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Size Matters – Making the most of property downsizing

Whether for economical, practical or personal reasons there will come a time in everyone’s lives where they downsize from a large property to apartment, bungalow or smaller house. Although this is likely to save you money and maintenance time, stress can be caused when set with the challenge of trying to reduce or constrain your material life within four smaller walls. Instead of seeing this as an enforced separation with your previous life, approach it as an opportunity to take the best parts of your old property and place them in a new and fresh space where they can be appreciated all over again. From a piece of furniture to LP collection each item will be cleaned and re-homed to join you on the next stage of your life. This article takes you through how to mix the old with new and enhance the feeling of light and space in your new petite property!

When looking to move your favourite or classic pieces of furniture in to the new property do be sure to consider each item in situ. A beautiful antique dresser may look elegant in your current home but will be overpowering and clumsy in a smaller space. Similarly, a mahogany or wenge furniture range may be too domineering for a room with less light and open space. Consequently, keep only a selection of the furniture range and dress with neutral and light colours to enhance the feeling of space. Similarly, if a piece seems too heavy within the room why not consider staining the furniture in a lighter shade or adding downlighters in the display cupboards or under shelves to increase the feeling of light.

Using white shades with dark furniture pieces keeps the space feeling light and airy. Similarly, the eclectic collection of accessories adds a real charm

Although some pieces can be adapted or cleverly placed to fit well within the new space do be realistic. A large banquet style dining table and chairs is pointless if you can’t sit comfortably around the table and will act to make a room appear cramped and dark. Instead invest in a new extendable option which can be used for both day to day meals and larger dinner parties. There is a huge range of styles available from antique replicas to contemporary design statements. Choose one that is to scale within the room but also uses materials or styles already within the existing furniture. For example, if you have a leather suite choose a coffee table made from the wood or metal used on the sofa legs. Alternatively, choose a glass design to maximise the feeling of space and accessories with a leather bound, metal or wood bowl to tie the two pieces together.

As touched upon, in every room choose light and neutral decoration and soft furnishings to keep the house light and spacious. Add colour, pattern and personality by adding bright and textured scatter cushions, rugs, throws, tie backs and wall art. Where appropriate add mirrors and lights and use these accessories to again repeat the other materials used within the room. Integrate new additions with your old favourites to create an eclectic mix linked by common materials and textures that represents you, your life and your tastes today.

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