When space is at a premium, as it can often be when you live in a city centre apartment, it’s easy to compromise on style and focus on convenience. But if you pull out all of the decor tricks, make your furniture work harder and highlight your home’s fantastic features, you’ll ensure your apartment maximises space in style.
Start with a sofa that’s made for your room. While working with a smaller space can be challenging, balancing functionality and finish is the key to stunning styling. Finding a sofa that works with your design scheme and is well proportioned, both in relation to the room and other furniture, is really important. Go too large and you could be left without enough room to comfortably manoeuvre. Go too small or choose the wrong shape and you may well find you’re not sitting comfortably.
A sofa made for you
In compact living areas, trading a traditional 3-seater for a sofa with two seats is one simple swap that can free up extra floor space. It could also be the difference between squeezing in one sofa or fitting in two, so that you also have enough seating for guests.
A compact yet cosy Italian leather sofa like the Mateo makes the ideal spot for cuddling up with your other half in front of the TV. And for those with a room that’s shaped a little out of the ordinary, corner sofas can help you make use of every inch, including awkward nooks.
From a design perspective, choosing a sofa with a soft silhouette can help create the illusion of more space. A sofa with legs, that’s raised slightly off the floor, can also give the illusion of taking up less space. Choose a sofa such as the the Cedar corner, which comes with the option of an integrated wooden bookshelf that not only adds unique style, but extra storage in a compact space.
Play with colour and pattern
It’s easy to shy away from colour and pattern in small spaces. Create a look that’s too busy and you could end up feeling more cramped than cosy, which is perhaps why so many urban apartments feature pared-back colour palettes.
But used smartly, colour can help create the illusion of more space. The shades you choose to work with will depend on the ambience you’d like to generate. Use soft pastels to warm up small spaces, while soothing blues and greens can make rooms seem lighter and brighter. Use our colour scheme guide to find top tips on choosing the perfect blend of hues for your room.
When it comes to pattern, vertical stripes will naturally lead the eye upwards, which works well if you’re blessed with high ceilings. Similarly, choosing a high backed sofa in a bold print, such as the Richmonde, can help to trick the eye into thinking there’s more space than it might initially appear. Or, if you’re keeping the walls fairly plain, choosing a bolder print for your sofa will provide a focal point – just make sure you’re realistic about the size and shape of the sofa you select in relation to your space. The studio and small spaces collection from Sofology has some fantastic pieces with plenty of bold colours and patterns alongside more neutral options.
You’ve likely heard that a well-placed mirror can help a room look larger, so now’s the time to use the power of reflection to the full. Along with mirrors, wallpaper with a hint of shimmer can make a space look lighter and give the illusion of more space.
Your choice of window dressing could also have an impact on the room. Choose in-recess blinds to add extra inches and avoid heavy curtain poles that steal space.
When it comes to accessories to finish the room, be clear about the purpose of each addition. It’s possible to add texture, pattern and colour without creating clutter. For example, a table lamp with an embellished shade or a folded throw draped across the arm of the sofa that works with your colour scheme can make all the difference.
Making more out of less also means ensuring all elements of your room are functional and, in the case of the furniture, selecting items that are multi-functional is a real plus. A blanket box can be dressed as a stylish coffee table, slimline bookcases or dressing partitions can be useful for zoning off small areas to create relaxing reading areas or to hide piles of toys. Wall mounted storage can also prove a godsend when it comes to keeping items out of the way of curious kids.
Your choice of seating can also do its part for space saving. A sofa bed is a smart choice if you often have guests come to visit, while footstools with built-in storage are also useful for tidying away unsightly toys, books and DVDs.
From smart sofa selection through to playful patterns and creative furniture choices, we hope these tips help you to put your own stamp on your smaller but stylish surroundings.