The Independent recently wrote that the UK is leading Europe in downsizing our living spaces.
‘Critics argue that the UK already has the smallest properties in Europe following the end of national guidelines in 1980. But soaring land and property prices and a shortage of new homes are fuelling overcrowding, which causes health problems including depression, insomnia and asthma.’
So what does this mean for architects, interior designers and space planners? Simply, a greater emphasis on making living spaces more efficient.
Adding space-efficiency can go a number of ways
- assigning multiple uses to the same space
- catering to different users at different times
So one example, a residential family home in London changed their hallway from its traditional transit function in the morning to a kids play area by day and a students study area at night.
Of course, combining uses in the same space sometimes require engineered solutions such as sofas that become beds, or fold away desks and cabinets. Generally, wall areas are overlooked in their ability to enhance spaces and instead decorated to blend with the primary function of the room.
Jeremy Lee, co-founder of MagScapes - says “enabling walls to work with magnets has to be one of easiest ways to improve space efficiency in the home or office”.
Magnets are unique in how they can be used either as decorative elements or to hold other items to the wall. Importantly, they take up very little space and can be removed quickly and cleanly.
Magnets have many uses:
- gallery of images
- notes or messages
- time planners
- tablets or smartphones
- numbers or letters
- menus or signs
- brands or logos
MagScapes, a British company, introduced the first magnetic wallpaper in 2006 and now manufactures a wide range of wallcoverings (From £30m2). The options include: paint, wallpaper, custom print, dry erase or chalkboard. Jeremy says “when you add custom print wallcoverings and magnets to the equation, the options for uses are limitless”
In short, magnets are becoming the designers best friend in making interior spaces more efficient - so expect to see them on a wall near you.