Making the most of your space: Opening up the smallest room in the house

We love making our homes cosy, comfortable and stylish – and we’re pretty good at it too. We know what styles we like, what colours work well together, where to find those pieces that just pull a whole room together – we just have a knack for it.

It means that our homes are very welcoming and inviting spaces, which is something we’re really proud of. But there’s nothing worse than being house proud and having that one room that just won’t work for you.

It’s so poky that natural light doesn’t seem to hit it quite right, the furniture doesn’t quite fit, the corners seem all dark and squished and no matter what pieces you put in there, the space just doesn’t come together. A small room will never work, unless you know the tips and tricks to brighten it up, make the most of the space you do have and make the interior work with you. A little work, a few tweaks and some know-how can make all the difference, meaning your small space could become one of your favourite cosy rooms in no time!

Use sconces instead of lamps

Tubular Black Sconce

Lamps take up floor space and countertop and table space – they’re cluttering and use up valuable space. But they’re essential, especially as small rooms need all the light they can get to make them feel larger. The simple solution? Sconces!

Overhead lighting often fails to provide the ambiance that lamps can provide, but small spaces deserve to have nice mood lighting too! Sconces are the perfect in-between as they don’t take up valuable floor or surface space, but instead attach to the walls and give all the mood lighting you need!

Strategic, stylish and functional storage

Chair and wooden table placed near window with curtains in home office with TV set

While we've all done massive clear outs during lockdown, one thing that still isn't quite working for us is our storage. In a small room it’s particularly difficult, because no matter how much we store away, the place still looks cluttered simply by virtue of being small.

However, purely functional storage isn’t the answer either – we believe storage can be beautiful as well as practical. A woven basket in the corner, a sleek ottoman with storage inside – there are lots of ways to incorporate your storage into your interior design.

Long legs rather than clunky bases

A chunky base, like a coffee table that’s built like a block or a cabinet that reaches all the way to the ground or a couch that has the legs covered are all going to be big blocks of floor space taken up in a small room. Whereas pieces that have slim legs like this table allows for the floor to be seen beneath it, giving the illusion of much more floor space than you actually have.

Lots of light

Laptop on armchair near table with glassware in apartment

This means in your colour scheme as much as from your natural or overhead lighting. Take away the net or dark curtains and replace them with airy light curtains, get rid of your big dark wood cabinet and replace it with lighter woods and colours. A light colour scheme automatically attracts more light into a space, making it seem larger than it really is.

Use glass and mirrors

Woman Using Her Laptop

Reflective surfaces reflect light as well giving the optical illusion of creating more space. A large mirror strategically placed can make a major difference to a previously cramped room. And when places by a window, it will bounce more light into the space and open everything up.

Use large pieces rather than small

Modern apartment with stylish couch and creative decorative elements

Using lots of small pieces like lots of little armchairs and side tables scattered around the place will actually make the place feel smaller, even if your intention is to fit more inside a small room. Almost counter-intuitively, larger pieces like a massive comfy sofa and singular coffee table, work better in a small space as it feels like you’re using it properly rather than trying to cram as much in as you can.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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