I ran into an college buddy the other night and we were talking about our dorm room from Freshman year. We considered ourselves quite innovative in the manner in which we made use of the limited furnishings provided and turned the beds into lofts (a few cement blocks may have gone missing in the local area) and squeezed a futon in. We thought we had quite the “pad” at the time. We laughed as we considered the whole set-up as deluxe accommodations. We thought the ladies would be impressed by our great room. We should have put the Star Wars action figures away. The things we know now…
Now, some 20+ years later, we are all required to be innovators when it comes to figuring out how to layout a room. It is even more difficult since I purchased an old Victorian home. We converted the former attic space into a great loft. The only problem is we have about 25″ of clearance to swing any furniture of scale around the corner of the stair landing. Thankfully though, in today’s world you can find small sofas, apartment sofas, sofas for tight spaces and all kinds of things that can help. The only problem is most of them are very complex, and difficult to assemble. In addition, the quality is suspect.
I did a great deal of research and landed on Simplicity Sofas. I checked them out, and was impressed by the reviews, and the videos which illustrated easy assembly. In fact, there is one with an eight year old putting together one of their sofas. We ordered some fabric swatches, and they were really free. They came in the mail with a catalog. We went on the website and built our sofa. We received a call, and everything was exactly as they said it would be. A few weeks later, UPS came, and a few hours later, we had a sofa in the loft. You can actually still rely on some companies in this day and age.
Well, it may not be my old dorm room, but I have to say the loft space is being enjoyed by the family. I can now enjoy a good book, and relax on my sofa. The family is enjoying the sofa, and that is all that matters. We did not get it assembled in 10 minutes like the boy in the video, but we still had it set and up within a half hour.
(SJR is a writer and lives in the Boston area. We thank him for his submission and appreciate his letting us post to our blog.)
A small sunroom is perhaps one of the most challenging areas to decorate in a home. There are many reasons for this and most of them relate to size restrictions and theme. Most people like to decorate their small sunroom in a particular style and this means that the furniture must also follow a similar theme. Traditional furniture choices usually get dismissed early simply because they are either too large to fit into the small sunroom or, because they do not keep with the feel and decor of the room.
This is the reason that many people end up going with cheap wicker furniture or outdoor options in their small sunroom. Fortunately, there are small sunroom furniture options out there that offer you the comfort of a traditional small sofa, while still keeping with whatever theme you decide upon.
For a small sunroom, you should first nail down the function of the room. It makes no sense to pick the furniture or even the decor before you know how you wish to actually use the room. Are you planning on using the room as a green room of sorts? In other words, are you going to keep live plants in the small sunroom? Is the sunroom going to be used as a getaway for your family? Is comfort or space more important to you? How many people do you think you will entertain in your sunroom most often? All of these are questions that you should consider before choosing your furniture for your small sunroom.
Decide What Stays and What Goes …
When room planning, even art, accessories and paint color is critical if you live in a small space. I have talked to many people about concerns they encountered while designing their spaces, whether large or small. From these conversations, I have learned that it can be as daunting for some to try and design an 800 square foot apartment as it is a house in the suburbs or a villa on the Riviera.
In this article, I wanted to touch on what I consider to be rule number 1 for room planning for small spaces.
First and Foremost — You need to decide what stays and what goes.
Obviously, if you are moving into a new space and/or purchasing new furniture, the first thing you want to do is decide which of your existing pieces you will be keeping. Are you attached to Grandpa’s old roll top desk he gave you, or a retro accent table you picked up at a boutique sale — or both?
If you want to hold onto the larger pieces, like the desk, consider alternative uses. We moved our roll top desk out of a very small bedroom and into the dining room to serve as our buffet. With all its drawers, nooks and crannies, it was a perfect place to hold and hide our silverware, napkin rings and table top items that we use only for special occasions.
If you’re thinking about buying additional furniture pieces from our website (which we hope you are), I can work with you to lay out the rooms using online tools by placing the furniture for you in ¼ scale imagery and showing you options that make the most sense. So don’t be afraid to ask for the complimentary help. That’s what I’m here for. But for now …
Decide What Stays and What Goes.
In my next article, I am considering writing about a topic no one thinks about when purchasing furniture for small spaces called “Safe Spaces.” Safe Spaces is the area between one piece of furniture and the next. Have you ever been to a friend’s house who had no idea of Safe Space and every time you got up off of their apartment sofa or chair, you would bang your knee on the coffee table? That’s what I’m talking about. Ouch!
In future articles we’ll also talk about paint color, wall art and accessorizing to name a few; all necessary topics in making your small space feel bigger.
As always, if you have ideas or would like to contribute to this article or any of the others that will be posted on this website, please do so. There are a lot of people looking for new ways to maximize space and we want to share all of our successful ideas! I want you to look to Simplicity Sofas as one of your resources that will keep you informed of new trends, space planning, color coordinating and other design advice.