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Why downsizing doesn’t have to be daunting

The dark green walls. The boho-meets-mid-century vibes. And those cats. Our Home Tour with Cologne-based student Nanda Schwarz is one of our most popular features for a reason. So when she decided to downsize from her generous apartment to a more petite space (rising rents are a thing in Cologne, too), we had to know how the story continued. Here, Nanda tells us how to fit a large home into a small space. Curtain up for the second act:

@nanda_schwarz

@nanda_schwarz

1. You really need less than you think. For me, moving into a smaller space was the perfect opportunity to reassess what I own. I donated most of my dinnerware for example – all I have in the kitchen now is six plates, six mugs and a few bits and bobs.  

2. Decorate with intention. I made the conscious choice to colour block, like the yellow sofa next to the blue rug. This adds interest without creating the cluttered feel that too many decorative objects can bring. 

3. Build your own! Small flats are full of nooks and corners where off-the-shelf stuff won’t fit. Measure your space and have boards cut from pine – it’s a cheap material and loads of DIY shops actually offer bespoke cutting services. I designed and built my entire kitchen and the two mezzanines: one in the living room for sleeping, one in the hallway for storage.

4. Folding tables are a good call. Mine’s a flea market find and it’s so versatile – it doubles as a work space and dinner table. I also have some folding chairs, which are perfect for parties. 

5. Pick furniture that comes with extra storage: the Roscoe storage bench in my hallway has space for shoes, bike helmets and umbrellas. Without it, the place would turn into one big trip hazard!

@nanda_schwarz

@nanda_schwarz

Article written by: Lisa Wenske

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