloody is sticking out from the open zipper on the front.  Just fill the bag with newspapers to give the appearance of a real body, then plug it in and watch as its head moves and its eyes light up and blink!  The lighted eyes and moving head are sound-activated and will turn on with any loud noise—sure to surprise unsuspecting trick-or-treaters!  This item will be the focal point of the Halloween scene in your front yard!

How to Set an Inviting Table for Thanksgiving


Yes you want that “wow” factor but you also want to do so in a cost friendly way.  Here is a beautiful Classic Holiday Tablecloth adorned with seasonal designs and colors starting at only $12.95.  Compliment it with the Harvest Leaf Collection which features rich autumn colors and pretty foliage accents, starting at only $5.95.  With the value-priced 77-Pc. Flatware Set you get service for 12 as well as a hostess set for only $39.95.  These sets are the perfect way to be prepared for all of your guests at parties, holiday gatherings and more.  The Set of 4 Black Diamond Stemware is perfect for entertaining around the holidays or for any special occasion all 4 glasses for $11.95.  Each black glass features a unique diamond design at the top of the stem.

The Lakeside Family would like to thank all our loyal customers, we are very grateful for you and wish you and your families all the best this holiday season.