Tips for designing a small space

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A cramped abode can feel claustrophobic, but with a little smart design, it is possible to create an elegant space, even in the tiniest of homes.

Whether you’re a city dweller or you’re nurturing an expanding family, most of us have rooms that are smaller than we’d like – from kitchen to bedroom.

If you have a cosier space, it is vital to select the best furniture and make smart accessory choices. Here are some tips to help you decorate a stylish and practical smaller room.

Create Zones

Effective interior design always works around practical uses – and this is no less important in compact spaces. First, think of all the things you will do in a space – from eating to working and entertaining guests. Then, use furniture, curtains or even bold colours to create the illusion of separate rooms.

Renowned designer David Kaihoi is known for collating bold colours to make a big impact in small spaces. This technique can transform your studio apartment into a sleek, partitioned, open-plan living space.

The pressures of modern living can take their toll if you don’t make space for all aspects of life – zoning off part of a kitchen or bedroom to make up for a missing lounge is a great way to create comfort in your home.

Meanwhile, a ‘cloffice’ is a cross between a closet and office – meaning you can close the doors down on work when you’re finished, and guests will never know.

Go dual purpose, every time

When selecting furniture, it makes sense to double-up on practical use and storage potential. A stylish ottoman makes a great seat, a stylish centrepiece and a secret storage hub, and under-sink storage means you don’t have to take up precious bathroom storage space with a separate cabinet.

Try a nifty storage bed like these from Divan Beds Centre, and save the need for a large wardrobe. Plus, these beds come in a wide range of sizes, making them suited for even the smallest of bedrooms.

In fact, buying bigger but fewer furnishings is a great trick to make small spaces feel cool and controlled. As a rule, if you can’t see at least one metre of clear wall space, your room is too busy.

Make intelligent use of mirrors

Mirrors are the oldest trick in the book when it comes to creating the illusion of space. But, you need to make smart decisions to really make the most of their reflective effects.

Whole-wall mirrors like these bespoke options from made2measure can balance out long spaces, while large, free-standing mirrors work best in medium-sized rooms.

Using mirrors opposite windows or behind fitted furniture can create the illusion of further space and an open, entrance-like feeling. Whole-wall mirrors hung behind panels create the illusion of another whole room just behind – great if you want to add an airy feel to a cosy lounge.

Think big and beautiful when creating a spacious feel using mirrors – the trick is to hang them where a hallway or a window would naturally look at home.

Get rid of the clutter

Clutter is never a good look, but when you have a smaller canvas to work with, it’s easier for spaces to end up feeling crowded. Steady patterns create a peaceful feel, and strategic, sparse shelving is showcases your spacious look.

Remember to edit your space and think carefully about the items on display. If they don’t contribute to the visual theme, store them away.

Think bespoke

Purpose-built furniture can really save a small space, creating otherwise-impossible visual and practical potential. Whether your child’s bedroom is too snug for a standard bed, or you have a spare corner that won’t quite fit a desk – custom built furniture can make small rooms ‘work’, and it’s more affordable than you might think.

The best part of specially-made furniture is it can be personalised to your unique style. Take a look at this guide to buying bespoke furniture to find out how to make it work for you.

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