How do you create space inside when your house is fit to bursting with stuff? It’s an age-old dilemma that often goes hand-in-hand with having kids. After all, kids = stuff.
With a baby and a five year old we often find that our house is full of big baby stuff and tiny five year old stuff. If it’s not massively bulky baby toys it’s teeny weeny Hama beads and hair bands. I dream of light, bright, airy spaces with cosy corners and blank walls. Unfortunately this dream doesn’t fit with a functional family home, so I’ve had to make a few compromises.
Here are five ways we achieve the feeling of space inside, without losing out on the comfort of a cosy and practical family home:
1. Minimise the stuff
We have regular clear-outs, sorting through the piles of kid magazines, plastic toys and half-used craft supplies. Keeping on top of all the things that regularly find their way into our home helps us avoid getting to bursting point.
2. Invest in good storage
We have a large mid-century sideboard in our living room that was my late grandma’s. We use it to house all our family board games, crafting materials and gift wrap bits. Along with this we also have a retro bureau in our family / dining room, along with a toy cabinet which we use for all the girls’ toys downstairs. I’m currently in the process of sourcing a couple of big baskets or fabric boxes to house some of Baby Girl’s bigger toys that we keep in the living room.
3. Use glass
I love glass as an accessory. Vases, mirrors, bottles… you name it, I’ve got it. Of course too much of the stuff can look cluttered and fussy, but just the right amount can help to bounce light around a room which helps with the illusion of space.
4. Clever colour
Although I love the idea of bright white walls and Scandi style minimalism, I’m a realist and I know this type of look just wouldn’t suit our family lifestyle. I’m also too much of a sucker for pattern and colour. As a compromise to my inner minimalist I keep the colour to just one wall and opt for bright accessories instead. We have colourful picture frames, enamel ware and cushions, which help to stop the colour being too overpowering and “shrinking” the room.
I love these cushions from Oldrids & Downtown, which are a great example of how a little bit of clashing pattern goes a long way. Cushions are also a quick and easy way to give a room an updated look, which probably explains why I’m always planning new cushion purchases!
5. Rethink the furniture
When we first moved into our home we had a circular dining table which used to belong to my parents. Although it was smaller than our current table, it actually took up more room because it left lots of dead space around the edges of the room that we couldn’t use. Switching this table for a large, rectangular farmhouse style table instantly gave the illusion of more space. Sometimes a simple furniture switch can make all the difference to a room. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a new purchase, it could just be about moving the furniture and rearranging it in the room.
With thanks to Oldrids & Downtown for commissioning this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.