First things first: in small spaces every piece of furniture has to have a reason for being there and, where possible, multitask. Also, go for pieces with clean, sleek lines – big furniture won’t make a small room feel more comfy, it will weigh it down. Another important factor to bear in mind when space Is at a premium is how you use it. For example, if you entertain regularly, you could invest in wooden cubes that double up as coffee tables, seating for guests and transportable storage areas that can be dotted throughout the home.
Bobby Berk. A neutral palette, warm wood and tactile upholstery make this bijou space more inviting, while the clean lines of the furniture from my new range create a lighter feel
SHELVES: Get stuff up, up and away – open shelving doesn’t just look great, it covers a lot of unused space, making it a savvy storage option. CUSHIONS: When mixing colours, textures and patterns pick ones that complement each other to create cohesion. BED: If space is tight, multitasking pieces are key. This bed doubles as a seating area and has storage inside
In terms of choosing a colour palette, pale neutral shades should be your go-to. Subdued tones such as dove grey, biscuit and chalky pink really open up small spaces and are the perfect foil for vibrant accessories. It is worth noting that light shades make walls recede, while dark colours will envelop the space, making the walls close in.
Once you have worked out your colour palette, it’s time to focus on textures and patterns. You need to find a balance between not too plain but not too busy. In a bedroom, for example, try white sheets then add a throw in a neutral shade. This will provide enough texture without relying on bright pops of colour, which can make a small room appear cluttered.
For those wanting to make a statement, a gallery wall is the way to go – but use it wisely. When hanging pictures start high to draw the eye upwards, this will give the room a sense of height and make use of every bit of space. Also be bold with your selection of pictures – small images slotted in between larger ones will actually make the wall look larger and setting them against a white or pale backdrop will enable your artwork to blend seamlessly into its surroundings.
A common mistake people make with a small space is trying to divide up living areas using colour blocking or creating hard lines. This approach will make your space feel cramped as opposed to cohesive. Instead focus on one design thread that can be carried throughout the home, such as a colour or pattern, to create a sense of unity.
CABINETS: In this galley kitchen handle-free cabinets and clutter-free surfaces create a seamless, more spacious look. SHELVES: A walk-in pantry gives the illusion of roominess and the tall cabinets make use of every bit of wall. FLOOR: Here dark colours contrasted with neutral tones add depth to a small area
Just because space is tight doesn’t mean you can’t be bold. This gallery wall’s mix of prints looks fabulous
A round table offers the same amount of usable table space as a similar-sized rectangular one but has a smaller footprint
TRY THESE FOR SIZE
Make your pad feel palatial with Bobby Berk’s space-saving solutions
FROM LEFT: King of the flat-pack, Ikea has done it again with this nifty easy-to-assemble storage unit – Unit, £195, ikea.com; Hanging baskets, £129, nunido.co.uk
FROM LEFT: This sofa comes in a box and can be assembled in minutes – Sofa, £899, snugshack.co.uk; Not just stylish but collapsible, too – so easy to put away when not in use – Paper vase, around £17, octaevo.com
FROM LEFT: Mirror, £379, heals.com; Tin boxes, £29.95 for three, hurnandhurn.com; Wooden cubes can double up as seats, storage areas and foot stools – Cube, £39, dunelm.com; Benches are ideal as they can be slotted under the table when not in use – Dining bench set, £349, made.com
Bag a basket
From left Basket with bamboo handles, £45, olliella.com. Lidded basket, £80, habitat.co.uk. Throw, £50, wattleanddaubhome.co.uk. Wire basket, £11.31, homebase.co.uk. Two woven baskets, £180 for set of three, amara.com. ‘Mice’ basket, £20, edit58.com. Leather-handle basket, £38, yonderliving.com. Red lidded basket, £90, habitat.co.uk. Triangles throw, £455, padlifestyle.com. Small seagrass basket, £105, bloomingville.com. Basket used as planter, £66 for set of two, maisonsdumonde.com. Fig tree, £89, marksandspencer.com. On wall: straw hat, £69, toa.st/uk