Danube home expert
Your decorating and DIY questions solved by the interiors specialist
Q Until recently I’ve always lived with my family but, following a new job, I’m now planning to set up home on my own in a studio flat. Can you give me some suggestions for furniture and accessories?
A Congratulations on moving into your own space. Start your flat-furniture hunt by asking yourself these questions: Will you be spending a lot of time at home? Will you be entertaining? Or will this simply be a space to crash out for the night?
If you’re simply looking for a sleeping space then get yourself a comfortable bed, a wardrobe, a beanbag, a table and you’re good to go.
But, assuming your studio will be a fully fledged living space, here are some suggestions:
Begin by creating a clean canvas. This means having freshly painted nude or pastel walls and a clean floor stripped of all traces of old carpets. Now you can go furniture shopping.
Avoid over-decorated, bulky furniture. Choose multifunctional units and ensure there is inbuilt storage space. I recommend clean, modern furniture in light colours. You can introduce colour in small pieces such as beanbags, bed linen and cushions.
Consider a sofa-bed or a bed with storage units at the bottom. A bunk bed with a desk or storage space at the lower level is a great option too. A small sofa plus low coffee table is a must. Also get yourself a shelving unit, a TV console and a beanbag. A small table with two chairs can be used to study and eat. If you’ve builtin wardrobes, excellent. If you don’t, get a wardrobe with hanging space as well as shelves and drawers.
Zone off your studio flat – the main door should lead into a living area, with the bedroom area behind it. Place your television on a wall and a small console below it. This will anchor the television as well as create a top for party snacks. Keep all your AV equipment plus CDs/DVDs in the console and make it your one-stop entertainment unit.
Separate the ‘bedroom’ by using a large, multi-purpose shelving unit. Choose the strongest and most stylish that you can afford, as this will be the centre of attention. Store books, dishes and souvenirs on the upper shelves. Use the lower shelves to place baskets or drawers that can hold a variety of things. Place your bed on the other side of this ‘divider’. If you have room, place a tiny bedside table, again with drawers, on the side and a small rug on the floor.
Place the desk/dining table and chairs in one corner with a hanging lamp above. A small sofa for two, low coffee table with a rug below, beanbag, two box seats or garden stools and large, colourful floor cushions should round off your living area.
Now that you have your studio sorted out, personalise your space without overcrowding. A favourite piece of wall art or quirky cushion covers can liven up a room. Place your often-read books and holiday souvenirs on the shelving unit – and your flat is now a home.
Adel Sajan Director, Danube Buildmart