5 Interior Design Hacks To Make A Small Space Feel Luxe
Working as an Interior Designer in Sydney for so many years has fine-tuned my skills in making small spaces feel BIG.
Whether you’re moving out of home, downsizing your empty nest or relocating into the city, most of us will live in an apartment or a compact space at some point in our lives. I say, embrace it. Apartment-life really makes you reconsider which pieces deserve a place in your home. Plus, just think how much easier it will be to keep clean and tidy…
As a stylist, I enjoy the challenge of making the most of a small space! So I thought why not share some of my tricks with you for your own home.
1. Decide what matters most
The first place I want you to start is to sit down and think about what elements of your home you’re going to use the most.
Which rooms will you spend the most time in?
Which furniture will get the biggest workout?
What activities will you be doing most often?
From here, you can prioritise which areas you need to allow the most room for, and others that could be packed away and brought out when you need them.
Maybe you’re a household of two, with no need for a formal dining area or a large setting, but when friends come over on the weekend, you want some extra temporary seating. You could get creative with benches or stools that double as storage when they’re not in use. Or maybe you could make use of a nice outdoor space as your dining area rather than having one inside at all.
If you work from home every day, then you might be willing to give up a little living room space for an awesome study nook – but if you’re only home during your chill-out time like nights and weekends, then relaxation spaces need to be the priority, so in that case, you could make do with a small table that can be pulled out when you need it… Or just be like me and make the kitchen bench your desk!
These are the things I always like to learn about my clients when they first work with me. This way we can make sure their space is as functional as it is beautiful.
2. Do Double Duty
When you’re working with a small space, anything 2-in-1 will be your best friend. Here are a couple of my favourites for achieving this.
Store with seating
Besides making your space super flexible and functional, the second reason I love this hack is it’s just such a good use of space. A stool or bench with storage inside might not be very exciting on it’s own, but you can always add some stunning cushions or throws to make them feel special (and comfortable!)
Elevate your bed
As much as I personally love a bed frame with open space below, if I had to choose between that and more floor space in a teeny-tiny bedroom? I’m choosing floor space everytime! The last thing you want in your sleeping space is for it to feel cramped, so if you’re faced with a bedroom that doesn’t fit much more than a bed, I highly recommend ditching the tallboy and going for a bed with drawers. Bonus points if you can find some beautiful bedside tables with storage too…
3. Raise The Roof
Okay, not literally, but what I mean by this is using tricks to make your rooms feel more spacious. Watch and learn.
Make the most of mirrors
One age-old trick is making use of gorgeous mirrors to bounce around light. I like to get creative with how they’re displayed as well. Full body mirrors with ornate frames can look amazing simply sitting on the floor, and smaller versions can rest on top of console tables or dressers alongside your favourite accessories. These are also great options if you’re renting – or can’t be bothered messing around with wall mounting!
Invest in art and accessories
Another favourite trick of mine is placing tall artworks on or against your walls. This creates the illusion of more space between the floor and ceiling. The same goes for a statement floor lamp or big, beautiful indoor plant. The more you can draw people’s eyes upwards, the bigger and more luxurious your space can feel.
4. Cut the clutter
Keeping your space as open and clutter-free as possible is a must when space is limited. That doesn’t have to mean going totally minimal, but it does mean thinking very carefully about what gets to stay – and what needs to go!
When you’re working with a small space, you need to be cutthroat about every single piece that stays in your home. You’ll need to carefully curate every item, and only keep the things you absolutely love! If you don’t love it, or it just doesn’t work in the space, it’s time to go.
I love collecting beautiful items and I get really attached to them sometimes – so trust me – I know it’s hard! But you’ll thank yourself once you feel the difference it makes.
Go for tall and narrow storage
Your storage seating and under-bed drawers are a great start, but they’re not going to fit everything you own. So when it comes to extra storage, you need to think tall. High bookcases create an instantly high-end feel on their own, but also save you floor space at the same time. Oh, and if you have the option to install some floating shelves, do it!
Keeping your home clean, tidy and organised is one of the best ways to create a peaceful and relaxing space – and this is especially important in smaller homes! Pay particular attention to your storage areas like the pantry or your wardrobes. I’m a big fan of packing away any seasonal items and keeping the things you use often in sight so they are easy to access. I truly believe there is nothing better for your mind than to live in a clean and organised space, especially when it is small.
Psst… If you need some help decluttering your home for sale (or just for yourself), I can help. Learn more here or reach out for a free quote. I’d love to hear from you!
5. Let the light in
I love the drama of dark walls, tiling and furniture, but it doesn’t always work in every home. In a small space, my tip is maximising natural light as much as possible.
Choose a light colour palette
The more light colours you can stick to with your walls, flooring, textiles and furniture – the bigger and more open your space will naturally feel. BUT that doesn’t mean small spaces can’t have colour! Bring this in with your art and accessories so the space can still feel extra special (and fit your personality).
Make the most of natural light
It breaks my heart every time I see a piece of furniture blocking a window. I know working with limited wall space can make things tricky, but you can usually get around this by being smart with furniture. My number one rule is to measure everything, and never go shopping without a tape measure. That’s a crime!
I also love to layer window furnishings so you can have a sheer curtain during the day, or something heavier when you need more privacy (or sleep).