Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - WORDS: DANNI MOR­RI­SON

Large open-plan spa­ces, 4m ceil­ings, bed­rooms fit for a king and a but­ler. Doesn’t sound fa­mil­iar? What we see featured be­tween the glossy pages of in­te­ri­ors mag­a­zines isn’t al­ways re­lat­able to us here at home. Dec­o­rat­ing a tricky or small space, and nail­ing it, can be a very re­ward­ing ex­er­cise for your­self and of course for any guests who ap­pre­ci­ate style. Declutteri­ng is the first step in cre­at­ing a stylish new space. Not only will this be good for your soul, but to be able to vi­su­alise the road ahead means start­ing with a blank can­vas.

Utilise light colours, or the com­plete op­po­site, con­trast­ing a light and bright pal­ette with su­per dark and bold hues for added depth and the il­lu­sion of a larger space.

Neu­tral, muted colours can ap­pear dull

and a lit­tle dreary in more com­pact spa­ces. You’ll want your colour pal­ette to be dy­namic to make up for the size.

State­ment decor pieces and green­ery, in­stead of grouped small items, of­fer a sense of el­e­gance and lux­ury, us­ing neg­a­tive space to main­tain added in­ter­est. Re­mem­ber not ev­ery sur­face needs styling, es­pe­cially in small spa­ces, let the furniture breathe and speak for it­self.

Rugs, large mir­rors or wall art can do won­ders for small spa­ces. Rugs have the abil­ity to define rooms, great for sec­tion­ing pub­lic spa­ces like liv­ing and din­ing rooms. Large, hero art­work can act as a fo­cal point, al­low­ing the eye to move through the room and set­tle on the piece of art. Mir­rors are one bet­ter again, and when hung on the dark­est wall, they re­flect light around the room.

Strate­gic light­ing is an­other way to give the il­lu­sion of size. Mul­ti­ple light sources, for ex­am­ple, down­lights, lamps and a gor­geous pen­dant not only add in­ter­est, but they light up the en­tire room, in par­tic­u­lar, spa­ces that lack nat­u­ral light.

Choose furniture pieces that have ex­posed legs, or are lifted off the ground, prefer­ably with a storage op­tion or multi-pur­pose ac­tion. For ex­am­ple, up­hol­stered ot­tomans not only act as a cof­fee ta­ble but have added storage. Metal bed frames give the im­pres­sion of size as your eye moves un­der the frame it­self. Mak­ing ed­u­cated de­ci­sions on furniture pieces is so im­por­tant and can re­ally make or break a small space.

For more in­te­rior de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, visit­sign­by­

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