Petite Spaces: Feng Shui and Design
When working with petite spaces, scale and function are held under a magnifying glass. This distillation of space requires careful planning and meticulous organization. Larger spaces are less critical when it comes to details. You’re generally painting with a broad brush and there are more options for establishing zones of use. Petite spaces, whether they be condos, studios, or tiny homes, require greater attention to the details of daily life to develop the space for optimum use.
One of the most difficult objectives is getting all the use desired without clutter. In order for a small space to feel expansive rather than cave-like, it’s imperative to avoid cramming it too full of furnishings. Leaving open spaces will not only make the room FEEL larger, but it will create better qi flow and traffic patterns. This is a key element in the overall design and flow.
This may seem counterintuitive, but move furnishings away from the walls, even if only by a couple of inches. This allows for an unimpeded qi flow. When you move the sofa away from the wall, add lighting that will wash up the wall and underneath the sofa for added depth and drama. Lighting is critical in a compact space. Use uplights to wash dark corners and rope or LED strips behind furniture. You’d be surprised how this will visually expand the space and it will have the added benefit of solving the problem of stagnant qi in the corners…moving it around the room.
A monochromatic palette gives a space airiness and visual flow. The eye moves easily and unimpeded. The furnishings flow into the architecture, creating the illusion of roominess. Well-placed mirrors will also open a space and move the qi. Place mirrors so they reflect the outdoors but avoid placing a mirror directly opposite the entry,
Avoid filling corners with furnishings. Instead, add nature in the form of large specimen live plants. It will soften the overall look and improve indoor air quality. Uplight them from behind to create an intricate play of light and shadows…and a lot of drama.
Be mindful of scale but not everything has to be a miniature version. Create a focal point, whether it be a large piece of art, a fireplace, or a central piece of functional art such as a live-edge table. And that brings me to the last element: natural materials. Natural materials such as linen, natural wood, and stone will add natural coziness to your petite space. Never neglect to introduce thoughtfully curated, hand-crafted art, either as decor or as functional pieces, to personalize the space. Accessories can be overdone to the point of looking cluttered, but a few mindfully selected pieces will tell your story and infuse the space with your personal energy.
If you need help optimizing your small space, contact me for a consultation by email, through the contact form, or phone: 619-793-4812