Do you live in a small space? Maybe not New York small (apartments are notoriously tiny and expensive. Mind you, I’ve lived in some pretty bijou places in London), but on the petite side? Small spaces are tricky: yes, everything’s near at hand, but the trick is fitting everything in. This flat [above] cleverly maximises the space available (plus, painting everything white and having light pouring in through the windows is always a good idea).
I’ve always loved writer and interior designer Rita Konig’s New York apartment. It’s a lesson in making a small space look altogether gorgeous – and I love that she doesn’t baulk from surrounding herself with possession. There’s a school of thought that the smaller the space, the more minimalist it ought to be. As minimalism is in definitely another country as far as I’m concerned (they definitely do things differently there…), the exuberance of Rita’s pad makes my heart sing.
1. A small sofa
If space is limited, do not fill it with a hulking great sofa, around which you will have to skirt, cursing it roundly, every single day. Go for a two-seater – something more akin to the old fashioned love seat. Made has an excellent selection of two-seaters – at really rather reasonable prices (for a sofa).
2. A footstool or ottoman
You’ll be needing extra seating thanks to the slimline sofa, so opt for a footstool, ottoman or pouf, which can do double-duty as a side table (just pop a tray on top) and be tucked away by the corner of the sofa when not in use.
3. A coffee table with added storage
Because if you are going for a coffee table, then make sure it has space for books, magazines, the remotes, chocolates, coasters, whatever you like to keep near at hand whilst you’re reading/curled up watching Poirot (perhaps is just me?). We bought something very similar to this and it’s been one of my best home buys. Alex has a chest very similar to this Laura Ashley number, which has numerous little drawers and a hinged lid for storage purposes.
My husband will attest that I have a bit of thing about baskets. They are to be found in my kitchen (and my daughter’s bedroom), filled with toys; under the sink in the bathroom, stacked with towels; in my bedroom, storing my hairdryer and suchlike paraphernalia (artfully – or so I like to think – covered with a throw). Honestly, I can’t see how you can live in any space – let alone a small one – without them. Keep your eyes peeled whilst in Homebase, B&Q and the like – my best bargains came from Homebase (they look way more expensive than the less-than-£10 they cost me).
They bounce light around and reflect the space back on itself, which is all to the good in a smaller room. Try leaning a large mirror against the wall, or mount a large mirror pretty much anywhere. Alex has a large mirror in her bathroom which I have long coveted as it has that vintage vibe and it’s generously proportioned.