The first time I set foot in this house, it was the view from the living room window that won me over. The real estate agent could see I was ‘sold’ and immediately stopped talking so I could take it in. The house is small, but it’s the view that makes it feel spacious. It’s taught me that space is a very different thing to spaciousness, which is a quality you can create in any room.
I think that having a view is important for mental health. Every morning when I drink my coffee, I look out my windows and think how lucky I am to have such a great view. It helps me think, it helps me relax, and when we go away for the weekend it’s the image of home that I keep in my mind.
The last house we lived in didn’t have any large windows downstairs, and the floor-to-ceiling windows upstairs looked out onto a carpark, which decreased the amount of privacy we had. I know many small-space dwellers have similar issues. So here’s a list of things you could try if you don’t have much of a view:
- Hang some great artwork. This picture by my dad (above) is really special to me, because it was a gift from him, but also because I am still trying to guess what he meant by it. You can hang some thought-provoking artwork cheaply by putting a few postcards or small prints in a frame.
- Get a fish tank. We decided that we wouldn’t get a cat or a dog so that we could keep life simple and go away for the weekend at a moment’s notice. But a goldfish is really no trouble. They can survive for a few days with a special ‘weekend food block’. And watching Guido swim around is relaxing and great for children.
- Display your photos. On our computer, we have several thousand photographs from our travels to some of the most beautiful places in the world: the UK, Europe, Latin America and of course, rural Australia. You can create a rotating display of your photos on a digital photo frame or tablet. Then you don’t need to worry about printing out your photos, and it’s a great conversation starter.
- Screen it out. If your view is really unattractive, you could hang sheer white curtains. They obscure the view but still allow light to come in. I’ve had them before, and they looked quite romantic.
And one thing I often do is rearrange my furniture. I’ve always loved doing this, because it helps you see your space in new ways. I’ll be sharing some photos of our most recent furniture move in an upcoming post, so check back soon!
More articles on small space living:
- Downsizing? Read my Small Home Buyers’ Guide!
- Can you raise children in a small space?
- The Small Space Living Series Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
PS: Look what I got for Mothers’ Day!