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Small is beautiful – how to make the most of your small spaces

A lot of us take our design inspiration from images we see online, from interior design books that we buy, from celebrity homes featured in the likes of Hello or from Sunday Times Style magazine etc.

Trouble is, often these are grandiose spaces, which bear little resemblance to the more modest spaces in which we’re likely to live.

With a little thought, and flair, you can transform your own small spaces into bastions of style. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to be consistently stylish in a smaller space – it’s certainly less of an investment!

Rule number one – there are no rules! But here our top ten tips to help you make the most of your small spaces…

  1. Avoid clutter – this may seem obvious, especially with space at a premium but it isn’t just about the aesthetic. Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and Dawna Walter’s Life Laundry have famously documented the benefits that lift the spirit when we strip things back. It’s especially true that decluttering breathes new life into your own small spaces.
  2. Use your wall space – sometimes an awkward or unusable corner can be the perfect place for a customised shelf to display your treasures and has the added bonus of freeing up space, which is at a premium.
  3. If you have a fabulous piece of furniture make that your focal point and ensure the accompanying pieces are lighter and lower – to support the impression of clean lines.
  4. Clever use of mirrors is a good trick to give a feeling of additional space and reflect the light – both natural and non-natural. Consider a gallery wall of mirrors for both practical and aesthetic purposes.
  5. Flood your small space with light from every possible source – natural light, lamps, fairy lights – all of which will be reflected in any mirrors you hang and further extend the feeling of light and space.
  6. Use lighter colours to maximise the feeling of space – unless you’re seeking to create a dark cosy dramatic environment. Sheer blinds and floaty muslin drapes can dress your windows without blocking out the light.
  7. Use a large rug to anchor the floor space. It won’t break up the floor and can be a staple for you to design the rest of your room around.
  8. Display your artwork strategically. If you move the paintings higher up or have a gallery wall to the ceiling it can visually seem as if the space is bigger.
  9. In a further bid to keep the floor clear, consider the use of folding pieces. Sometimes you might need to use your desk or need an additional table. But with stylish folding pieces you can bring these out only when you need to.
  10. And finally, if you stick to a limited colour palette – whether you’ve gone for bold and dramatic or light and airy – it will give your room a more cohesive look, be easier on the eye and show your pieces off to their best advantage.

Hopefully armed with these tips, you’ll have fun making the most of your small spaces. And the skills you’ll learn will enable you to work your design magic on any size of space you style in the future.

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