Let’s face it, while watching Grand Designs is great, the reality is, most of us are faced with at least decidedly small space. So how do we maximise that space? What’s the trick? Well there are many, but my biggest piece of advice would be don’t fight it. Some of the most beautiful spaces are humble in stature. So, take heart and let’s dive in!
Clear the clutter
Simple advice that you’ve probably heard a million times before, but it’s still the best advice you could get, that will make the most impact, especially if you happen to be a little on the ‘collectey’ side of life. It’s free, cathartic and transformative. Plus, once you’ve done it you feel like you can concur the world, so that’s a bonus! Stuff really is the thief of space. Consider what you want more, the ‘thing’ or the real estate it’s taking up? Books…steady now, there is nothing wrong with books. Personally, we love them! But do we really need all of those recipe books when in reality a quick search of google will give you every souffle recipe ever written? Consider how you live, what you use and what is really not needed or could be reduced in quantity. If you are a book lover and can handle reducing your book shelf, you my friend, can do anything you put your mind to! We all have our nemesis, clothes, books, unfilled paper work. Be honest with yourself, and get it done. Don’t get sucked into trips to Ikea to load up on bins and baskets. The idea here is reduction, not to hide it all away. This will just lead to more clutter. Where possible, try to use, discard or donate what you are not actually using. Tough love, sorry x
Consider your space
Sounds simple, but consider your space, what is its function? How do you want it to feel? Does it need to fulfil several functions? How many pieces of furniture do you need? Making a to scale plan of the room is a great way to get to grips with its actual dimensions. This will allow you to measure how furniture will work in the space and play with the arrangement, without having to actually keep re-arranging furniture in the space. Making this kind of plan is not at daunting as it sounds. Grab some graph paper and pen and off you go.
Now, there is certainly the argument to stick to light airy hues to make the space look bigger, but this is not always the best option. If for example you have a north facing small room, not amount of white paint is going to change that. Consider giving in to the smaller dimensions, the darker atmosphere and add depth with a richer colour. Be unapologetic about the space! What would the space look like if you treated it like a jewellery box? A little gem, an unexpected surprise? One of our personal favourites for creating a moody rich feel in a space is Mylands Artillery Ground, a deep black grey with great warmth coming through.
Keeping furniture off the ground with legs works wonders. Mid-century furniture in particular is a great example of how to make furniture work in small spaces, it’s practical, simple and always elevated on legs so that your eye is not stopped by the edge of the furniture. Play with scale, just because you are working with a small space don’t think you need to be choosing small prices. This is not necessarily true. A large piece can work equally well, provided it is not over crowded with other pieces. This is where clever design will be your best friend, thinking back to the function of the space, where can you bring in multi-tasking furniture. Pieces that work hard and take up little space. Folding furniture is also worth considering.
Keep window treatments to a minimum. Tidy and simple. Swags and pelmets and heavy curtains will just over power the space. Think about blinds, Roman for example that will sit neatly and not intrude on the space too much. If you want to go with curtains, then choose ones that are the same colour as the wall. This trick the eye into feeling that it is less cut off.
As with all of tips above all remember it’s your space, so follow what makes your heart sing! These tips are just guide and every rule is made to be broken. However big or small your space, choice pieces your love, colours you love and you will create a space that reflects you and that you will enjoy being in.