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Making the Most of Small Living Spaces

One of the most annoying things about your home is that it can very quickly invade your personal space. Over spilling wardrobes, crammed book shelves and the famous 'scream inducing kitchen drawer' all become part of life as your family expands. People often find themselves living in a small spaces but that doesn't need to be a nightmare.

Getting the most out of the space in your home is essential if you don't want to end up living in a mess and inspiration can be taken from several different sources so if you want to ensure you are using your living space to its true potential then take a leaf out of Tokyo's book.

In this capital city, one of the most populated in the world, they have resorted to desperate measures, building living quarters such as 'Capsule Hotels' and aluminium box apartments. Whilst this is not something I would advise copying, if you look at images of these apartments you will also see they are flooded with reflective materials and light to create the sense of space the inhabitants must crave. Put simply, adding light to your house will create a feeling of more space - my advice would be to hang mirrors on your walls opposite windows to imitate this.

Also think of compact living and what technology can do for you. YO! Sushi founder, Simon Woodroffe, has created the ultimate space-saving apartments in Manchester (soon to be rolled out to other cities) where a king size bed lowers down from the ceiling and dining room table pops up from the floor. Now that may be a step too far for the pocket so think about clever storage devices that you can afford.

Foldaway chairs, stacking cups, bi-fold doors, wall mounted vacuum cleaners/ ironing boards and stack-able white goods, bendy extension leads and wall mounted TV's. Modular furniture packs away nicely and stair storage is very handy indeed - as are fold out pantries in the kitchen. Suitable wall mounted shelving is a must and a great idea to use on that dead space behind the door.

If all these fail to ignite your creativity, read 'A squash and A Squeeze' by Julia Donaldson. This children's story shows how to appreciate the space you already have. The home owner complains to a wise man that she hasn't enough space so he advises her to move a cow, chicken, goat and several other animals into her home to share with her...at the end of the story (spoilers alert) the wise man asks her to take all the animals out of her house and suddenly she feels as if her house has become bigger. What is the moral of the story? Make the best of what you have! The Vintage Vibe team can advise you on furniture to make storage easy so take a look at their website.

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