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Little rentals, big potential: How to maximize small spaces

Property managers, it’s no secret that finding spacious homes in the congested cities topping today’s travel market is nigh impossible. We have some good news for you: property size doesn’t have to be a problem. There are so many different types of travelers opting for rentals of every size, from the cupboard under the stairs to the luxury smart houses of the future. The truth is, even the smallest of spaces can be deliciously comfortable when planned right.

There’s a good chance that if you’re a property manager, you didn’t study architecture…otherwise, you would probably be an architect. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring some awesome architectural insights into your properties. Maximizing small spaces is the fine art you need to master, and there are plenty of cool ways to do it. So take note!

1. Lighting: Here Comes the Sun

Let’s start with one of the most obvious tricks in the book: a well-lit room. Why is this obvious, you ask? Because when you can’t see the dark hidden corners in a room, it visually reduces the space. Naturally, a room that receives more light will be more visible, and nothing makes a room seem bigger as effortlessly as simply being able to see the whole thing. 

Here are some things you can do for your small spaces to accomplish that perfect lighting:

  • Paint the walls white. That’s an order.
  • Fit as many windows into your walls as possible. Natural light is scientifically proven to improve moods, and good moods can get you good reviews and recommendations.
  • Install internal windows made of transparent materials to allow light to flow into windowless rooms. Semi-opaque materials are ideal to offer more privacy in each room.
Maximizing Small Spaces

Let’s play a game called: how many things can light shine through?

BONUS: For when the sun is hiding in winter, there are some other ways you can keep your bookings high during the low season.

2. Space: The More the Merrier

Start with some useful engineering methods:

  • Add a loft over your kitchen. Sleeping can be done horizontally, and with kitchens usually hugging the walls and corners, this will only reduce them by height which is easily manageable. BAM! The rest of your apartment just bloomed like a spring flower.
  • Utilize the space under the stairs. Staircase science has evolved far beyond needing a solid foundation underneath each step. Turn that space into storage – large square shelves and soft pull-out bins make it easy for the guests to access the contents as well.

Beyond the sheer amount and size of things in the room, there are some additional decorative tricks that can expand the space available as well. Give them a try!

  • Use color to differentiate each space. Try to match some objects within the different areas of your property by color, offering a vivid theme for each area. This doesn’t mean all of the objects in that space; just a few to make the message clear. You don’t want to your guests to be drowning in purple or orange.
  • Consider using curtains to divide rooms instead of walls. This can help for a few reasons – namely, that having one larger area softly divided offers a more spacious feeling than a few cramped areas. Besides this, larger spaces are easier to light, and brightly colored curtains can enhance this even further.
Maximizing Small Spaces

One room with everything you need…why even go outside?

3. Walls: Make Them Great Again

They may seem mundane today, but walls have come in all shapes and sizes throughout history. There have been great walls, wailing walls, walls of trees and walls of fire. Inside the home, they mostly only serve to separate spaces and host decorations. Does that sound like something you can live without? If so, our curtain division idea is for you. But if not, there are still some ways that you can utilize walls to make small spaces seem less small.

  • Replace ordinary walls with full-sized sliding doors to let your space breathe. A pole in the center of two sliding doors can help support the ceiling, while the doors can slide around this to turn two small spaces into one larger space. Adjust them to your heart’s desire!
  • Take the translucent window idea to the next level by building internal walls out of glass. This maintains independent spaces without visually dividing a room.
  • Invest in a movie projector, and keep a large space on your wall clear to project movies onto. This will replace the giant television guests often demand these days, while taking up so much less space.
Maximizing Small Spaces

A wall, a door, and a window? This wall does it all.

4. Household items: Ordinary Use, Smart Placement

Finding a comfortable couch is easy. Finding a comfortable place for the couch at home might not be. Although everybody loves rearranging the furniture, they don’t always do a great job. Take a break from trying to find the perfect place for each item to make sure that the larger design is maximizing your small space. Be sure to:

  • Arrange items above eye level on the wall when possible to draw the eyes up (art, open shelves, etc.)
  • Select low-sitting furniture to create the illusion of vertical space by stretching the distance from furniture level to ceiling. Don’t worry, mops can get the dirt out from underneath anything these days.
  • BE MINIMAL! Start with the household essentials and NOTHING extra. Then, estimate how much space you can fill without obstructing the visual balance. Make a list of everything you’d like to add in and rate each thing by its importance. In the end, try to choose only things which are useful and unique, setting your place apart from others, and most importantly, things that can fit.
Maximizing Small Spaces

And YES – hot coffee is an essential item.

When done correctly, these strategies can even transform a closet into a space that offers comfort and aesthetics. Most of the time you can’t change the size, location, or facilities of a property, which is why working with what you have to offer comfort in every other possible way is crucial. Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to take pictures of the finished product that displays your property at its very best. By making the most of your small spaces, your guests are guaranteed to get cozy – but hopefully not too cozy to check out. And if that happens, well, here are some tips on how to deal with bad guests.

Small spaces have big potential. Make sure you’re maximizing it.

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