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Designing for small spaces

7 November, 2014 / Category: Blog

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If you live in a home that’s big on charm but small on space, home decoration can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it’s a studio, a condo, or a cosy family home, restricted parameters often require careful planning to both furnish and adorn. But not all hope is lost. By familiarizing yourself with a few simple design principles, revamping your small space could revive your home, and increase its value.

Infolio have put together seven ways of making the most of what you’ve got.

Keep it light

Melbournians love to wear black, but when decorating a smaller home, this shade is best avoided. Opting for a lighter colour palette will make your property feel brighter and more spacious. Where possible, try to stick to a single tone to unify the home; the chosen hue will pull everything together and make the space feel more expansive. To add interest, try adding a feature wall in a smaller space, such as a kitchen nook, or a doorway.

Forget the coffee table

If you’ve got an impressive collection of coffee table books, you may have to compromise on their display. In smaller living areas, items such as coffee tables can make the space feel cramped and harder to negotiate. But no lounge is complete without a place to rest your tea; so what are your options? A side table or two are great alternatives to their coffee table counterparts. You can place them in pairs in front of your lounge, or on their own to the side. Whatever their arrangement, side tables are a great way to capitalize on your limited space.

Get creative with storage

In smaller homes, there is always the risk of running out of space for storage. The trick here is to get creative. Scan your home for the spaces that exist both below and above your furniture. Tidy baskets can be placed beneath your bed, while nifty boxes can be kept above wardrobes and cupboards. If you’re lucky enough to have stairs in your home, make use of the space below. Nooks and crannies are the perfect places for keeping things out of the way.

Leave room for reflection

Using mirrors to create more depth in a room is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and for good reason. Mirrors are a simple way of reflecting light and views, standing in as added windows to amplify your space. The trick is to not go overboard; there is no need for one per room. But one thoughtfully placed mirror could make all the difference to your home—perhaps in an entryway, or above a mantel.

Add a coat of paint

If you can’t paint the walls in your home because you are renting, there are still ways you can inject colour into your surroundings. Painting your furniture might sound a little like a craft project, but when done well results can be surprisingly chic. A new paint job on a bedframe, bedside table or chest of drawers can be just as impressive as a fresh coat of paint on your walls. Subtle accents such as these are an easy way to revive a smaller space.

Switch your thinking

Never underestimate the power of good lighting; and we’re not talking the hard-wired kind. A beautifully decorated room can end up feeling like a cave if you lack adequate lighting, or a waiting room if things get too bright. Investing in the right sort of lamps is key to getting the mood of a room just right. Finding fixtures that won’t overwhelm your small space can take some time, but it will be time well spent. Desk lamps can be placed atop of end tables and nightstands, while floor lamps can illuminate dark corners. Additional features such as plug-in wall sconces in hallways or above sofas can also work a treat, offering a subtle glow to boost the ambience of your room.

Know how to keep a secret

If furniture is angled in the corner of a room, the space that’s left behind can be used to store belongings. From baskets of extra linens, kids toys, craft supplies, or stationery, these hidden gems of space make all the difference when your cupboards are overflowing. Taking advantage of these gaps will allow you to hide your clutter—minimizing mess and maximizing space.

At the end of the day, it’s important not to let your limited space hold you back. Far from restricting decoration, a small home is your chance to get creative. As you can see, there are a host of techniques you can employ to make the most of what you’ve got. Even the smallest of spaces can be beautiful, easy, and practical, too.

Sincerely yours,


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