Modern living is often short on square feet; however, that doesn’t mean sacrificing the home you want, but instead making it work a bit harder. It’s about squeezing more from the space you’ve got: creating multifunctional rooms and utilising under-used nooks. In this way, a kitchen corner can become an office, a guest room can double as a study, and supper with friends can be a relaxed affair around a coffee table.
Good storage is important for any home, but particularly those on the smaller side. The secret is to make the most of every inch of space: unused nooks under the stairs; the full height of rooms with tall ceilings; and under beds and furniture. It’s a good idea to plan for more storage than you think you’ll need. Life – and with it, all our possessions – always expands, but with plenty of clever solutions you can keep your home clean and uncluttered.
One of the most under-used areas, the spare room is ripe for transformation into a more efficient space: all you need are a sofa bed, a desk and a few well-chosen accessories to create a two-in-one home office and guest bedroom. A sofa bed is the perfect place to perch when you need a break from work; then, when guests arrive, simply pull it out. Store a set of simple bedding in a nearby cupboard or trunk so the bed can be made up quickly.
As the first space you encounter, the hallway can often become cluttered with bags, bikes, coats and keys, so try to give it as much clever storage as possible. Pegs and compact coat stands can take care of outerwear, while a slim console table will hold phones, wallets and keys – and provide a surface for a welcoming vase of flowers. Finally, a large mirror will make any narrow hallway feel lighter and twice as large.
If you have a small kitchen, or one that’s open plan to your living space, make a feature of storage outside the cupboards with crockery, cookware and utensils on show. Combine monochrome tones with a bold accent colour for visual impact.
When space is limited, as it often is in a bathroom, it’s important that everything has a home. Keep soap and toothbrushes in clean white porcelain holders; fill baskets with toiletries so they don’t clutter up the surfaces; and invest in a slim ladder-style shelf or corner shelving unit to store fluffy towels and everyday toiletries such as cotton wool and cotton buds, decanted into jars or small boxes to keep everything neat and co-ordinated. Finally, add a touch of life and personality with accessories such as plants, candles and wall-mounted prints.