IS YOUR HOME A SHOEBOX?

No one likes living in a shoebox, but a decorated jewellery box? Okay still no, but stay with me. Small spaces are notoriously difficult to decorate, purely because you might put a piece of furniture in there and realise you don’t actually have room for… well, anything else. With a few tricks and tips, you can maximise your space and still retain all of your walls.

PROPORTION

Proportion is key in any room. If you have a stadium sized living room, you’re not just going to chuck in an armchair and a flowerpot and call it a day. You’re going to want furniture that fills the space accordingly, no matter what the scale. With a small area, you want small furniture; seems a given, yet we all try to cram elephants into match boxes under the guise bigger is better no matter what. It’s not. It can throw off the balance and make the room feel smaller. Look at the space, and furnish accordingly.

life tip: DON’T BUY STUPID SPACE WASTING FURNITURE.

Leggy Lounge

If you have a couch that has no legs, essentially with its bottom on the floor like a big lump of springs and stuffing, it’s excellent for hiding dust bunnies but it looks chunky and it chews up light. Invest in some lovely leggy furniture that visually appears much slimmer and allows light to move around the space. Plus, aesthetically pending, you might even score yourself a bit of storage space. Not for your dust bunnies though.

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Single Stemmed Dining Table

This one’s pretty easy. Less legs = less visual clutter = streamlined space.

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Mirrors

An oldy but a goody. Have you ever been in a house of mirrors? I have. It was terrifying, and not because I ran full pelt into a deceptively angled panel and nearly broke my nose against…well, my nose. I’m slightly claustrophobic, and being in a space with both too much space and not enough completely freaked me out. Not that you should make your house into a house of mirrors…Okay, so what I’m struggling to say is any light you can get your hands on in such a small area is a godsend for creating the illusion of space. If you can double the amount of light you already have then you can visually double the space. Great for bathrooms and hallways which are traditionally tiny anyway. See what I’m getting at? No? Just look at the photos:

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Curtains

Another oldy but goody. If you have curtains, hang the rods about 30cm beyond each side of the window frame, and adjust the curtains accordingly. You will be astounded by the amount of impact this tiny adjustment can make to the size of your windows, and in turn, your space.

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Image from ApartmentTherapy.com

Also – sheers are huge this year and are a great, inexpensive way of diffusing light without adding any heaviness of the space.

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ORGANISATION IS KEY

I’m sure in school you would’ve heard this phrase more than your own name. Being organised in the home is a wonderful, wonderful skill that borderlines on inhuman ability. We like to collect shiny things, even if we have no where to put them. Brace yourself, I’m going to drop the “P word” – purge. Purge purge purge. And when you think you’ve purged enough, purge some more because trust me; you still have too much crap. If it doesn’t do the job practically, and if it can’t redeem itself visually, then it needs to go.

Once you’ve done the deed, it’s time to evaluate: where can I put this? Practical stuff is usually pretty ugly, so you want somewhere to hide it. Credenzas, buffets or sideboards are a beautiful way to hide plates, blenders, keys, DVDs, magazines and all that stuff that just seems to accumulate by itself (side note: I don’t accumulate blenders, I swear), as well as giving you a surface to display your most prized wares. There’s some beautiful danish inspired ones floating around at the moment.

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1. Malmo Buffet, $1199 Dare Gallery
2. Sixties Buffet in Natural, $1199 Freedom Furniture
3. Austin Tasmanian Oak Buffet, $2299 Oz Design Furniture

If not a credenza, then maybe a cabinet or a bookshelf or at the very least a basket – it’s up to your needs and the needs of your space.

MIX IT UP

You want all different kind of textures in your space: wood, cotton, metals, glass, concrete, brick, scratchy linen, lovely linen, sheer material and it goes on! Texture, for me anyway, never fails. Layering it adds character and creates a visual buffer if you have too much of one thing.

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DON’T OVERDO IT WITH THE CRAZY

You don’t want to walk in and see a million different patterns blaring LOOK AT ME in stripes and zig zags of every colour of the rainbow. Don’t pack your wall full of artwork to the point where it feels like the walls are closing in around you. Keep It Simple Stupid, and limit your colour palette to three colours. Four TOPS, as long as one (or two) of them is a neutral. In saying this, don’t devoid your space entirely of any personality. You want a space with balance, not a creepy white asylum room.

That’s it! Hopefully you can take away a few space savvy tips after reading and rehash your home to its fullest.

All images sourced from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

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