SMALL SPACE STYLE GUIDE
A scaled-down living zone doesn’t mean you have to scale down your look. We share tips, tricks and furniture finds to help design your petite rooms
If there’s barely room to swing a cat, don’t fret. These pieces pack a punch in a tight squeeze
You’ve heard all the rules about designing a small space – use light colours, avoid clutter, place your furniture close to the walls. But when it comes to choosing furniture and storage pieces, there is one overarching idea to keep in mind – versatility. If your key living zones are modest, then every piece has to justify its worth with maximum flexibilty. Different rooms call for different functions, and it’s worth thinking (hard) about how you really use each room, so you can plan a layout that fits with your lifestyle.
First up, the dining area, which may be combined with the kitchen or living space in a small home. Flow is very important here, especially in tighter spaces. Circular and elliptical-shaped tables will allow easier movement around the room and avoid any sharp corners. Pairing a curved table with a slimline bench against a wall works well. Fewer dining chairs clears visual clutter from the room, and a bench can be handy for squeezing in extra guests when needed. Pick small, light-framed chairs or even a pair of stools that can be tucked right under the table when not in use, or easily moved to other rooms.
Next? The living area. In petite floor plans, it’s often combined with the entry area, which means it needs to look good and offer storage options. The key is maximising the vertical space. Think wall-mounted shelves with hanging space below, combined with a bench with baskets underneath it. That’s shoes, coats, hats and keys sorted in one spot. The flexibility of these pieces will help relieve the clutter associated with compact spaces. Furniture that has multiple uses is essential. Consider ottomans and coffee tables that can be used as storage, as well as a footrest or casual seating, or sofas with built-in side tables. This is where form and function meet for the best results.
Don’t forget the bedroom, where you spend your precious sleep time. If you don’t have much space around your bed, choose slimline furniture. A bed frame raised on legs will look lighter than a base and ensemble. Wall-hung shelves and lights will free up even more space, and a ledge behind your bed can also be home to propped artworks or accessories. Mirrors are an old trick to effectively double the sense of space in any room, including your sleeping zone.
Small-space living doesn’t have to be limited. Keeping flexibility to the fore means smart design that will allow you to live big.
Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmBH ‘Coat Rack’ bench, $3530, Space Furniture, spacefurniture.com.au.
Karpenter ‘ Simply City’shelf, from $599, Life Interiors, lifeinteriors.com.au.
Bella Casa ‘Malmo’ open wardrobe, $1049, Temple & Webster, templeandwebster.com.au.