Major cities across Australia are succumbing to a new housing trend, once again showing Australia’s tendency to follow American trends a few years behind. For in New York City and other major metropolitan areas across the US and the world at large, apartments have become smaller and smaller as populations have increased and residential buildings have added endlessly more floors.
A combination of invading wealth and booming population has made most living spaces unaffordable for people with modest incomes, resulting in a situation where being able to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash for a small apartment is considered normal. Many people with modest incomes are faced with a choice: Find a tiny apartment (under 50 square metres in size) and make it work, or move out of the city and spend hours commuting.
Surprisingly, more and more young people are opting for the former, sometimes living in spaces less than 24 square metres in size. And as always, design and style are their secret weapons – and this often means breaking the ancient rules about dealing with small spaces in terms of colour, furnishing, and even how to employ photo to canvas.
The Old Rules
Established wisdom on small spaces says that you should keep colours light, use a lot of mirrors instead of photo to canvas or other art on the walls, and keep the clutter to a minimum. Today’s modern micro-apartment dweller in cities around the world have rejected these rules.
Take a look at this 28 square metre apartment in New York, where two room-mates have managed to make it work.
A few things jump out about this apartment aside from its tiny size: They’ve used dark colours (the kitchen cabinets have been painted dark grey), heavy-feeling wall treatments (one bedroom has faux-wood wallpaper), and large-scale wall art. According to the old rules, this should make this apartment feel like a prison, but in reality it feels luxurious.
The Key to Small Space Photo to Canvas: Denial
The reason the new rules include dark palettes and big-style wall art has to do with illusion: The use of these elements denies the size of the apartment. The space feels bigger because we associate these design cues with larger spaces. It really is that simple: You’re tricking your brain into reading the space as much bigger than it actually is.
Another aspect to it is more simple: Luxurious finishes and styles feel, well, luxurious, and that contributes to making a space appear ‘deeper’ and more plush. The old way of painting the walls white and keeping the floors clear makes a small space look utilitarian, which is a small-scale impression, contributing to the feeling of smallness.
Ready for your micro apartment adventure? Don’t fear small spaces – they can be perfectly liveable and very cosy with the right planning and wall art. Choose your art inspirations and then click here and we’ll help decorate your tiny home with the big heart!