Many families in Barbados and the Caribbean who live in chattel houses can give you entertaining stories of life in chattel houses. These stories include valuable small space storage tips and how they managed in such small spaces. Chattel houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries are described as modest dwellings. However, this was a vague description that did not address how innovative, efficient and effective these homes are and were. The proof of this lies in the creation of a home that provides shelter and safety for all members of the family.
Small Space Storage Tips
If you live in a home where space is a premium, you will benefit from these tips from people who lived or live in chattel houses. Storage space in chattel houses, tiny houses and small apartments may be minimal and homeowners will have to be creative where there are no closets or storage rooms.
1. Practice Minimalism
The minimalist decorating journey, which was started in the early 1900s, is based on making everything functional. The challenge comes when homeowners have to pare down and change their mindset about the items that they own. The “less is more” approach is very valuable and forces you to get creative about the pieces in the home.
2. Utilise Corner Nooks
Because chattel houses are either square or rectangular in shape, there are several corners on the inside of the home. Corners of rooms are often overlooked and unused spaces. This may be due to a design layout that does not see corner space as useable or even important. However, in a chattel house, corner nooks are valuable square footage that can be used for imaginative storage. I have seen corners used for display nooks, floating shelves, bookcases, micro closets or neat office areas.
3. Use Multi-Purpose Furniture
Because space was at a premium in chattel houses, rooms served several purposes. This thought process can also be applied to furniture. Multi-purpose furniture will allow you to configure your small space as efficiently as possible. Coffee tables with storage; murphy beds in small bedrooms; desks that double as entertainment consoles; and kitchen islands that can be used as dining tables are excellent ideas for a small area.
4. Keep Everything in Its Place
In addition to these tips, keeping the home clear of clutter is one of the easiest ways to give the illusion that you have more space. Although it is not a small space storage tip, it is one which inspires you to utilize various tricks to hide stuff that’s not in use. By keeping everything in its place, your home will feel lighter and appear bigger.
5. Embrace Outdoor Space
As recent as the 1950s, people who lived in chattel houses, embraced outdoor space. Some of it was done out of necessity and some for basic survival, Daily activities such as cooking on outdoor fires; bathing outside and using pit toilets; and children spending long days outdoors playing with each other; extended the concept of home beyond four walls. Many tiny homes have utilize outdoor patios and kitchens as an extension of the home.
Because the chattel house housed several generations of one family, the way space was utilized was very important. Sleeping quarters and living areas may have been the same space. So, this meant that the chattel house was a multi-functional space where rooms had more than one purpose. In more modern chattel homes, several rooms are created, however, they may be small and still require the same space management techniques.