How to decorate a small flat
Whether your cupboards are always overflowing, you find yourself squeezing past your bed or your wall art fantasies are just that: far too grand for your walls to accommodate, sometimes your home just isn’t quite as big as you would want it to be. Don’t worry, there’s no need to relocate just yet, there are plenty of tips and tricks for maximising space and making rooms appear larger. Here, we present six clever ways to ensure that the adage good things come in small packages rings true in your space.
Pieces with purpose
When a lack of square feet poses a problem, multi-functional items – that are also beautiful – are like the Holy Grail. Ideally, however, every piece of furniture in a small home should have a multitude of uses. There are some classic choices that should always be incorporated: sofa beds, nesting tables and storage chests can be important features in a room, whilst also being very practical.
Thinking outside of the box is also key when it comes to multi-functionality. If you don’t have enough floor space for a side table to be a permanent fixture, why not invest in stacking shelves? They lend plenty of flexibility: the top one can quickly be removed to create another surface when needed. If you have a specific requirement, design-led companies are full of innovative ideas too: you can find everything from mirrors that double up as ironing boards to foldable chairs that can be hung on a rail.
Simple and timeless, neutral walls are a good choice for a smaller home as they won’t overpower the space – you can add pops of colour with furniture and accessories. Plain white reflects the light, which can make rooms appear larger, but, depending on opinion, can make a space look light and airy or a little stark. Don’t feel restricted, there are plenty of other neutrals to choose from: off-white creates a slightly warmer atmosphere whilst eggshell ensures that a room feels open but inviting. Or you could venture into very soft shades of pastels or grey, which have the same effect but make a more personal statement.
Ensure your petite home will be the fairest of them all with plenty of mirrors. A well-placed mirror not only adds character, it will reflect the light, making a room appear bigger and brighter. The same principle goes for mirrored furniture too.
If you’re worried that a sofa or console table looks squeezed into a room, place a full-length floor mirror behind it to create a prominent feature instead – a mirror that is the same width as the piece of furniture will work best. Small rooms are often lacking windows, so create more by placing a mirror opposite one; it will amplify natural light and allow you to appreciate the views outside from additional angles. Looking to create a gallery wall with artwork and pictures? Consider including an array of small mirrors here too – they will ensure that the effect won’t be too claustrophobic.
Extend in style
The chances are, you won’t have eight people to dinner every night of the week, but it is certainly nice to have the option when you want it. So, choose an extendable dining table – perfect for cosy family dinners but they can expand to fit all your friends too. And, it’s not just dining tables. There is a plethora of clever pieces that extend and will help you make the most of your space: everything from benches to console tables.
Sit and store
Stools may be tiny, but they are mighty in a small flat. Need extra seating around the dinner table? Check. Require an additional side table when guests come over? Check. A dressing table seat? Check. A place to perch drinks and nibbles? Check. Their uses are endless, and, most importantly, they are very good at being tucked away when not in use. In fact, they love it. Trunks offer similar seating and surface options, plus, they have plenty of useful interior storage that is ideal for stowing away extra cushions or throws.
If you don’t want to take up precious real estate with a floor lamp, and you can’t find a place to display a table lamp, don’t overlook the wall lamp – they can provide light in the darkest of corners. Not to mention the fact that they can act as artwork as well. Create a focal point by framing pictures with a pair of wall lights, which will also lend a grand sense of symmetry to your home or choose those with artistic designs to add character. Wall lamps with a flatter profile are a great choice as they won’t protrude, which is more visually appealing in a small space.