Times and circumstances have cast entirely different considerations on the use of very small spaces in interior environments. Commercial developments and residential adaptations now present many creative opportunities for excellent uses of small space. Once considered impossibly useless areas (often overrun with clutter), the nooks and crannies of the past are gems of opportunity as families and businesses approach contemporary needs with fresh eyes. With the onset of COVID isolation, creativity in small spaces has become even more relevant.
The evolution of “small is now bigger” concepts has been coaxed and nurtured by the shrinking space needed to do business. The simple realities of how our corporate “equipment” has gradually diminished in size, character, and volume, have widened the doors of opportunity in accommodation, function, and need. Some of these “doors” are on closets and pantries or lead to garages, just waiting to be converted from catch-alls to solutions!
It’s not like making efficient use of small spaces is anything new; those wonderful old Victorians had every nook and corner taken advantage of; it’s more about looking at a small space through a different end-use lens – not just in primary and adjacent use.
Some of us remember the days when the family doctor had his practice or his clinic attached to his residence, whereas only the hospitals were the external institutions. Clusters of medical services have gradually been consolidated into separate facilities. City lawyers also often had their offices on the ground floor and their lodgings above. What were traditional “old-fashioned” constructions slowly evolved into the separation of work and home.
It is interesting to observe the tendency to go back to versions of past models; however, without the burden of traditional bulk – equipment and storage! Small spaces that once weren’t used efficiently are now great opportunities. A laptop with its multiple applications (and the cloud) is an incredible contrast to the many cupboards, shelves, desks and filing cabinets that were once needed to run a business.
Your professional interior design team are experts in converting small spaces. New Work/Live building complexes are springing up in many communities as the concept of “compact” reaffirms as a model. Interior designers are pushing the efficiency paradigm to new and interesting lengths. Renovating your existing small spaces for much better use, or creating a new space, has inspired an interesting and economical design.
Service businesses have the ability to rethink location as well as function. A small detached unit on your residential property, or small additions or conversions to your existing structure may be the alternative answer to more expensive space in commercial installations. Commuting has long lost its charm (if it ever had!), and telecommuting now offers a much more palatable construct for many professionals. The potential in most residences for telecommuting positions is almost limitless! (…and no dress code required.)
Regardless of commercial needs, most residences contain some amount of “wasted,” misused, or underutilized space in small increments throughout the interior environment. That old adage about not being able to see the forest because of the trees may be your dilemma. Interior designers are forest and tree experts! When you realize you’re in a frustrating space crisis, it might be time to reach out to these experts for some solutions!
Robert Boccabella, BFA has been a director and founder of Business Design Services and a certified interior designer in private practice for over 30 years. Boccabella provides Designing to Fit the Vision© in collaboration with wri[email protected] To contact him, call 707-263-7073; email him at [email protected] or visit www.BusinessDesignServices.com or on Face Book at Business Design Services.