Designing and decorating a small home can be challenge, but with the right focus can result in a distinctive and comfortable space. Design ideas can vary from a focus on building a consistent theme across a home, through to making subtle changes in decor and style to enhance existing spaces.
Creativity is key at each of these stages, as well as a deep understanding of how a specific space can be extended. Moreover, you need to think about how to adapt a current trend to smaller homes, and whether you can make a personal statement with your decor. The following list represents some ways of thinking about how you can work with the biggest trends, while making the most of simple, budget conscious effects:
One of the problems of working with a smaller space is deciding whether popular trends will work in the same way as larger spaces. The important thing is to remember that a good design theme is always flexible, and can be tailored to a range of different looks. Sought after trends for 2012 include modern rustic, mid century modern (think Mad Men), pastels and Scandinavian minimalism.
While rustic, or country styles are generally used with open spaces, you can create a cosy look through the use of strategically placed corner sofas, as well as through the layering of smaller walls with decals. A few strong textiles can also boost the impact of a room. Think about how a look can be streamlined for a particular space without losing its impact.
Mid century modern styles, which tend to rely on beiges and neutral colours, can also be achieved across smaller living rooms and bedrooms through the careful use of mirrors, bookcases, and classically influenced Roman and Venetian blinds.
For harder contemporary looks, think about minimalist styles, particularly in small kitchens and bathrooms. Reduce clutter, integrate fittings like washers, dryers and dishwashers into small spaces, and focus on strip and panel lighting to reduce the size of fittings within a room.
Increase Space with Simple Cheats
It is possible to create the illusion of space by using a few design effects and furnishings. Mirrors are always reliable for extending a small room, while it is important to use simple vertical patterns and geometric shapes to add length to walls. Vertical blinds can also extend the length of a room, and should be considered as a better choice than heavier curtains.
Rather than try to fill a small room with clutter, look for a few statement items. Rugs, large lamps, and single counter tops in kitchens can provide style without sacrificing functionality. You can also create distinctive lighting effects by switching to mounted LED lights, which can be integrated into panels to provide warm effects without having to rely on bulky fittings.
Small spaces benefit from consistent colours and decals. By doing so, it is possible to open out several smaller rooms into a larger space. If feeling more ambitious, it might also be worth considering a wall removal to establish an open plan, loft-style look for a flat.