Styling Small Spaces (And Making the Most Out of Them)

Working with small spaces, particularly in the most ‘functional’ spaces of the home, for example the kitchen and bathroom, is undeniably tricky. We all know the tricks about keeping things light and bright, adding colour in with accessories and so on. But what about when it comes to adding personality and decorative items to your space? Where do they go?

Avoid over-cluttering your small space but achieve the interior designs of your dreams, with these quick tricks:

The Illusion of Counter Spaces

Counter spaces in the kitchen and bathroom and table tops everywhere else tend to get cluttered with household items when working with – and living in – a small space. Cluttering your worktops and bathroom sinks by squeezing things in makes the space look smaller because it negates all those clean, straight lines and the eyesight is constantly interrupted.

To preserve this illusion, take advantage of wall space. For example, rather than squeezing things next to the tap, mount your stylish glass soap dispenser on the wall. It’s convenient and where it needs to be, but doesn’t feel in the way or shoved in. In the kitchen, try installing a rail between countertops and wall cabinets and then buy hooks. You’ll be able to store utensils, pots for tea, coffee and sugar as well as decorative items.

Guide The Eye Upwards

This is the oldest trick in the book for small spaces – particularly for small bathrooms. If you can’t go out, go up.

A long, thin or portrait shaped mirror or piece of art should be installed at chin level. The height will draw the eye up, in contrast to a smaller, squarer mirror that might eat up wall space. Due to the light reflecting qualities, this is particularly effective with mirrors, but does work well with mounted art, too. You’ll be able to add a splash of decor, without interrupting the flow of space.

Customise Your Space

If you’re working with a unique or small space, finding furniture that satisfies every need is tricky. Especially when you’re starting to look for things that can be multipurpose. These can be very expensive designs and often end up being a compromise and not fitting the space properly anyway.

Getting a carpenter to build bespoke furniture or storage solutions means your space can look exactly as you want it to. Yet more importantly, you can customise your design to integrate smoothly and naturally into the rest of the space, matching the colour of the walls and blending into the background and give the illusion of adding space. Although chunky storage might sound like it’s space-eating, if you’ve designed your space well and determined how much can be hidden away under the stairs cupboards or custom wall shelves in an awkward alcove, it’ll free up the rest of the room without clutter.

How to decorate a small apartment

Use Functional Items as ‘Decor’

If you’re working with a very small space, it’s likely that every shelf, drawer and surface is spoken for. Unfortunately, this means less space for styling or decor items – that although aesthetically pleasing and add personality to a space, are unlikely to serve a purpose. Incorporating functionality with your style is the best way to decorate a tiny space.

Considering both your small storage and electronics is a good place to start. Small storage baskets and boxes are incredibly useful for keeping everything organised, which we’ve established is never more important than in a small space. They can also add colour, texture and interest into a small space. For example, choose a black, metal basket to store towels or bathroom necessities rather than just putting them on a shelf. This could compliment the finishes in the room and contribute towards an ‘industrial’ or masculine aesthetic.

In turn, electronics, particularly lighting, add a lot to a room. A kitsch, animal-shaped lamp will add personality and playfulness to a space, without clutter. In turn, choosing brands and designs for things like speakers or turntables could also juxtapose or coordinate with the style of your space. There are lots of designs to complement mid-century aesthetics in particular, for example, SMEG fridges and kitchen appliances or Marshall speakers and technology.