There are many perks to owning a small HDB or condo – they’re cosier, easier to clean, and more affordable than larger properties. While all homes require the right furnishings to become complete, owners of smaller homes may find it more challenging to find furnishings that fit – aesthetically and physically – into their abode.
Furnishings are not cheap and the last thing you’d want is to blow your savings on something that makes your home less livable. With that, here are eight ways you can furnish your home if you live in a smaller HDB or condo.
1. Place a sectional sofa in the living room
Image credit: Cellini
It’s common to “think small” when buying furniture for tight spaces, such as choosing a sofa for a petite living room. While small sofas may seem like a straightforward option, their lack of seating space may cause you to place additional chairs or ottomans around them, resulting in a cluttered space.
Opt for sectional sofas which provide a good balance of functionality and aesthetics, and place them at far corners to open up the living room visually. Most sectional sofas can also be tailored to fit compact Singaporean homes such as these customisable ones from homegrown brand Cellini.
2. Utilise taller ottomans for extra seating
Image credit: Foter
Even with a spacious sectional, you may require extra seats when the in-laws pop by or unexpected visitors show up. Having one or two ottomans lying around will provide additional seating solutions and save everyone from an awkward shoulder-to-shoulder squeeze on the sofa.
Instead of getting cushiony ball ottomans that are lower to the ground, go for upholstered ones that double as leg rests or a coffee table. Some ottomans even come with storage so you can chuck bulky magazines or unused remote controls in them to hide clutter.
3. Incorporate mirrors in tight spaces
Image credit: Dwell
Mirrors are a cost-effective way to visually enlarge a small HDB flat or condo. By placing mirrors on the walls opposite a window, you allow natural light to bounce around the room and create an illusion of space. If your home is blessed with a unique view, feel free to set up mirrors beside the window to reflect the surrounding scenery.
Mirrors don’t need to be boringly placed – you can also incorporate them into your furnishings such as the kitchen backsplash or purchase a cabinet with mirrored doors.
4. Pick large carpets in light colors
Image credit: Coco Republic
The rule of thumb is to pick carpets with similar colour tones as your flooring and avoid bold colors that contrast with your furniture. Bigger carpets with light shades such as beige or tan are generally a safe bet and can trick your eyes into seeing a larger floor area. While bigger is better, it’s important to leave a floor space of 8-12 inches on all sides of the carpet.
Plain carpets work like magic, but if you want to add more dimension to your space, you can also include patterns if the motifs are small and repetitive such as lines or geometric shapes.
5. Match curtains or blinds to your wall color
Image credit: Neu Konceptz
Instead of being paralysed by the paradox of choice when choosing curtains or blinds, narrow down your options by picking out ones that match your walls. You can opt for plaid curtains or blinds with vertical stripes for a bit of drama, especially in rooms with lower ceilings.
In the case of curtains, try to avoid unnecessary frills, poms or ruffles that can take up space in your already cramped apartment – remember, minimalism is the way to go.
6. Pair two artworks of different sizes
Image credit: @mytomorrowland
Even small homes can have big personalities, and you don’t always need big decor to make a statement. Instead of filling the walls with mismatched artwork in different themes, identify two complementary pieces that you cherish and pair them side by side.
Your statement pieces don’t necessarily need to be artwork – you can also get creative by matching a bold painting with an eclectic chair, or pairing a unique tapestry with your cushion covers.
7. Opt for furniture with storage options
Image credit: Spaceman
While a small home for two can be cosy at first, it can immediately become a crammed inconvenience once children enter the picture. Ample storage is necessary to keep the little ones’ clutter at bay, and parents may end up buying more furniture to manage the mess.
However, adding more shelves and boxes will only increase the number of items in a room. Instead of cluttering your home even further, invest in multipurpose furniture such as this bunk bed-wardrobe from Spaceman or an extendable coffee table with hidden compartments from Expand Furniture.
8. Install wall lighting to make use of vertical space
Image credit: Y Lighting
If your home has less-than-ideal levels of natural light, dark corners can easily make the rooms feel smaller when night falls. Instead of filling these corners with floor lamps, install lights that can be attached to the walls such as sconces, track lighting, and recessed spotlights. Most wall lights have their wires hidden away, allowing your room to appear neat and cable-free. You can even focus your wall lights on specific paintings, plants, or bookshelves for that extra touch of sophistication.
Tips for furnishing small homes
Furnishings can make or break a home, which is why small details are so important. Depending on what you’re looking for – storage, aesthetics, or achieving the look of a bigger space – the right furnishings will allow you to transform your home without wasting any of your precious cubic metres!