houses, small spaces

Big Small Space Ideas


Aside from the lower electricity bills, there are plenty of advantages to living in a small space. As small apartment owner August de Wet puts it, 'Living in a small space is about efficiency. It's hard work but it's rewarding.'

We take a look at a few of the reasons our small space homeowners love their tiny abodes, as well as ask their advice on how to manage less living space.

Manage your things

According to homeowner Bailey Bezuidenhout, small space living is 'a lesson in editing.' 'My top top for living in a small space is to rotate possessions,' she says.

On the other hand, your storage solutions can be as creative as you want. 'I like using attractive baskets to store things in. They are practical and beautiful,' says Liam Mooney.

When it comes to compact living, Matthew Kieser advises that you 'get furniture that fits.' Find his story on page 66 of HL March 2016.

kieser600 Matthew and Melissa Kieser chat around the dining table.

Pieter Botha, who lives in a small home on the Melville Koppies in Joburg, suggests that you start with only the essentials when moving into a place with limited space. 'Sometimes its just so liberating not to be bound by material things.'

Adhere to the three 'Ds' advises another small space homeowner, Jean-Pierre de la Chaumette: discard, declutter and donate. 'It's alarming how much stuff you don't actually need,' he says.


Read about Liam Mooney's 7 top chairs


Structural edits

'Remove doors to enhance flow,' says interior designer and collectaholic, Pam du Toit. Her 87-metre square space opposite Groote Schuur in Cape town is home to a variety of beautiful things that she's collected over the years. Limited space hasn't stopped Pam from indulging her affinity for beautiful objets, instead, she makes works to make it all fit perfectly. Find her story on page 52 of HL March 2016.


Read 4 small space tips for collectaholics


Small space favourites

Making the decision to downsize can be driven by a variety of reasons, including being more eco-conscious and having a sustainable lifestyle that doesn't require the use of as many resources as a larger property might.

'The best thing about living here is that it's really central and I can walk anywhere, a rare thing in Joburg,' notes industrial designer August de Wet, who lives in a 57-metre square apartment in Illovo. Find his story on page 36 of HL March 2016.

Bailey Bezuidenhout shares this sentiment. Living with her husband and twin toddlers in their apartment in Parkwood, Johannesburg, the Meet Kimmy & Bear cofounder says that it's the view of the Joburg skyline on one side and the park's tree tops on the other that really makes the space special. Find her story on page 44 of HL March 2016.


Read about Bailey's 5 favourite kid-friendly spots in Joburg.


Melissa Kieser loves the lock-up-and-go element to the small apartment she shares with her husband in Sea Point, Cape Town.

While Liam Mooney, whose 75-square metre space in Cape Town offers a sense of flow while still being layered with carefully curated objects, says he enjoys that his space offers an intimate feeling, something that's hard to achieve when you've got a cavernous space to fill.

All in all, small space living is perhaps an underrated endeavour, as the points made by these homeowners demonstrate.

Ready to take the plunge? Tell us what you think of compact living in the comments section below.