Tiny Design: Compact Electrical Items and Light Fittings for Small Spaces

As the city populations overtake the number of people living in rural communities, and land prices escalate to ridiculous degrees, the “tiny house” niche is becoming a bona fide movement, with San Francisco reducing the square-footage requirement for its citizens and a 8′ x 10′ (approx. 2.43m x 3.05m) London flat sells for almost £30,000.

Okay, so maybe you don’t need to live in a house quite as tiny as those – but for inhabitants of the big cities there are some useful lessons to be taken from the movement.

It makes sense: with small spaces, there is less to clean, and with the move towards cloud storage it’s becoming more and more possible to free yourself from the mountain of “stuff” – books, desks, racks full of CDs – that was once necessary.

And the smaller the space, the less energy it uses overall!

Celebrity architect George Clarke has been showcasing some amazing tiny spaces on Channel 4 recently, and while we probably wouldn’t

move into one, we took some remodelling and refurbishing inspiration from the tiny spaces scene.

The Practical Elements 

In terms of lighting, maximising daylight is key. If you already live in a place with a huge window, then your work is halfway done. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, we’ll be needing a ceiling light.

With space at a premium, a flush or even a recessed ceiling light is a good idea.

That’s the general “ambient” light taken care of – but what about the fiddly corners in, say, the kitchen, which might even just be a part of the living room? Some under-cabinet lighting will throw some illumination on those tricky areas to help you see what you’re doing!

But what about the aspects we tend not to think about? One area that gets overlooked quite a lot is the ventilation, which can be very noisy – even worse in a tiny space. The 5-inch Airflow QuietAir installed in the bathroom is discreet and near-silent.

The Not-So-Practical Elements

We have talked about the practical aspects of designing a small space, but that’s all meaningless if it isn’t pleasant to live there.

Once the light is sorted out, a large mirror will give the impression of a larger space, and effectively double the illumination in the area. And don’t forget the task lighting – bedroom reading lights are more-or-less essential for relaxation at the end of the day (especially if there’s nowhere to fit a television).

But if there’s a lot of vertical space, why not splash out on a striking pendant like the colourful carafe pendant?

We’d like to hear from anyone reading this in a particularly small space – how do you cope with a reduced floorspace? What kind of design tips do you have for us if we were thinking of moving into a flat the size of a walk-in closet (not that this didn’t cross our mind yet)?

(Images via Did Ya See?, the Tumbleweed blog, and blog.buzzbuzzhome.)

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