Sponsored guest post by Yuki Hayashi Design inspiration surrounds us. You can find it in everyday places like a cool café (love those reclaimed timber tables!), your fave decor shop (naturally), even an unexpected trigger like an accessory, appliance or gadget. After all, some living room redesigns start with an upholstery sample. Diehard foodies have been known to remodel their kitchen around a top-of-the-line range and pro-style refrigerator. Others may take big-picture inspiration from the form-and-function ethos of an amazing tech gadget. For example, your sleek, brushed metal laptop may sell you on the utilitarian value of a modern and minimalist home office space, even if you used to be a diehard magpie. On that note, I recently found new design and home-improvement inspiration in a surprising source: First Alert’s Atom smoke and fire alarm. With its sleek-and-petite design, it packs maximum protection into a micro package. And it’s designed for real life, with a long-life battery, extra-loud siren, and easy-to-install clip system. Bonus: its photoelectric sensors are more sensitive than ionization-based alarms for improved detection of slow-burning, smoldering fires. It also promises fewer false alarms. The Atom got me thinking about some of my own real-life home and design concerns: First: Why go big, when you can go perfectly small? The overarching real estate trend is rightsizing: finding the right-size home for your lifestyle, with cost- and energy-efficiency in mind. My family is considering a move. But the homes in our desired neighbourhood are either tiny or large, with little in between. I dread the idea of downsizing with a kid still in middle school. But The Atom reminds me that great design can come in petite packages. The Atom, for example, is the world's smallest smoke and fire alarm, with a diameter of just 1.75-inches (versus 4-inches for a conventional smoke alarm). For my family of three, a smaller home may work just as well as a large one – maybe even better. Second: The need to be prepared I thought I was a stickler for home security, with my alarm system, multiple First Aid kits (seriously: my family keeps this industry in business), kitchen fire extinguisher, and a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on each floor. Actually… Experts recommend a smoke/fire alarm plus carbon monoxide alarm for every bedroom and each floor should have its own fire extinguisher. Plus an extra fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage. Oops! (Excuse me while I go shopping.) Third: The importance of clutter busting Obviously, all these extra alarms have to go somewhere, hence the need to cut visual clutter. I want the upstairs hall to be about my paintings, not a fire extinguisher (or do you think I could refer to it as a mixed media installation?!). Fortunately, solutions are easy: I’ll tuck my second floor fire extinguisher inside the linen closet, where I can reach it in a hurry, but it’s not in our faces 24-7. I placed the Atom in my daughter’s room. It’s the size of a shot glass and virtually invisible mounted above a display ledge of her anime collectibles . Atom inspiration I think the Atom’s placement in her room is fitting: like the nearby superheroes and supernatural creatures, this next-generation smoke and fire alarm packs one heck of a wallop in its tiny-but-mighty package. Now I’m wondering what other home-improvement projects may benefit from small thinking!