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Make the most of small space living

Wishing we had a bigger house is an experience many of us are familiar with. But how many people really think their current homes are too small? And does the size of our home really affect the way we live day to day? To find out, we commissioned a survey with ‘One Poll’ to ask homeowners across the country how they feel about the size of their living space, and what they’d like to change most. Our poll of 2,000 adults who own or rent a property reveals how real the challenges of small space living are, and also offers a few inspirational tips and tricks for making the most of your space.
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The struggles of small space living

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, almost half said that their home was too small and they’d appreciate more space. And over a third of respondents stated that their current home was too small for the needs of their family.

The main concerns for people living in small homes are the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom. Dining areas are a ‘flash point’, with one in six households telling us they can’t fit their family around the kitchen or dining room table. And one eighth of respondents said that their sofa didn’t have enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.

Storage space is probably the biggest challenge for small homes. A quarter of people surveyed said they need more storage space, and over a third would love to have a spare room. A whopping 61% stated that they struggle to keep the house tidy because there isn’t enough room to store all their belongings.

The survey also revealed some surprising insights into how our small space living is affecting us. One third of those surveyed said they’re missing out on hosting friends and family because of a lack of space for entertaining. And a huge 43% felt that they hadn’t truly ‘settled’ into their current home, because they were already thinking about moving and upsizing.

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Furniture trends for small homes

Many are already making the most of their homes with multifunctional furniture and space enhancing storage solutions. And with four out of ten people telling us that their home now is smaller than the one they grew up in, it seems more of us will be making adjustments to small space living. The good news is we don’t have to become Lilliputian in size to find some relief when living small. Cleverly designed furniture and smart storage can help you make the most of your space and keep your home tidy.

Here are some of the most popular:

Extendable dining tables

A quarter of our respondents said they had a folding or extendable dining table, to help make room for everyone to eat. These smart tables can increase in size when you have extra guests, but take up much less space when not in use. Choose from classic drop leaf dining tables to models where a middle panel can pop up or slide out or flip-top tables that double in size, as well as traditional round extendable dining tables that are both highly practical and beautiful to look at. For compact spaces, our small extendable dining tables fit into almost any kitchen or dining area. Want more dining room tips? Read our compact dining ideas guide.

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Storage beds

The space under your bed is rarely used, so beds with hidden storage are becoming increasingly popular for people living in small homes. Ottoman and storage beds are the perfect way to transform even the smallest bedroom into a clutter free, peaceful sanctuary. Two out of ten of our survey respondents already have ottoman beds with generous storage space underneath or divan beds with storage drawers. Ideal for tidying away spare bedding, seasonal clothes and more. Want more bedroom storage space? Read our small bedroom storage tips for more handy tricks!

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Storage shelves

In the living room, display units and shelves are a versatile and practical way to display treasured possessions and to keep things we use day-to-day close at hand. Slim and compact designs suit small homes best. Floating shelves proved to be particularly popular with our respondents – two out of ten surveyed use these clever storage shelves to create extra space without a bulky shelving unit taking up space on the floor.

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Sofa beds

Over a third of respondents said they’d like to have a spare room, but if you don’t have a separate room for guests to stay in, you can use dual-purpose furniture like a sofa bed. These clever designs transform into a comfortable bed at night, and then fold away in the morning to free up space and create plenty of seating. Gone are the days of the clunky futon. Nowadays sofa beds combine style with function and perfectly complement modern small space living. Surprise your guests with a sofa bed that not only looks beautiful during the day, but also provides a luxurious night's sleep. Choose from slim-line designs to corner sofa beds that make the most of those awkward spaces, and even have chaise end storage for the bedding. For more tips, read our guide to making the most of a small living room, including decorating and storage ideas.

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Design tips for small homes

Are you feeling inspired to make the most of the space in your home? Our list of clever small space living solutions doesn’t stop there. From storage hacks to using colour and light to create the illusion of more space our styling experts have come up with some fantastic interior design tricks to make your home feel more spacious. Read all the advice in our small homes hub, including our 6 steps to stylish compact living and small dining room ideas, and make relaxing and entertaining a breeze.

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